The Platters started out as a Los Angeles-based doo wop group with little identity of their own to make them stand out from the pack. Manager Buck Ram placed them with the burgeoning national independent label Mercury Records, automatically getting them into pop markets through the label's distribution contacts alone. With Ram's pop songwriting classics as their musical palette, the group quickly became a pop and R&B success, eventually earning the distinction of being the first black act of the era to top the pop charts. Considered the most romantic of all the doo wop groups (that is, the ultimate in "make out music"), hit after hit came tumbling forth in a seemingly effortless manner: "Only You," "The Great Pretender," "My Prayer," "Twilight Time," "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes," "Harbor Lights," all of them establishing The Platters as the classiest of all.
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