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The Platters

With classics such as "The Great Pretender," "Only You," and their rendition of "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes," the Platters were one of the preeminent doo-wop groups of the rock & roll era. Under the guidance of manager and producer Buck Ram, the Platters churned out hit after hit during the 1950s, bridging the gap between more traditional vocal-group stylings and the popular R&B grooves of the early '50s. Their sound was unique, marked by lead singer Tony Williams' powerful vocals and the feminine touch of singer Zola Taylor. Although competing versions of the Platters confused the public for many years, original founding member Herb Reed eventually solidified his rights to the name and the group continued recording and performing in the 2010s.

The Platters started out in 1952 as a Los Angeles-based doo wop group who made a few records for Federal, a subsidiary of Cincinnati's King Records. What changed their fortunes boils down to one very important name: their mentor, manager, producer, songwriter, and vocal coach, Buck Ram. Ram took a standard doo wop vocal group and turned them into stars -- one of the most enduring and lucrative groups of all time. By 1954, Ram was already running a talent agency in Los Angeles, writing and arranging for publisher Mills Music, managing the Three Suns -- a pop group with some success -- and working with his protégés, the Penguins. The Platters seemed like a good addition to his stable.

After getting them out of their Federal contract, Ram placed them with the burgeoning national independent label Mercury Records (at the same time he brought over the Penguins following their success with "Earth Angel"), automatically getting them into pop markets through the label's distribution contacts alone. Then Ram started honing in on the group's strengths and weaknesses. The first thing he did was put the lead-vocal status squarely on the shoulders of lead tenor Tony Williams. Williams' emoting power was turned up full blast with the group (now augmented with Zola Taylor from Shirley Gunter & the Queens) working as very well-structured vocal support framing his every note. With Ram's pop songwriting classics as their musical palette, the group quickly became a pop and R&B success, eventually earning the distinction of being the first black act of the era to top the pop charts. Considered the most romantic of all the doo wop groups (that is, the ultimate in "make out music"), hit after hit came tumbling forth in a seemingly effortless manner: "Only You," "The Great Pretender," "My Prayer," "Twilight Time," "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes," "Harbor Lights," all of them establishing the Platters as the classiest of all.

In 1961, Williams struck out on his own. By the decade's end, the group had disbanded, with various members starting up their own version of the Platters. Decades of competing versions ensued, until original member Herb Reed finally won a series of court cases. Reed, who died in 2012, restarted the group and patterned them on the original, with members including Wayne Miller, Valerie Victoria, Frank Pizarro, and Cheo Bourne, plus music director Michael Larson. In 2015, the only group authorized to perform as the Platters released Back to Basics Live! on the You Dig It label. The album included a pair of Grammy Hall of Fame songs "Only You (And You Alone)" and "The Great Pretender." Also included was a bonus track, the new Platters' recording of Lee Greenwood's "God Bless the USA" (lead singer Pizarro was a first responder at the World Trade Center in New York City on September 11, 2001). ~ Cub Koda
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Momentos Románticos

