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Platters

Mixed R&B Quintet .

One of the leading R&B vocal groups of the 50s, they were the first black group to be accepted as a major chart act and, for a short time, were the most successful vocal group in the world. The Platters were formed in Los Angeles in 1953 by entrepreneur/songwriter Buck Ram (21 November 1907, Chicago, Illinois, USA, d. 1 January 1991). Through his ownership of the Platters' name, Ram was able to control the group throughout their career, and his talent for composing and arranging enabled the Platters to make a lasting impression upon popular music. Their original line-up, Tony Williams (b. 5 April 1928, Elizabeth, New Jersey, USA, d. 14 August 1992, New York, USA; lead tenor), David Lynch (b. 1929, St. Louis, Missouri, USA, d. 2 January 1981; tenor), Alex Hodge (baritone) and Herb Reed (b. 1931, Kansas City, Missouri, USA; bass), recorded unsuccessfully in 1954, precipitating the arrival of two new members, Paul Robi (b. 1931, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA, d. 2 January 1989), who replaced Hodge, and Zola Taylor (b. 18 March 1934, Los Angeles, California, USA, d. 30 April 2007, Riverside, California, USA; contralto). Signed to Mercury Records, the Platters secured their first hit in 1955 when 'Only You' reached the US Top 5, an effortlessly light performance that set the pattern for subsequent releases, including 'The Great Pretender', 'My Prayer' and 'Twilight Time', each of which reached number 1 in the US charts. 'Smoke Gets In Your Eyes' (previously a hit for Paul Whiteman in 1934), which was an international number 1 hit single in 1958-59, highlighted their smooth delivery and arguably remains the group's best-loved release.

Lead singer Williams left for a solo career in 1961, taking with him much of the Platters' distinctive style. His departure led to further changes, with Sandra Dawn and Nate Nelson replacing Taylor and Robi. With Sonny Turner as the featured voice, the group began embracing a more contemporary direction, evidenced in such occasional pop hits as 'I Love You 1000 Times' (1966) and 'With This Ring' (1967). During the late 60s, and for a long time afterwards, personnel changes brought much confusion as to who were the legitimate Platters. Sonny Turner and Herb Reed formed their own version, while Tony Williams did likewise. The Platters' legacy has since been undermined by the myriad of line-ups performing under that name, some of which had no tangible links to the actual group. This should not detract from those seminal recordings that bridged the gap between the harmonies of the Mills Brothers and the Ink Spots and the sweet soul of the ensuing decade. In the late 80s, Buck Ram continued to keep an eagle eye on the Platters' sold-out appearances at Las Vegas and other US cities. They were inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in 1990, but Ram died the following year.


Songbooks, Arrangements and/or Media

Displaying 1-5 of 5 items.


Platters : The Platters Anthology : Solo : Songbook : 073999902136 : 0881888419 : 00490213

Platters : The Platters Anthology

A wonderful collection of 20 songs from this classic R&B group. Includes photos and biographical information.

Songlist: Enchanted, The Great Pretender, He's Mine, Helpless, I Wish, It's Raining Outside, It's Raining Outside, My Dream, My Prayer, On My Word Of Honor, One In A Million, Only Because, Only You (And You Alone), Smoke Gets In Your Eyes, Twilight Time, Where, With This Ring, You'll Never, Never Know, You're Making A Mistake

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Voicing: Solo | 4021b | Songbook | $12.95 | PVG


Platters : All-Time Greatest Hits : 00  1 CD : MRYB000175502.2

Listen to
My Prayer

Platters : All-Time Greatest Hits

The Platters, 4-man, 1-woman followed of black vocal harmony groups like the Ink Spots and the Mills Brothers, ushering in a new age of contemporary pop and R&B. The group grew up in the thriving music scene of Los Angeles in the early 1950s, first signing with Federal records, and then joining fellow Federal artists the Penguins (who had a national hit with "Earth Angel"), signed by Chicago-based Mercury Records. Their first recording, "Only You," didn't get a lot of attention until a Seattle DJ played it, eventually turning it into a national hit. "The Great Pretender" was a #1 smash, "The Magic Touch" was a top five it, but their next recording, of British songwriter Jimmy Kennedy's "My Prayer" became the group's biggest hit. Rock 'n' Roll-styled "Out of My Mind" and one other song were scheduled for the Platters to perform on Dick Clark's Saturday night TV show, who heard "Twilight Time" over the phone and said, "That's the hit!" It was the first record of the rock 'n' roll era to feature strings. "Smoke Gets In Your Eyes," "Harbor Lights," "With This Ring"-18 all-accompanied winners by one of the most exciting and popular vocal groups of all time! Beautiful liner notes with history and pictures of the group.

Songlist: Only You (And You Alone) , The Great Pretender, (You've Got) The Magic Touch, My Prayer, Heaven On Earth, You'll Never Never Know, It Isn't Right, On My Word Of Honor, One In A Million, I'm Sorry, He's Mine, My Dream, Twilight Time, Smoke Gets In Your Eyes, Enchanted, Harbor Lights, I Love You 1000 Times With This Ring

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7604c | 1 CD | $13.95 | Accompanied


Platters : Best of - 20th Century Masters : 00  1 CD

Platters : Best of - 20th Century Masters

The Platters' rise into R&B/Rock 'n' Roll stardom began in Los Angeles, and two of its members had a lot to do with their meteoric rise, angel-voiced Tony Williams and manager Buck Ram. Tony's emotion-drenched voice made prayers and the longings of lovers so believable, and the precision and clarity of his delivery was pure pop gold. Ram agreed to let Mercury Records sign his hit group the Penguins if they'd also sign the Platters. Although the label first marketed the group on its purple "race" label, Ram convinced them to release it on their black "pop" label. The kids, just having discovered Elvis and Bill Haley, who heard the big hits "Only You" and "The Great Pretender" wanted to see who was singing them, and were surprised to see the suave, smooth black quintet. Thus the first number one pop record for a black group made its way up the charts. 11 classic winners, all accompanied, "Smoke Gets In Your Eyes," "The Magic Touch," "Harbor Lights," "You'll Never, Never Know," "Red Sails in the Sunset" and "Enchanted"-this is all incredible stuff from the legendary Platters!

