Herb Reed dies; was founder and last surviving member of the Platters

Tuesday, 05 June 2012 08:11 PM Written by 

reedHerb Reed, founder and the last surviving member of the great doo-wop group, the Platters, has died at the age of 83.

The Platters were one of the pre-eminent black groups of the 1950s, mixing doo-wop styles with pop; their soaring, elegant vocals taking a different path from earthier cousins like the Clovers and the Coasters. The Platters may have been the only such group to include a woman singer, Zola Taylor, in the traditional doo-wop male harmonies.

It's probably too limiting to label their music as doo-wop -- they wove tapestries of vocals and melodies into a style that broadened their appeal. And Reed's booming bass vocal lines highlighted many of their classic hits.

Here's a nice remembrance from the Los Angeles Times.

And here's a version of "My Prayer," in which Reed contributed the distinctive opening lines:

 

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