12. Only You

x

Track List: Música De Cine - Romántica

4. Para Siempre (From "Always")

x

Track List: Only Hits

1. Only You

2. Remember When

3. Smoke Gets In Your Eyes

4. Sweet Sweet Lovin'

5. Why ?

6. Alone In The Night

8. Harbor Lights (1960)

9. Heaven On Earth

10. I Love You Because

11. I'm Sorry

12. If I Had Love

16. My Prayer

17. My Way

18. Pledging My Love

19. Red Sails In The Sunset

20. Sixteen Tons

21. The Great Pretender

22. The Magic Touch

23. Twilight Time

24. Unchained Melody

25. With This Ring

x

Track List: The Platters

1. Only You

2. Twilight Time

3. The Great Pretender

4. Smoke Gets In Your Eyes

5. Remember When

6. Alone In The Night

7. Sentimental Journey

8. Red Sails In The Sunset

9. Unchained Melody

10. My Dream

11. Enchanted

12. So Many Tears

13. (You've Got) The Magic Touch

14. My Prayer

15. If You Need Me

16. I'm Sorry

x

Track List: Smoke Gets In Your Eyes EP

1. Smoke Gets In Your Eyes

2. The Great Pretender

3. Only You (And You Alone)

x

Track List: Going Back To Detroit

1. With This Ring

2. Get A Hold Of Yourself

3. Shing-A-Ling-A-Loo

4. We Ain't What We Was

5. Going Back To Detroit

6. Love Must Go On

7. I Can't Get Used To Sharing You

8. Why Do You Wanna Make Me Blue

9. On The Top Of My Mind

10. Run While It's Dark

x

Track List: The Great Pretender & Other Classics

1. Only You (And You Alone)

2. The Great Pretender

3. My Prayer

4. I'm Sorry

5. I Love You 1000 Times

6. Heaven On Earth

7. If I Had A Love

8. I Love You Because

9. With This Ring

10. Alone In The Night

11. Smoke Gets In Your Eyes

12. Red Sails In The Sunset

13. Twilight Time

14. (You've Got) The Magic Touch

15. My Way

16. Doesn't It Ring A Bell

17. Unchained Melody

18. Sweet, Sweet Lovin'

19. Harbor Lights

20. Why

x

Track List: 22 Gold

1. The Great Pretender

2. Harbor Lights

3. Sweet Sweet Lovin'

4. Heaven On Earth

5. The Wonder Of You

6. Think Before You Walk Away

7. I Need You All The Time

8. Why Do You Wanna Make Me Blue

9. Baby, Baby

10. Delilah

11. Sonata

12. Only You

13. I Love You, Yes I Do

14. I Get The Sweetest Feeling

15. Love Must Go On

16. The More I See You

17. I Love You Because

18. I Can't Get Used To Sharing You

19. Get A Hold Of Yourself

20. Alone In The Night

21. All My Love Belongs To You

22. Fear Of Losing You

x

Track List: I Get The Sweetest Feeling

1. I Get The Sweetest Feeling

2. Why

3. Fear Of Losing You

4. Devri

5. Think Before You Walk Away

6. Hard To Get That Thing Called Love

7. Wish It Were Me

8. Alone In The Night

9. So Many Tears

10. Sonata

x

Track List: 22 Greatest Hits

1. The Great Pretender

2. Smoke Gets In Your Eyes

3. (You've Got) The Magic Touch

4. Harbor Lights

5. With This Ring

6. I Love You 1000 Times

7. Heaven On Earth

8. Sweet, Sweet Lovin'

9. If I Had A Love

10. Why

11. Unchained Melody

12. Twilight Time

13. My Prayer

14. Only You (And You Alone)

15. I'm Sorry

16. One In A Million

17. Red Sails In The Sunset

18. Washed Ashore (On A Lovely Island In The Sea)

19. I Love You Because

20. My Way

21. Doesn't It Ring A Bell

22. Alone In The Night

x

Track List: 22 Greats

1. I Love You 1000 Times

2. Red Sails In The Sunset

3. Washed Ashore

4. Wish It Were Me

5. Shing-A-Ling-A-Lou

6. Hard To Get A Thing Called Love

7. Atlanta

8. Keep On Loving Me

9. Uncle Sam Ain't No Woman

10. Going Back To Detroit

11. We Ain't What We Was

12. Smoke Gets In Your Eyes

13. Not My Girl

14. Devri

15. Catch The Wind

16. My Way

17. Try And Understand

18. Run While It's Dark

19. If I Had A Love

20. Love Letters

21. If You Need Me

22. Sayanora

x

Track List: 20 Greatest Hits

1. The Great Pretender

2. Smoke Gets In Your Eyes

3. (You've Got) The Magic Touch

4. Harbor Lights

5. I Love You 1000 Times

6. Heaven On Earth

7. Sweet, Sweet Lovin'

8. If I Had A Love

9. Why

10. Unchained Melody

11. Twilight Time

12. My Prayer

13. Only You (And You Alone)

14. I'm Sorry

15. One In A Million

16. Red Sails In The Sunset

17. Washed Ashore (On A Lonely Island In The Sea)

18. I Love You Because

19. My Way

20. Doesn't It Ring A Bell

x

Track List: Choice Soul Cuts

1. Only You

2. The Great Pretender

3. The Magic Touch

4. My Prayer

5. Twilight Time

6. Smoke Gets In Your Eyes

7. Heaven On Earth

8. You'll Never Know

9. It Isn't Right

10. I'm Sorry

11. The Wonder Of You

12. Red Sails In The Sunset

13. Harbor Lights

14. With This Ring

x

Track List: All-Time Greatest Hits

1. Only You (And You Alone)

2. The Great Pretender

3. (You've Got) The Magic Touch

4. My Prayer

5. Heaven On Earth

6. You'll Never Never Know

7. It Isn't Right

8. On My Word Of Honor

9. One In A Million

10. I'm Sorry

11. He's Mine

12. My Dream

13. Twilight Time

14. Smoke Gets In Your Eyes

15. Enchanted

16. Harbor Lights

17. I Love You 1000 Times

18. With This Ring

x

Track List: The Platters Sing Gospel

1. Crying In The Chapel

2. Magnificent Sanctuary Band

4. I Believe

5. Sunday Morning

6. Sweet Inspiration

8. Put Your Hand In The Hand

9. Cheer Up My Brother

11. God Saw The Blood

12. Why In The Name Of God

15. This World Is Not My Home

16. How Great Thou Art

x

Track List: All-Time Greatest Hits (2009)

