Platters have recorded nearly 400 songs, have sold over 80 million copies
of those songs, and have performed throughout the world, winning many awards
and an induction into the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame along the way. The
Platters, over the years, have appeared in 27 movies such as "Rock Around
The Clock," "Girl's Town," "Europe By Night," and many more.
how did this all start, what are some details through the years, and what
about today? Read on . . .
Janurary of 1953, four men converged on Los Angeles to form a group for
competing in local amateur shows, etc. This early group consisted of Cornell
Gunther, Alex Hodge, Herb Reed, and Joe Jefferson.
It is said that
Gaynel Hodge, brother of Alex and later famous with
his hit Earth Angel, was present with the Platters when their trademark
name was coined, named after the term popular with DJs when refering to
records, hence Platters.
both Reed and Gunther singing lead, the men won several amateur contest
and appeared on The Ebony Showcase, a television program. Soon,
Lynch replaced Joe Jefferson, and Tony Williams joined
the group while Cornell Gunther departed. At this point, Ralph Bass
of Federal Records signed the group to their first recording contract.
same year, a songwriter from Chicago named Buck Ram signed a management
contract with the group. The members at that time were
Tony Williams, and Alex Hodge. Early in 1954,
the same time Ram decided a female would be a good addition to the group,
Taylor was at Alex Hodge's house rehearsing with Cornell Gunther's
sister, Shirley Gunther. Both ladies were with the Queens at this
time. Soon, Zola was taken on board The Platters, and in the same year
Robi replaced Alex Hodge.
Ram and The Platters really got rolling when Ram was negotiating a deal
with Mercury Records for another of his groups, The Penguins. At this time,
The Penguins' song, "Earth Angel" was at the top of the charts in the United
States. Ram was negotiating a contract with Mercury for The Penguins, and
decided to take The Platters with them in the deal. Mercury wanted The
Penguins, but not necessarily The Platters, but Buck Ram insisted they
take both groups or none! The Platters signed a recording contract with
Mercury Records in 1955, which resulted in hits such as, "Only You," "Smoke
Gets In Your Eyes," "My Prayer," "The Great Pretender," and "The Magic
Touch" just to name a few.
1956, Ram incorporated The Platters forming "The Five Platters, Inc." giving
each member stock in the corporation, with each member signing away his
or her right to the name The Platters to the corporation, owned by Buck.
1960, Williams left The Platters to pursue his solo career with Reprise
Records. Sonny Turner replaced Tony Williams as lead singer
of The Platters. By 1966, The Platters consisted of David Lynch,
Reed, Sonny Turner, Nate Nelson, and Sandra Dawn.
In 1969, the group parted ways with their management. Buck Ram signed
Powell to replace Sonny Turner, an association which lasted
for the next 25 years.
saw The Platters inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
the Platters have divided over the years and members have come and gone,
the one thing that remains contant is the beauty of their music, still
performed today by those closely associated, and some not so closely associated,
to the original group.