Los Angeles is the birthplace of vocal group The Platters, who formed in 1952. Herb Reed, Alex Hodge, Gaynel Hodge, Cornell Gunter, and Joe Jefferson were the original members. Upon Gunter’s departure in 1953, Tony Williams took over as lead singer. They followed that up with two less-than-successful singles. The band’s manager, Ralph Bass, sought the help of his music industry executive friend, Buck Ram, by hiring him as a coach. Ram replaced Alex Hodge with Paul Robi and welcomed Zola Taylor on vocals. Under his direction, they released eight singles, some of which achieved moderate success in their home region. They were more popular as a touring act than as a commercial success. The Penguins saw this and approached Ram about taking over as manager. He initiated and orchestrated a Two for One deal between Mercury Records and the Penguins and the Platters.
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Once Williams had persuaded Ram that “Only You” could be a hit, he ordered a new recording to be made. When it was released in 1955, it immediately shot to the top of the R&B charts and stayed there for seven weeks, making it their first top ten hit. Next single “The Great Pretender” topped the charts, becoming their first No. 1 and their biggest R&B hit. It stayed on the R&B chart for eleven weeks. Both tracks were featured in the band’s debut movie, “Rock Around the Clock,” which was released the following year. After this, the band’s success began to rise, and they went on to have several number-one singles and a string of other hits. After that, they began to adopt the strategy of covering older songs that had proven effective for many of their contemporaries. Formed in 1952, The Platters have maintained a touring presence throughout the years despite experiencing numerous personnel shifts and the absence of any new recordings or releases. As a group, they were first inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990, and then into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 1998.
# 10 – Ebb Tide
The first selection is a new arrangement of a song originally written by Carl Sigman and Robert Maxwell in 1953. Among the many 1960s recordings featured on the album is this one.Reflections. Other artists who have covered this song include Frank Sinatra, The Righteous Brothers, Tom Jones, Lenny Welch, Earl Grant, Roy Hamilton, and Vic Demone.
# 9 – Harbor Lights
The song was first recorded in 1937 by Roy Fox and his Orchestra, and since then there have been countless cover versions. This 1960 recording is also from theReflections the album peaked at #8 on the Billboard 100 and #15 on the R&B albums chart. In the UK, it was at its highest at 11 o’clock. Bells from a ship can be heard at the start and finish of this rendition.
# 8 – Enchanted
In 1958, Buck Ram released a single he wrote. A top nine entry on the R&B chart and a top 12 entry on the pop chart were among its chart accomplishments. Jerry Wald Productions oversaw its production. After its initial year of release, it made it to position number sixty-four on the list of the top 100 songs of 1964. That record also had a flip side titled “The Sound and the Fury.” A version of it appeared on the collection.Popular Classics Played Again.
# 7 – Smoke Gets in Your Eyes
In 1933, Gertrude Neilson was the first to perform this song. With its album release, this recording dates back to 1958.Do You Still Remember When…?On the Billboard Hot 100 chart, it debuted at the top spot and stayed there for several weeks. By the following year, it had climbed all the way to #3 on the Rhythm and Blues chart. However, Jerome Kern’s widow apparently didn’t like it so much that she tried to sue to stop it from being performed. Unfortunately, her efforts were fruitless.
# 6 – Twilight Time
Throughout the years, this song has been covered by a wide variety of artists. This rendition is the most well-known, having topped both the pop and R&B charts. Also a success, it peaked at #3 in the UK. In 1963, the band released a Spanish cover of the song titled “La Hora del Crepsculo.” This was highlighted onDishes From All Over The World.
# 5 – You’ll Never Never Know
Originally released in 1956, this track went on to appear onDishes from All Over the World. On the Billboard Hot 100, it peaked at position eleven. The song also peaked at number nine on the Most Played R&B Jukeboxes Chart. It reached #23 on the UK charts. Tony Williams, Paul Robi, and Jeanette Miles are listed as the song’s credited lyricists.
# 4 – My Prayer
Georges Boulenger composed this song in 1939. Though it’s not the only cover of the song, this one became an instant classic and topped the Billboard Hot 100. Several films and TV shows, including “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” and “Twin Peaks,” have featured this variant. It originally appeared on their 1956 debut album, simply titled.
# 3- You’ve Got The Magic Touch
Here’s a song that peaked at #4 on both the US Billboard Hot 100 and the R&B charts. It was released in 1956, and Billboard magazine placed it at #36 on their list of the best selling singles of that year. The 1977 cover by Billy Walker flopped at radio. It was also used as a sample in Bill Buchanan’s novelty song “The Flaying Saucer.” Also, it was onAn additional performance of their greatest hits.
# 2 – The Great Pretender
The group’s first number one hit, from 1955, peaked at position two on the charts. It peaked at #5 in the UK as well. Numerous artists have covered the song, including Freddie Mercury (whose version peaked at number four in the UK) and Sam Cooke (whose cover is credited with inspiring Chrissie Hyde to name her band The Pretenders). Though it wasn’t intended for release on any particular album, it would end up on manyPure Smooth Singer.
# 1 – Only You (And You Alone)
The number one spot on our list of the top ten Platters songs goes to a song from 1955 that was written and recorded by Buck Ram. A recording of the song had been made in 1954, but it was never released. When they redone the recording the following year, it became a smashing success. The article’s lead-in mentions that it dominated the R&B charts for seven consecutive weeks. It’s included on the album, and one of its tracks isAll of their major achievements up to this point, numbered 1 through 12.