1. Smoke Gets In Your Eyes

2. Twilight Time

3. (You've Got) The Magic Touch

4. Only You (And You Alone)

5. Heaven On Earth

6. The Great Pretender

7. My Prayer

8. Harbor Lights

9. I Love You 1000 Times

x

Track List: The Hit List

2. The Great Pretender

3. (You've Got) The Magic Touch

4. My Prayer

5. Heaven On Earth

6. It Isn't Right

7. I'm Sorry

8. Twilight Time

9. Smoke Gets In Your Eyes

10. Harbor Lights

11. Red Sails In The Sunset

12. With This Ring

x

Track List: The Very Best Of The Platters

1. Twilight Time

2. Unchained Melody

3. Stand By Me

4. The Great Pretender

5. Heaven On Earth

6. The Magic Touch

7. Only You

8. I'm Sorry

9. The Wonder Of You

10. Harbor Lights

11. Somewhere Over The Rainbow

12. My Prayer

13. Red Sails In The Sunset

14. With This Ring

16. You'll Never Never Know

17. Smoke Gets In Your Eyes

18. It Isn't Right

19. My Guy

x

Track List: The Platters - Greatest Hiits

1. The Great Pretender

2. Smoke Gets In Your Eyes

3. Only You

4. Enchanted

5. (You've Got) The Magic Touch

6. Harbor Lights

7. I'm Sorry

8. My Prayer

9. One In A Million

10. Ebb Tide

11. Sleepy Lagoon

12. Remember When

13. You'll Never Know

14. Twilight Time

15. My Dream

x

Track List: The Millennium Series: Best Of The Platters

1. The Great Pretender

2. Twilight Time

3. Smoke Gets In Your Eyes

4. Only You (And You Alone)

5. My Prayer

6. (You've Got) The Magic Touch

7. You'll Never Never Know

8. I'll Never Smile Again

9. Harbor Lights

10. Red Sails In The Sunset

11. Enchanted

x

Track List: The Very Best Of

1. The Magic Touch

2. My Prayer

3. You're Making A Mistake

4. The Mystery Of You

5. Twilight Time

6. You'll Never Never Know

7. Only Because

8. Helpless

9. My Serenade

10. It's Raining Outside

x

Track List: The Magic Touch: An Anthology - 1

Disc 1

1. Only You

2. Bark, Battle & Ball

3. The Great Pretender

4. I'm Just A Dancing Partner

5. The Magic Touch

6. Winner Take All

7. My Prayer

8. Heaven On Earth

9. Glory Of Love

10. You'll Never Never Know

11. It Isn't Right

12. I Give You My Word

13. On My Word Of Honor

14. One In A Million

15. I'm Sorry

16. He's Mine

17. My Dream

18. I Wanna

19. Only Because

20. The Mystery Of You

21. Hula Hop

22. Helpless

23. Indiff'rent

24. No Power On Earth

25. Goodnight, Sweetheart, It's Time To Go

Disc 2

1. Twilight Time

2. You're Making A Mistake

3. My Old Flame

4. I Wish

6. For The First Time (Come Prima)

7. Smoke Gets In Your Eyes

8. No Matter What You Are

9. Sixteen Tons

10. Enchanted

11. Remember When

12. Where

13. Wish It Were Me

14. My Secret

15. Harbor Lights

16. Sleepy Lagoon

17. Ebb Tide

18. Red Sails In The Sunset

19. To Each His Own

20. If I Didn't Care

21. Trees

22. I'll Never Smile Again

23. When You Return

24. It's Magic

x

Track List: The Platters Golden Hits

1. Only You (And You Alone)

2. Twilight Time

3. Smoke Gets In Your Eyes

4. You'll Never Never Know

5. Sixteen Tons

6. My Prayer

7. The Great Pretender

8. (You've Got) The Magic Touch

9. September Song

10. Ebb Tide

11. Harbor Lights

12. Red Sails In The Sunset

13. On A Slow Boat To China

14. Sleepy Lagoon

15. Lazy River

16. Moonlight On The Colorado

17. Crying In The Chapel

18. Summertime

x

Track List: 16 Greatest Hits

1. The Great Pretender

2. I'm Sorry

3. I Love You 1000 Times

4. Red Sails In The Sunset

5. Sweet Sweet Lovin

6. Smoke Gets In Your Eyes

7. Delilah

8. Harbor Lights

9. My Prayer

10. Washed Ashore

11. (You've Got) The Magic Touch

12. Only You (And You Alone)

13. Heaven On Earth

14. I Love You Yes I Do

15. All My Love Belongs To You

16. Twilight Time

x

Track List: Have The Magic Touch

1. (You've Got) The Magic Touch

2. I Love You Yes I Do

3. My Prayer

4. I'm Sorry

5. Alone In The Night

6. One In A Million

7. Wish It Were Me

8. Love Letter

9. What Name Shall I Give You My Love

10. All My Love Belongs To You

11. Devri

Comments

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the last Seven
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the last comments from CJ
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cdokken7
My Prayer! The Platters are so Awesome!! No WONDER they just kept whipping out one hit after another!!
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cdokken7
Twilight Time. Always has a special place in my heart
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cdokken7
I will always love this song. It will always remain deep in my heart ❤️❤️
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wschmidt88
My Prayer may be first, but Only You is a close second. You can dance to this song even if you don't know how to dance. Terrific. I would be remiss if I didn't mention Ft. Slocum somewhere in this post.
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It will always be Only You that takes my breath away. Wow
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Nothing like the Platters.Gre a t music to dance to
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I am still around
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wschmidt88
Everything The Platters do is outstanding, but My Prayer is probably my favorite. What great days in the 50s dancing. Must be melancholy today because dancing at the VFW post near Ft. Slocum in 1955 is emblazoned in my mind and won't leave me alone.