Songlist: The Great Pretender, Twilight Time, Smoke Gets In Your Eyes, Only You (And You Alone), You'll Never Never Know, My Prayer, (You've Got) The Magic Touch, I'll Never Smile Again, Harbor Lights, Red Sails In The Sunset, Enchanted

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7605c | 1 CD | $9.95 | Accompanied


Platters : Christmas Collection : 00  1 CD : 602498627730 : MRYB000283202.2

Platters : Christmas Collection

This holiday collection, which clocks in at just less than 30 minutes in length, was originally released in this same sequence in 1963 as Christmas With the Platters, and has been reissued several times since in slightly different configurations and under varying titles. If you bear in mind that the Platters only did one Christmas session, then it probably doesn't matter which of these you pick up, although the sound on this 2004 edition is superb. The upbeat numbers fare best, with an energized version of "Jingle Bells Jingle," an organ-led "Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town," and a spunky rendition of "Jingle Bell Rock" being the obvious highlights. The group's manager, Buck Ram (who also produced the original album), has a couple of his own songs included here, "Come Home for Christmas" and "Christmas Time," and both are competent but hardly memorable compositions. The arrangements on the album are interesting and frequently inventive, and the Platters, as always, sing wonderfully.

Songlist: Jingle Bells Jingle, White Christmas, Santa Claus Is Comin' To Town, Christmas Time, Blue Christmas, I'll Be Home For Christmas, Rudolph, The Red Nosed Reindeer, Come Home For Christmas, Jingle Bell Rock, All I Want For Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth, Winter Wonderland, Silent Night, For Auld Lang Syne

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2057c | 1 CD | $11.95


Platters : Silver Bells : 00  1 CD : LIF 160112

Platters : Silver Bells

Doo-Wop legends The Platters treat us to 10 sweet, soulful, all-accompanied Christmas hit covers on "Silver Bells." There's a nice mix here of carols, "Away in a Manger," "Deck The Halls," a jazzy "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen," "Joy to the World" and "Silent Night;" and popular Christmas songs, Elvis's "Blue Christmas," "I'll Be Home for Christmas," "Silver Bells," "The Christmas Song" and Bing Crosby's trademark "White Christmas." There's some very cool new arrangements here of our old favorites, and The Platters still have some of the best leads and harmonies in the business! Great, romantic, danceable stuff that's sure to help you have happy holidays for years to come!

Songlist: Away In A Manger, Blue Christmas, Deck the Halls, God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen, I'll Be Home For Christmas, Joy to the World, Silent Night, Silver Bells, The Christmas Song, White Christmas

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4723c | 1 CD | $6.95


Individual Folios

Displaying 1-4 of 4 items.


My Prayer : TTBB : Ed Lojeski : The Platters :  1 CD : 08201152 : 073999336610

Ed Lojeski : My Prayer

This 1956 #1 pop hit by the Platters, with its 12/8 ballad feel, will provide a tender moment in your program. Available: SATB, TTBB, ShowTrax CD. Performance Time: Approx. 2:45.

Arranger: Ed Lojeski Performed By: The Platters

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Voicing: TTBB | Sheet Music | $1.50 | With Piano |
(Minimum order 4 copies)
| 08201152


Only You (And You Alone) : TTBB : Mac Huff : Buck Ram : The Platters : Sheet Music : 08201340 : 073999878400

Mac Huff : Only You (And You Alone)

Who can forget the smooth sound of The Platters in this 1955 hit! Show off your guys' group in style with this sensational arrangement of a doo-wop classic!

Arranger: Mac Huff | Composer: Buck Ram | Lyricist: Buck Ram Performed By: The Platters

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Voicing: TTBB | Sheet Music | $1.90 |
(Minimum order 4 copies)
| 08201340 | Showtrax CD Available


The Great Pretender : SATB : Roger Emerson : Buck Ram : The Platters : Sheet Music : 08200973 : 073999009736

Roger Emerson : The Great Pretender

You don't have to pretend to like the 1956 #1 hit by The Platters - Emerson's arrangement has it all! Available: SATB, TTBB, ShowTrax CD. Performance Time: Approx. 3:30.

Arranger: Roger Emerson | Composer: Buck Ram | Lyricist: Buck Ram Performed By: The Platters

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Voicing: SATB | Sheet Music | $1.40 |
(Minimum order 4 copies)
| 08200973 | Showtrax CD Available


The Great Pretender : TTBB : Roger Emerson : Buck Ram : The Platters : Sheet Music : 08200974 : 073999009743

Roger Emerson : The Great Pretender

You don't have to pretend to like the 1956 #1 hit by The Platters - Emerson's arrangement has it all! Available: SATB, TTBB, ShowTrax CD. Performance Time: Approx. 3:30.

Arranger: Roger Emerson | Composer: Buck Ram | Lyricist: Buck Ram Performed By: The Platters

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Voicing: TTBB | Sheet Music | $2.35 |
(Minimum order 4 copies)
| 08200974 | Showtrax CD Available