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The Platters to perform at The Maryland Theatre alongside Cornell Gunter’s Coasters and The Drifters

The Platters to perform at The Maryland Theatre alongside Cornell Gunter’s Coasters and The Drifters

Originally founded by Herb Reed in 1952, The Platters, an all-black vocal group broke through racial divides during that time in the United States with their unique sound.

As a multiplatinum, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Grammy Hall of Fame group, The Platters’ legacy continues to live on today with new members who will perform at The Maryland Theatre on Saturday, Nov. 4, along with band groups, Cornell Gunter’s Coasters and The Drifters.

One of the lead vocalists, Lance Bernard Bryant, who resides in Las Vegas, said he is pleased to be able to pay homage to the timeless hits he listened to while growing up.

“It is a huge honor to be able to make a contribution. I grew up loving and knowing the music, so it’s a privilege to be a member of this group,” Bryant said.

His fellow bandmates — Wayne Miller, Adele Galinda Simonelli, and Kenny Williams — strive to maintain the sound that is familiar to their fans.

“We try to push the envelope forward to introduce new sounds yet we still make a great effort to maintain the sound that fans expect to hear,” Bryant said.

Fred Balboni, manager for The Platters, said the sound of the group incorporates a more contemporary sound to keep up with the constantly evolving style of music.

“The music is a great attraction to people who are 25 years old to people well into their 80s,” Balboni said.

The original members of The Platters also include Tony Williams, Zola Taylor, Paul Robi and David Lynch, who produced hits such as, “The Great Pretender,” “My Prayer,” “Twilight Time,” “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes” and “Harbor Lights.”

In the ’50s, the group debuted the hit single, “Only You (and You Alone),” which was accidentally played by a DJ named Alan Freed during “prime time” a period in radio that was then reserved for white artists.

Afterward, The Platters’ popularity grew immensely and their musical careers changed forever.

According to Balboni, years later during the ’70s there was a “big split” in which different groups were being formed using the name, The Platters.

These new versions of The Platters confused the public and eventually Reed sought a legal battle to obtain legal rights of his group’s name.

After engaging in several U.S. federal court cases for the rights of his group, in 2011 Reed was granted in a court order superior rights to the group’s name.

These actions solidified his ownership, performance and other intellectual property rights of The Platters trademark, according to The Platters’ website.

Despite Reed’s death in June 2012, he made a lasting contribution in the music industry that is kept alive by the current members own musical talents.

The Platters released an album in 2015, the first official recording in more than 50 years.  “Back to Basics: The Platters LIVE!” reflects the classic sounds of the original Platters.

In his upcoming performance with his group mates at The Maryland Theatre, Bryant said he is looking forward in mingling with his fans.

“We sometimes go into the crowd and dance with our fans and just have a good time,” Bryant said.

He also expressed that he is pleased to share the stage with groups, Cornell Gunter’s Coasters and The Drifters.

“Performing with them is such an honor,” Bryant said.

Aside from performing with his members and interacting with their fans, Bryant noted that he is interested in the theater itself.

“I’m really looking forward in getting a glimpse of the theater’s history, I understand it’s a really cool, really great venue,” Bryant said.

Balboni said the show is suitable for people of all ages as he added that, “there is something for everyone.”

If you go…

WHAT: The Platters, Cornell Gunter’s Coasters, and The Drifters
WHEN: 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 4
WHERE: Maryland Theatre, 27 S. Potomac St., Hagerstown
COST: Ticket prices range from $39 to $59
CONTACT: Call 301-790-2000 or go to www.mdtheatre.org

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