The Platters Open Season For Tcca

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The Tonto Community Concert Association presents The Platters in its first concert of the 2006-2007 season at 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 14 in Payson High School auditorium.

The original group consisted of four men -- Tony Williams, David Lynch, Alex Hodge and Herb Reed -- who were signed by manager Buck Ram to Federal Records in 1953.

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The Buck Ram Platters will open the 2006-2007 season of the Tonto Community Concert Association with a performance at 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 14.

According to one story, Ram met the group while they were working as parking lot attendants.

Initially the group's work was unsuccessful, so Ram replaced Hodge with Paul Robi and added Zola Taylor, who had worked with another of his groups, Shirley Gunter and the Queens. With those changes, The Platters formed one of the most popular vocal groups of all time.

Material supplied by the group performing in Payson claims, "One year later, that group which was called The Platters, had what would be the first of their many hit records -- ‘Only You,' written and produced by Ram." Other sources say the song, ‘Only You,' came on the charts in July 1955, becoming the top rated R&B song and the No. 5 Pop song and stayed on the charts for 39 weeks.

Ram moved the group from Federal Records to Mercury Records. Ram is on the piano in the Mercury recording of "Only You."

At Mercury, they became a top vocal group and nightclub act, and appeared in movies such as "The Girl Can't Help It" and "Rock Around The Clock." The Platters were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990.

The universal appeal of The Platters music has lasted more then 50 years and spawned innumerable legal, and illegal, copy-cat and tribute groups worldwide.

Over the years, as the original group members moved on, Buck Ram and Jean Bennett kept the integrity and high class persona of The Platters concept alive with subsequent Platters' groups.

Buck Ram died on New Year's Day 1991. The dynamic, charismatic voice that was the signature of the 1950s Platters, died with the lead singer, Tony Williams, in 1992.

However, it was and remains the melodic and lyric strength of Buck Ram's songs and arrangements that have made The Platters "concept" one of timeless appeal. Crowds the world over still fill venues to hear the perennial Platters favorites; "Only You," "The Great Pretender," "My Prayer," "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes," "Twilight Time" and many others.

The Buck Ram Platters are not just another in the potpourri of knock-off and copy-cat groups, but rather they are the essence -- the "Spirit" that created the wonderful Platters music. With magnificent and memorable performance, The Buck Ram Platters bring an electrifying presence to the memory of The Platters and the performance of these hit songs.

The TCCA season ticket sales have been very strong this year, so the board is advising the public there will be very few, if any, single ticket sales.

Single admission tickets will be sold at 6:50 p.m., if available. Season ticket holders will be seated first.

Single performance tickets are $20 at the door. Students, high school age and under, are admitted free when accompanied by a ticketed adult. Season tickets are still available for $60.

Auditorium doors will open at 6:30 p.m. for evening performances and 2 p.m. for matinees, as a courtesy to the last minute requirements of the artists.

For more information, visit the TCCA Web site, www.tccarim.org.

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