Herb Reed, singer for The Platters, has died aged 83, the Telegraph reports today (June 6, 20120). Reed was the only member of the US group to appear on all 400 of their recordings and was the last surviving member of the band. His manager confirmed that he passed away after suffering from chronic heart disease. He had continued to perform, with different line-ups of The Platters, often playing up to 200 shows per year.
The original line-up of the band included Paul Robi, Zola Taylor, David Lynch and Tony Williams. They formed in Los Angeles in 1953 and soon became one of the most popular bands of their time. Between 1955 and 1967, they released 40 singles and achieved four number one hits, the first of which was 'the Great Pretender.' In 1990, The Platters were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Reed was often credited as being the creative powerhouse behind The Platters. He chose the band's name (it's the name that DJs often used to call vinyl records) and successfully led a legal battle to protect the use of the name. In his biography, he attributed his success and survival in the music industry to the poverty that he experienced during his childhood. As a teenager, Herb moved from his native Kansas City to Los Angeles, were he carved his fortune in the recording industry.