Considered the classiest of pop acts then and now, the Platters were the biggest selling vocal group of the era.They were the first African American group to hit #1 in the Rock’n’Roll era.
Their first top ten hit “Only You” was re-recorded in 1955, it also hit the pop charts and topped the R&B charts for seven weeks.Their next song was “The Great Pretender” with lyrics written in the washroom of the Flamingo Hotel in Las Vegas, this song became the Platters first national #1 hit.
The “ Great Pretender” and also “Only You” were performed in the Platters first major motion picture, the movie “Rock around the Clock”. The Platters differed from most other groups of the era because their manager Buck Ram had the group incorporated in 1956, each member of the group received a 20% share in stock, full royalties and their social security was paid. The Platters were the first Rock’n’Roll group to have a top ten album in the U.S., they were also the only act to have three songs included in the “American Graffiti” soundtrack.
By 1959 the group started having problems with the public, when the four male members were arrested on drug and prostitution charges.Although no one was convicted, their professional reputation was seriously damaged and U S radio stations refused to play their songs and their records were taken of he playlists, this forced the Platters to rely more on European bookings. There have been more than 125 different Platter groups touring the country none of theses groups contain any original member of “the Platters”.
Find out more on “the Platters” on the Little Red Rooster Show and KWMC 1490 AM. All information and known facts are by Wendy Johnson and all shows are produced by Javier Martinez.