The Platters : Listen on Real Audio
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.