Songwriters Friends



The Platters were one of the top vocal groups of the Fifties, delivering smooth, stylized renditions of pop standards. Like the Ink Spots a decade earlier, they were the most popular black group of their time, achieving success in a crooning, middle-of-the-road style that put a soulful coat of uptown polish on pop-oriented, harmony-rich material. Their lengthy string of hits began in 1955 with "Only You" and continued till the end of the decade, including four singles that reached #1: "The Great Pretender," "My Prayer," "Twilight Time" and "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes." The secret of the Platters' success had to do with their choice of material: adult ballads and standards that predated the rock and roll era, which were delivered with crisp, impeccable harmonies framed by string-laden arrangements. Much of the credit is due to Buck Ram, the group's producer, manager and guiding light, who had worked with acts like the Ink Spots in the Forties.

The group got its start in Los Angeles in 1952 and made its first recordings a year later for the Federal label before moving to Mercury, where they remained until the mid-Sixties. An initially shifting lineup stabilized around five members: Tony Williams, David Lynch, Herb Reed, Paul Robi and Zola Taylor. During the latter half of the Fifties, the Platters were a global sensation, touring the world as "international ambassadors of musical goodwill" (per their record label) and appearing in a number of rock and roll-themed movies, including Rock Around the Clock and The Girl Can't Help It. Though the Platters thereafter experienced several personnel changes, beginning with the 1960 departure of lead vocalist Williams for a solo career, they continued to enjoy sporadic chart success in the Sixties with such songs as "With This Ring." Even after their high profile waned on the national scene, the Platters remained popular along the Southeast coast, where they rank among the foremost exemplars of the "beach music" sound. Elsewhere, they're fondly remembered as a throwback to a golden era when pop, rhythm & blues and rock and roll flowed together in perfect harmony.

From the Rock Ní Roll Hall of Fame

Artists

American Quartet
Andrews Sisters
Louis Armstrong (Satchmo)
Fred Astaire
Chet Atkins
Gene Austin (Voice of the Southland)
Gene Autry
Nora Bayes
Brook Benton
Ben Bernie
Connee Boswell
Fanny Brice
Henry Burr
Cab Calloway
Glen Campbell
Albert Campbell
Carter Family (First Family of Country Music)
Enrico Caruso
Ray Charles
Patsy Cline
Larry Clinton
Rosemary Clooney
Nat Cole (King)
Arthur Collins
Perry Como
Bing Crosby
Bob Crosby
Frank Crumit
Vic Damone
Sammy Davis Jr.
Doris Day
Tommy Dorsey
Jimmy Dorsey
Cliff Edwards
Ruth Etting
Shep Fields
Eddie Fisher
Ella Fitzgerald
Tennessee Ernie Ford
Connie Francis
Aretha Franklin (Queen of Soul)
Lefty Frizzell
Jan Garber
Judy Garland
George J. Gaskin (The Silver Voice Irish Tenor)
Marvin Gaye
Benny Goodman (King of Swing)
Glen Gray
Byron G. Harlan
Marion Harris
Charles Harrison
Haydn Quartet
Dick Haymes
Horace Heidt
Woody Herman
Billie Holiday (Lady Day)
Whitney Houston
Eddy Howard
Ink Spots
Harry James
Lewis James
Al Jolson
Ada Jones
George Jones
Sammy Kaye
Hal Kemp
Wayne King (Waltz King)
Pee Wee King
Kay Kyser
Frankie Laine
Brenda Lee
Ted Lewis
Jerry Lee Lewis (The Killer)
Guy Lombardo
Vincent Lopez
Harry MacDonough
Freddy Martin
Dean Martin
Johnny Mathis
John McCormack
Glenn Miller
Mills Brothers
Vaughn Monroe
Russ Morgan
Billy Murray (The Denver Nightingale)
J.W. Myers
Ozzie Nelson
Olivia Newton-John
George Olsen
Original Dixieland Jazz Band
Vess L. Ossman (The King of the Banjo)
Buck Owens
Patti Page
Minnie Pearl
Peerless Quartet
Peter, Paul & Mary
Elvis Presley (The King)
Ray Price
Prince's Orchestra
Dan Quinn
Leo Reisman
Paul Robeson
Roy Rogers
Linda Ronstadt
Diana Ross
Ben Selvin
Artie Shaw
Nat Shilkret
Dinah Shore
Frank Sinatra
Bessie Smith (Empress of the Blues)
Sousa's Band
Len Spencer
Dusty Springfield
Jo Stafford
Frank Stanley
Kay Starr
Cal Stewart
Barbra Streisand
The 4 Seasons
The 5th Dimension
The Byrds
The Carter Family
The Commodores
The Drifters
The Everly Brothers
The Four Tops
The Impressions
The Miracles
The Platters
The Righteous Brothers
The Spinners
The Supremes
The Temptations
Ernest Tubb (Texas Troubadour)
Sophie Tucker
Van & Schenck
Walter Van Brunt
Sarah Vaughan
Fred Waring
Dionne Warwick
Ted Weems
Kitty Wells
Paul Whiteman
Margaret Whiting
Bert Williams
Andy Williams
Teddy Wilson
Tammy Wynette