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cdokken7
The One And Only Platters. So Awesome, truly worthy of their stardom✨✨✨✨✨
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the mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation. . Henry David Thoreau
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It's easy to remember hard to forget
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fiel225
When you hold my hand I understand the magic that you do......
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Deep in the dark your kiss will thrill. Then kiss me I can't wait
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fiel225
I'm wearing my heart like a crown
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gtredlt4
Wonderful songs - lyrics, music, and vocals - the Platters have it all!!!!
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cdokken7
Wow, BJ, you remembered!
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cdokken7
The Great Pretender by The Platters Brings Back Those Terrific Memories. Actually, The Platters & every song they sing is an Awesome Walk down "the memory lane" of Great Times!!
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dragonlady60 8 8
SMOKE GETS IN YOUR EYES...MY FAVE
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dragonlady60 8 8
CLASSIC GOLD...!
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Remembering my youth the good. And bad happy and times
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david_e_cohe n
Pretending that you're still around. Stiiiiiiiiii i i i i i l aaaaaa roooouuuunnn n d !
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When we hear the Platters little did we know what a great life we had. Just terrific, never tiring of the PLATTERS.
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cdokken7
WoW, I Still Love "Only You" by the Platters! A lot of history for many of us in this song!!
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Sorry I didn't know anyone. The Platters where one of the R B Doo Wop group's of all time.One hit after another.Tony Williams was just outstanding.
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wschmidt88
Somers. You seem to post frequently. Did you ever, or do you know anyone who went to the VFW POST near Ft. Slocum frequently on Friday nights in 1955 ? I am looking to make contact. Thanks for your reply. Reply on anything that the Platters do as I almost always listen to them on Pandora as they are my absolute favorites.
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There name is awsome
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My Prayer one of C J's all time fsvorites
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Tony Williams is one of the greatest
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What more can be said.This group is just great love there music.Hit after hit wow.
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As good as any Doo Wop group at the time
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inspired Sean Bonniwell of the Music Machine
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Amazing vocals
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No doubt one of the greatest groups to ever sing together every song
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My dream.is one of my favorite of all time. It's not played much. I wish it were
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Knew Buck Ram, he was a tough teacher but he was always right in his management of the Platters. Also, wrote most of the great hits for them.
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When Tony Williams recorded " My Dream" with The Platters he truly left the world a masterpiece .
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Especially when I'm barbecuing!
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Heaven on earth my favorite by them
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Smoke got in my eyes. So I stopped smoking
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cdokken7
The Remarkable Platters!!!! ! I will always love this iconic group of artists!!!!! ! ! ❤️
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My lips are so afraid to say I love you
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The best group of the era
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Thank God for the Platters so many hits
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Is am j
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When I leave this earth the music they play love Doo wop r n b
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Born in the 2000 but I love station ������
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....oh, yesss...����
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It is amazing how , we who perpetrated the start of the oldies, never realized they would last until we all pass. It would be the greatest to dance with all the lovelies we had in our arms. God Bless all . Maybe, just maybe, the Good Lord will allow us.....
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