The Platters

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About The Platters

One of the most successful Black vocal groups of the ’50s, The Platters reached a massive mainstream audience with their smooth, sophisticated harmonies. The group scored four No. 1 pop hits, including “The Great Pretender.” • The Platters formed in Los Angeles in 1952. By 1954, the group had come to feature Herb Reed, Tony Williams, Zola Taylor, David Lynch, and Paul Robi. • The quintet scored a Top 5 hit with “Only You” in 1955. Later that year, they notched their first No. 1 on the Billboard pop charts with “The Great Pretender.” • The group returned to the pop summit with “My Prayer” (1956), “Twilight Time” (1958), and “Smoke Gets In Your Eyes” (1958). • Their reputation took a hit after the four male members were arrested on drug and prostitution charges in 1959. But none of the singers were convicted. • The Platters reached the Top 10 with their 1960 version of “Harbor Lights” but spent the remainder of the decade amassing only minor hits. After the group disbanded in 1969, a number of competing Platters lineups led to much legal wrangling. Reed won ownership of the Platters’ name in 2011 and died the following year. • The Platters were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1990 and the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 1998.

Los Angeles, CA, United States

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