Two For Tuesday: The Platters (Baby Boom Years)

The Platters were another group that bridged the divide between the Tin Pan Alley days and the Rock & Roll days in popular music. Their best-known lineup included lead singer Tony Williams, David Lynch, Paul Robi, Herb Reed, and Zola Taylor, but the lineup has changed freqquently since the group formed in 1952. They had a hard time getting started, so their manaer, Ralph Bass, asked his friend Buck Ram to coach the group. It was Ram who suggested adding Ms. Taylor to the group and makiung some other adjustments.

Ram had written “Only You” for the Ink Spots, and had The Platters record it as well, but the label, Federal Records, wasn’t convinced of its potential and refused to release it until Tony Williams convinced Ram of its potential. By then the group was recording on Mercury Records, and Ram had them re-record it and released it in July 1955. It rose to #1 on the R&B chart and #5 on the pop chart, their first Top 10 hit.

The group released “Twilight Time” in April 1958. It went to #1 on both the Hot 100 and R&B chart, as well as #1 in Australia and #2 in the UK.

The group had one more #1 hit, “Smoke Gets In Your Eyes,” in 1958. In 1959, the male members of the group were arrested in Cincinnati on drug and prostitution charges, and radio stations began removing their records from their playlists. Williams left the group in 1960, and Mercury refused to issue any records that didn’t feature his lead vocals. With further departures, the group splintered into several competing factions, all of which were touring at the same time. The current “official” lineup consists of Wayne Miller, Adele Galinda “DD” Martin, Lance Bernard Bryant, and Kenny Williams, but there are a half dozen other lineups as well.

The Platters, your Two for Tuesday, February 13, 2018. Enjoy your Mardi Gras!

17 thoughts on “Two For Tuesday: The Platters (Baby Boom Years)

  1. I loved their music. It’s too bad these groups can quickly go into a downward spiral. Back then, they didn’t know how to handle their fame – more so than some of today’s musicians. Yes, I also like Ringo’s version of “Only You”. Paul is my favorite Beatle – so talented.


  2. One of my favourite songs is Smoke Gets in your eyes. I loved how Kathryn Grayson sang it. And I love how Marge and Gower Champion danced to it. Only You is a great song too and the Platters do it the best


    1. Record company executives aren’t particularly known for their taste in music. They’re focused more on how many units they can sell, and evidently they didn’t think they coud sell many units of “Only You.”


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