“Only You,” “Smoke Gets In Your Eyes,” “The Great Pretender.” These are just a few of the popular oldies The Platters are known for. Through the years, the band has undergone a myriad of changes, resulting in confusion and several groups disputing the rights to call themselves The Platters. And one of them is hitting the stage come Mar 7. Sanctioned by an original member of The Platters Zolar Taylor, it’s made up of Benjamin T. Mitchell, Eugene Van Buren, Larry Hicks and Misty Black. We talk to Hicks for a quick lowdown on the band.
How did the name The Platters come about?
The original bass singer, Herb Reed, coined the name, The Platters. In the ’50s, vinyl 78 records were the standard media. They were quite large, and Mr. Reed thought they resembled plates and platters!
I see. We spotted pictures of members of The Platters wearing powder blue suits. Think that’ll ever come back into fashion?
Flamboyant attire never really went out of fashion when it comes to stage performances. And The Platters had worn almost every color imaginable at one point or another!
Speaking of stage performances, what works and what doesn’t for The Platters?
The Platters never venture outside of their comfort zone by trying to compete with music of today. This is what makes us unique, and why audiences worldwide continue to fill venues to hear The Platters.
And what younger artistes do you think are promising nowadays?
Corrine Bailey Rae and John Legend are two artists who are not following the standard mold for black artists. Their individual styles are quite innovative for today’s black music.