The Platters

The Platters

The Platters : Listen on Real Audio

One of the most successful doo-wop groups of the 60's, the Platters were known as one of the most romantic vocal groups of the period. Audiences all over America were mesmerized by the clear and emotional voice of Tony Williams, the band's lead tenor, and by the group's vocal style.

The Platters began as a mediocre doo-wop ensemble based in Los Angeles, and did not look to have a very promising future. Their fortunes were completely reversed by one very important individual named Buck Ram. Ram was first attracted to Tony Williams voice, but knew a black vocalist could never succeed as a solo artist at the time. Ram believed that the only way Williams had a chance was as a part of a group. Since Tony was already involved with the Platters, Ram took the group under his wing and got to work. He refined their vocal skills, tightened their arrangements, and transformed them from an unknown, amateur group to a hugely popular and professional ensemble. While serving as their mentor, manager, producer, songwriter, vocal coach, and general savior over the years, Ram brought the group into the spotlight, himself writing many of the songs with which the Platter's had hits. Some of the Platters' most well known recordings are "Only You," "The Great Pretender," "My Prayer," and "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes."

The group disbanded by the end of the 60's, but in their years of fame they achieved much. They created some of the 50's and 60's most romantic 'make out music,' which is sure to bring back memories to anyone who grew up in the period. Even more importantly, however, they were the first black act of any kind to reach the top of the pop charts in the 50's and undoubtedly paved the way for black musicians for decades to come.

  • Buck Ram did so much to bring the Platters their fame that the group is sometimes referred to as 'The Buck Ram Platters'.

  • The name 'the Platters' originated from the use of the word 'platters' to refer to records. This was a common term among disk jockeys in Los Angeles at the time of the Platters' formation.

  • When the Platters disbanded, several of its members started their own new versions of the band, using the same name. This franchising attitude continues to this day there are an estimated 125 vocal groups calling themselves 'the original Platters' currently performing.

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