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Herb Reed, original member of the Platters, dies at 83

June 5, 2012 | 10:29 am


Bass singer Herb Reed, who co-founded the Platters in Los Angeles in 1953 and was the last of the original members of the vocal group, died Monday in Boston, his manager told the Associated Press.

Fred Balboni told AP that Reed had been in declining health. Until last year, Reed had been touring and performing with a group that billed itself as Herb Reed and the Platters.

Reed, who was born in Kansas City, Mo., helped form the Platters and took the bass part on such hits as “Only You,” “The Great Pretender,” “My Prayer,” “Twilight Time” and “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes.”

Tenors Tony Williams and David Lynch, baritone Alex Hodge and Reed formed the original core of the Platters. Paul Robi soon replaced Hodge, and female singer Zola Taylor also joined the group. Over the years, the participants changed many times.

The Platters were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990.

A full obituary will follow at latimes.com/obits.


Zola Taylor, 69, Platters singer

Doc Watson, 89, master folk guitarist

Richard Dawson, 79, host of 'Family Feud'

-- Times staff and wire reports

Photo: Herb Reed at his home in Massachusetts. Credit: Associated Press