In The News

Herb Reed of The Platters passes away

Herb Reed of The Platters passes away

THE singer Herb Reed, who was the last of the original members of The Platters, has passed away. He was 83.

Mr. Reed formed the group as harmonising street singers in Los Angeles in 1953. The original line-up included David Lynch, Paul Robi, Tony Williams and the female vocalist Zola Taylor. 

Mr. Reed came up with the name after hearing DJs referring to records as ‘platters’.

They became the most popular black singing group of their time with hits which included Only You (see below), The Great Pretender and Smoke Gets In Your Eyes (see below).

The group toured the world with record bosses at Mercury dubbing them “the international ambassadors of musical goodwill”.

Over the years, Mr. Reed remained the unchanging face of the group while around him the line-up would change at various times with more than 100 singers able to say they were in The Platters at some point.

But he was the only person who was involved in all of the group’s recordings, which numbered almost 400.

Two of their hits, Only You and The Great Pretender, are in the Grammy Hall of Fame. The Platters were inducted into Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990.

Mr. Reed continued to tour with the group — performing in as many as 200 shows a year — until only a few months ago when his health began to deteriorate.

To see The Platters perform Only You, click here.

To see The Platters perform Smoke Gets In Your Eyes, click here.


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