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!

BATTLE OF THE BANDS: “September Song”


We start my third year of Battles with “September Song,” written by Kurt Weill with lyrics by Maxwell Anderson and introduced by Walter Huston in 1938 for the Broadway musical Knickerbocker Holiday. Wikipedia tells us “The song is an older person’s plea to a younger potential lover that the courting activities of younger suitors and the objects of their desire are transient and time-wasting. As an older suitor, the speaker hasn’t ‘got time for the waiting game.'”

Bing Crosby was one of the first to record the song in 1943, and Frank Sinatra recorded it three times, as a single in 1946, on his 1962 album Point of No Return, and on his 1965 album September of My Years. Here is that version, which isn’t part of today’s battle.

All right, here are the contestants for today’s battle.

CONTESTANT #1: Jimmy Durante Jimmy recorded the song as the title track for his 1963 album of pop standards.

CONTESTANT #2: The Platters The Platters did their version in 1961 for the album Encore of Broadway Golden Hits.

So, which will it be? Durante, or The Platters? Take a moment to listen to both, and let me know in the comments which you prefer. Then, how’s about visiting some of the other participants, who might also be doing battles today?

Tossing It Out
StMcC Presents Battle of the Bands *
Your Daily Dose
Mike’s Ramblings
Curious as a Cathy
DC Relief – Battle of the Bands
Evil Pop Tart
Book Lover
Alex J. Cavanaugh
Shady Dell Music & Memories
Debbie D. at The Doglady’s Den
Angels Bark
Jingle Jangle Jungle
Janie Junebug Righting and Editing
Cherdo on the Flipside
Holli’s Hoots ‘n’ Hollers
J. A. Scott
Quiet Laughter

* Check Stephen’s blog for further updates to this list!

I’ll announce the winner next Thursday, so be sure and vote before then. The lines are now open… best of luck to Schnozzola and The Platters!