Earlier this month, Herb Reed, the last surviving original member of The Platters, a 1950s vocal group, passed away. Reed’s life was celebrated at a nearly full house at the Regent Theater in Arlington. The service ran close to three hours, and was attended by two of the current four Platters, Billy Cox and Angela Allen, as well as Terry Stewart, the president of the Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame, Jon Bowman (Bowzer of Sha-na-na). The service included eulogies and rousing gospels by the Berklee Reverence Gospel Choir, and the Rev. Regina Shearer of Rivier College in New Hampshire, who sang with the Platters in the early 90s.
Reed was born and raised in Kansas City, Missouri, and most recently resided in Arlington, Massachusetts. His declining health had forced him to take a step back from touring, after forming the most recent incarnation of the group, Herb Reed’s Platters. He died died on June 4, 2012 as a hospice in Boston due to complications from several ailments, including heart disease. Reed was 83.
The Platters are most remembered for hits like “Only You” and “The Great Pretender.” Reed was the only member of The Platters who sang on all of the more than 400 songs recorded by the original and subsequent incarnations of the group.
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