The legendary band from the earliest days of rock and roll, The Platters, will be playing at the Port Theatre for a one-night performance on Sept. 5. The Platters were one of the top vocal groups of the 1950s music scene, achieving success with a crooning, middle-of-theroad style that put a soulful coat of uptown polish on pop-oriented, harmony-rich material. Their distinctive sound was a bridge between the Tin Pan Alley tradition and the burgeoning new genre of Rock and Roll.
As one of the first black groups to be targeted towards a predominantly white youth audience in the U.S., the band toured the world as international ambassadors of musical goodwill.
That vibe continues as their music lives on in such legendary titles as Only You, The Great Pretender, The Magic Touch, My Prayer, Smoke Gets In Your Eyes, With This Ring and Earth Angel.
In an era where 'the single' was the thing, The Platters released an amazing total of 38 singles.
They were a global sensation, selling 53-million records and appearing in 27 rock and rollthemed movies, including "Rock Around the Clock" and "The Girl Can't Help It."
The band was also among the first Doo-Wop groups to be inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame in 1990.
Oscar Charles, who is currently the leader of The Platters, has been with the band since 1971 and had worked with many of the first band members.
He said that while all the original members have passed on, their music and soul lives on with today's band.
Charles said this will be fourth time in recent years that The Platters have played at the Port Theatre, with the most recent while performing with the Inkspots last year.
"We really like Nanaimo and I have a lot friends in the city and in other parts of Vancouver Island so it's a real joy to play there," Charles said from his home in Buffalo, New York.
"We do all the original songs and there's a lot of people in Nanaimo who remember us through the years. But we appeal to a variety of ages, anywhere from 25 on up."
Three local performers are in The Platters, including drummer Ross Hembling, John Barsby Secondary teacher Russ Der on sax and Scott MacLeod on bass.
The band will perform in a number of Vancouver Island venues during its tour, including Courtenay and Victoria.
Tickets are $42.50 each for the performance in Nanaimo, which begins at 7:30 p.m. For more information, go to www.porttheatre.com.
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