"The Platters" recorded just under 400 songs, have sold well over 80 million records, performed in over 91 countries, and have received over two hundred and thirty awards from all over the world. Of all the awards received there is one Herb Reed cherishes above all; while on tour in Italy, "The Platters" had a private audience with his Holiness The Pope and was given a medal from The Pope for charitable concerts throughout Italy.
"The Platters" have appeared in twenty seven movies. Some you may remember like: "Rock Around the Clock", "The Girl Can't Help It", "Europe By Night", "Girls Town", "Carnival Rock" and twenty-two more in Mexico, Japan, Spain, France, Italy and Isreal.
Herb Reed is the man who named and organized "The Platters" in January 1953, in Los Angeles, CA. The group members in the very beginning were: Herb Reed, Alex Hodge, Joe Jefferson, and Cornell Gunther. They were just four guys having fun singing. They entered amateur shows and always won first prize with Herb singing the lead. They appeared on a TV show called "Ebony Showcase" with Cornell Gunther singing lead on a swing version of "Old McDonald Had A Farm".
A few months later, "The Platters" were doing an amateur show and Ralph Bass from Federal Records saw them perform with Herb singing the lead. By this time, David Lynch had taken Joe Jefferson's place and Tony Williams had replaced Cornell Gunther. Bass signed the group to it's first recording contract.
Later that same year, Alex Hodge came to the group and said there was a song writer from Chicago who wanted to meet them, who happened to be Buck Ram. The original group in 1953 that signed a management contract with Buck Ram were Herb Reed, David Lynch, Tony Williams and Alex Hodge.
Early in 1954, Buck Ram decided it would be a good idea to add a female to the group and as luck would have it, Zola Taylor was at Alex Hodge's house rehearsing with Cornell Gunther's sister, Shirley. Soon after, Zola became one of the C, Paul Robi replaced Alex Hodge in 1954.
In 1955, "The Platters" signed a recording contract with Mercury Records. "The Platters" ended up putting Mercury on the international mapwith hits such as: "Only You", "Smoke Gets In Your Eyes", "My Prayer", "The Great Pretender", Twilight Time" and "The Magic Touch", just to name a few.
There is only one original member, Herb Reed, left to carry on the good will and name of "The Platters"!
Since Herb Reed organized "The Platters", he has never stopped performing and sells out where ever he goes.
Herb Reed and the "The Platters" were inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in 1990, and recently inducted into the Vocal Hall of Fame in 1998.