Thursday, 23 February 2012

Eight . . .

8 Hey Santa Claus The Platters
Four men, one woman. For them, shawl collar, one-button silk suits with side stripes on the trousers. For her, full-skirted satin, thin-strapped evening dress and white high-heels. The smoothest and hippest of black doo wop, the Platters were from Los Angeles. (A platter, for younger readers’ information, was slang for a record — a visual analogy that made sense in the days of Bull Moose Jackson’s Big Ten Inch Record.)

Their first hit was Only You, in July 1955. Their big hit, the one we all remember from American Graffiti, came six months later: The Great Pretender. There were a couple more number ones — My Prayer, Smoke Gets In Your Eyes. But by 1958, they were pretty much done. A ‘morals’ rap in 1959 didn’t help too much, either.

This is not the original version of the song. That’s the one by the Moonglows, out on the Chance label just in time for Christmas 1959. This version was, I reckon, cut in 1963, but that gives me little idea who is singing on it. There seems to have been at least thirty-five Platters over the years — and as many law suits about ownership of the name. (For ‘name’ read ‘copyrights’. For ‘copyrights’, read ‘cash’.) There are currently four versions of the group touring.

Next for you (tomorrow) Blindness and (seasonal) back door sex

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