The Platters Part Two

The Platters Part Two

The Platters Part Two

By popular demand, it’s The Platters Part Two. I wanted to do this blog next year (in 1956), but I have been ask to bring it out now, so here it is. Seriously, I like to my. blogs on groups and not just just singers. Since this year of 1955, I don’t have anyone that I like born, so why not have have something different, than just move on to the next year. That’s why I’m doing bands that I may have overlooked, and given a chance now.

Changing The Line-Up

The line-up in 1952 consisted of lead vocalist Cornell Gunter, Herb Reed, Alex Hodge, Joe Jefferson, and David Lynch. Before long, Gunter was replaced by tenor Tony Williams.

The band‘s second manager Ram chose to build the group around Williams‘s distinctive as well as versatile voice and also his capability to bring life to Ram‘s songs. Within a year, Hodge and Jefferson were likewise out as well as replaced by Paul Robi and also a woman by the name of, Zola Taylor. The details of baritone Hodge‘s departure are muddy; author Peter A. Grendysa states Hodge was fired by Ram in October 1954 after having been accused of possession of marijuana. Bookers and the record company were informed that Hodge was let go for bouncing a 15-dollar check. The resulting line-up, the one remembered for several of the group‘s classic hits, lasted until 1960.

As a group, The Platters started to have difficulties with the public after 1959, when the four male members were arrested in Cincinnati on drug as well as prostitution charges. Although nobody was founded guilty, their professional reputation was seriously damaged and also US radio stations began removing their records from playlists, compelling the group to depend more greatly on European bookings.

In 1960, lead vocalist Williams left to pursue a solo career, and was replaced by tenor Sonny Turner. Mercury refused to issue further Platters releases without Williams on lead vocals, provoking a lawsuit between the label as well as manager Ram. The label spent two years releasing old Williams-era material until the group‘s contract expired.

The group‘s line-up splintered further: in 1964 Taylor left and also was consecutively replaced by Beverly Hansen Harris, Barbara Randolph and, in 1965, by Sandra Dawn. 1965 also saw the departure of Robi, that was replaced by Nate Nelson, former lead voice of the Flamingos.

This splintering of the group‘s line-up resulted in wrangling over The Platters name, with injunctions, non-compete clauses as well as several versions of the act touring at the same time. Williams, Robi and also Taylor led their own Platters groups and, momentarily, Taylor, Robi and Lynch joined forces as The Original Platters with Williams-clone Johnny Barnes as their lead singer.

To distinguish his group from the offshoots begun by former members, Ram included his name to that of the group. The Buck Ram Platters, built to showcase his songs, were signed to Musicor Records as well as enjoyed a short chart renaissance in 1966 1967, with the comeback singles I Love You 1000 Times, With This Ring, and also the Motown-influenced Washed AshoreSonny Turner sang the lead on these three records, with Reed, Lynch, Nelson, and Dawn completing the group. Nelson left the group in 1967. Dawn, that left in 1969, was replaced by Regina Koco, that remained with the group until.
Likewise in 1969, Reed, the final member of the original Platters, resigned from the group. For a time period, Reed performed under the name Herb Reed and The Platters. Nelson also worked with this group until suffering a fatal heart attack in 1984.

After Reed‘s departure, Ram also illegally continued to promote his very own Platters group. Turner left in 1970 as well as was replaced by Monroe Powell, that stayed a constant member from 1970 to 1995, in the middle of several other line-up changes. Tony Williams formed his version of The Platters in 1971 and also announced a worldwide tour. In 1995, a conflict between Powell and manager Jean Bennett (that had actually purchased Personality Productions, the booking/management arm of the Platters business, from Ram in 1966) resulted in the two parting ways. At the time, the group‘s line-up was in limbo, leaving one person, Kenn Johnson, as the only other group member. Powell as well as Johnson continued touring as The Platters, with Bennett hiring five new singers to be the Buck Ram Platters.
In Spite Of Ram and also Bennett‘s assertions, it was later established that Five Platters Inc., and Jean Bennett never had legitimate legal rights to The Platters name.

Legal Battles

An abundance of legal challenges occurred amongst the many groups of The Platters. Those wanting to hear the classic lineup of songs had their choice of accepteddisputed as well as substituted Plattersincluding Sonny Turner‘s, Zola Taylor‘s, Ritchie Jones (member 198485), Milton Bullock‘s (member 1967 70), Paul Robi‘s (managed by his widow), Jean Bennett‘s Buck Ram Platters, Monroe Powell‘s, Herb Reed‘s, and also several other groups without any existingconnections to the original group. Several had once contained former members that were currently retired or deceased.

