NPR logo Herb Reed, Singer For The Platters, Dies

Herb Reed, Singer For The Platters, Dies

Portrait of the Platters with Herb Reed (left), 1950s. (Photo by Frank Driggs Collection/Getty Images) Frank Driggs Collection/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption Frank Driggs Collection/Getty Images

Portrait of the Platters with Herb Reed (left), 1950s. (Photo by Frank Driggs Collection/Getty Images)

Frank Driggs Collection/Getty Images

The last original member of vocal group The Platters has died. Herb Reed was 84; he died after a short illness in a hospital near his home in Massachusetts.

Reed was there at the beginning when The Platters formed in 1952. He sang bass on a string of hits that propelled the group from the R&B charts to the top of the pop charts, songs like "Only You (And You Alone)" and "The Great Pretender."

Still, Herb Reed had to fight for his right to be a Platter. Years after the original group broke up, several bands claimed the name for performances on the very lucrative oldies circuit. According to Reed's manager, a lawsuit filed in 1999 by another member of the Platters was only resolved last year in favor of Reed, the group's only surviving founding member. The ruling was seen as a victory for original members of other oldies groups.

YouTube

We no longer support commenting on NPR.org stories, but you can find us every day on Facebook, Twitter, email, and many other platforms. Learn more or contact us.