Powell, that had been touring under the Platters‘ name, was taken legal action against by Bennett for breach of contractBennett and Powell later on reached an agreement that Powell would certainly have the ability to tour, but only as The Platters featuring Monroe Powell. In 1994, Jean Bennett licensed the name to tribute group for a show at the Sahara Casino in Las Vegas; that show ran for 15 years.

Soon prior to Robi succumbed to pancreatic cancer on February 1, 1989, he won a lengthly court battle against Ram‘s estate as well as was awarded compensationand also the right to utilize the Platters name. Those rights were removed from Robi‘s widow in 1997, and the exclusive right to tour as The Platters was awarded to Reed. A series of rulings in 1999, 2002, and also 2004 provided Bennett the common law right to the name. The 2002 case legally rescinded Reed‘s exclusive trademark rights, and the trademark was returned to the Five Platters, Inc. as well as Bennett.

In January 2006, Bennett sold her corporate Platters-related assets and also intellectual property rights to the Las Vegas-based company G.E.M. GroupInc.However there was an immediate disagreement between Bennett and G.E.M., which filed lawsuit to attain certain corporate assets, Bennett‘s personal property as well as the assets of the 1950s Platters. In June 2006, G.E.M.became part of an arrangement with Sonny Turner, that had been the lead singer of the Platters from 1960 to 1970. Turner had not been able to bill himself as The Platters given that 1972 as a result of a legal injunction. However, Turner latertook legal action against G.E.M. In 2007, Reed discussed the abundance of touring Platters groups: I have to laugh because when you ask me how I feel about it, I‘m irate, I‘m infuriated. I‘ve lost 25 weeks of work a year.

Herb Reed died in June 2012 at 83. Reed was the only group member to appear on every original Platters recording. Sonny Turner, that replaced Tony Williams in late 1959, is still active as well as performing as Sonny Turner former lead singer of The Platters. Sonny brought The Platters back to the charts in 1966 with the hits, I Love You 1000 Times,With This Ring, and also Washed Ashore.
In 2011, Herb Reed and his companies acquired judgments proclaiming that his rights to the name were superior to others, including Five Platters Inc. as well as Jean Bennett. In March 2014, Herb Reed‘s companies were granted a judgment finding they had superior rights to the name The Platters over Larry Marshak and also his companies, that claimed to have obtained legal rights through FPI and/or Tony Williams In April 2014, Reed‘s companyacquired a judgment against the World Famous Platters requiring them to recognize themselves as a Tribute to the Platters or a Salute to the Platters.
In June 2014, Herb Reed‘s companies got judgment against former singer Monroe Powell for trademarkviolation. The Nevada district court granted Mr. Reed summary judgment, awarding him over $59,000 in damages (from US and international tour performances) as well as permanent injunctive relief, preventing Mr. Powell from utilizing the Platters name without making use of the words tribute or salute.


Original lineup (1952)

  1. Cornell Gunter
  2. Herb Reed
  3. Alex Hodge
  4. David Lynch
  5. Joe Jefferson

Classic lineup (1954–1970)

  1. Tony Williams
  2. Herb Reed
  3. Paul Robi
  4. Zola Taylor
  5. David Lynch
  6. James Austin, Jr.
  7. Sonny Turner
  8. Barbara Randolph
  9. Sandra Dawn
  10. Milton Bullock

The Platters® official lineup as of 2019

  1. Lance Bernard Bryant
  2. Brian McIntosh
  3. Leslie Mon’e
  4. Omar Ross

Other line-ups

Various line-ups using The Platters’ name have toured concurrently since the 1970s. The following are some of the groups that at one time or another illegally called themselves The Platters:

Paul Robi’s Platters
  1. Paul Robi
  2. Beverly Harris
  3. Gerry Garrett
  4. Virgil Gibson
  5. Elmer Hopper
  1. Tyrone Sweet
  2. Herb Rawlings
  3. Tommy Smiley
Sonny Turner’s Platters (1970–)
  1. Sonny Turner
  2. Daemine Lowe
  3. Michelle Johnson
  4. Keith Blake
The Platters featuring Monroe Powell
  1. Monroe Powell
  2. Wilson Williams
  3. Kenn Johnson
The World Famous Platters
  1. Eddie Stovall
  2. Lawrence Lockard
  3. JT Marshall
  4. Andre Sheppard
The Platters featuring Tony Williams
  1. Tony Williams
  2. Helen Williams
  3. Ronnie McCain aka Ronnie Forte
  4. Ernie Wright

Other former members

  1. Kathleen Lewis
  2. Kristy Brook
  3. Willie McCall
  4. Herb McQuay
  5. Paris Red
  6. Wille Nash
  7. Damon Freeman
  8. Sandra Dawn
  9. Wayne Miller
  10. Kenny Williams

Disc One


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