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Since records were referred to as "platters," what could be more natural?Either Alex Hodge or Herb Reed redubbed them the "Platters." The Platters' first recording session was held on September 15, 1953, at which time the group consisted of Tony Williams (tenor), Gaynel Hodge, (tenor), David Lynch (tenor), Alex Hodge (baritone), and Herb Reed (bass).AUTHOR'S NOTE: My first foray into the career of the Platters was when I wrote a (less than in-depth) biography for their 1990 induction into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame. SUBSEQUENT NOTE: One of the reasons this article is so inconsequential (even after massive re-writing) is that everyone remembered events differently: Buck Ram, Tony Williams, Herb Reed, Zola Taylor.
Early on, the Flamingos made it to TV, when they (probably Cornell Gunter, Joe Jefferson, Alex Hodge, and Herb Reed) appeared on the Ebony Showcase TV show, singing "Old Mac Donald," with Cornell in the lead.
This was either a talent or variety show broadcast from Nick Stewart's Ebony Showcase Theater.
(Stewart had been the voice of Br'er Bear in Disney's Song Of The South.) When Joe Jefferson left, his replacement was tenor David Lynch, who lived around the corner from the Hodge brothers. Louis, at the time he joined the Flamingos, he was a cab driver.
Their most stable cast of characters boiled down to: Cornell Gunter, Gaynel Hodge, his brother Alex Hodge, Joe "Jody" Jefferson, and Curtis Williams.
Over time, Cornell wandered off to join the Flairs; Curtis Williams wandered off to join the Hollywood Flames (and later the Penguins); Gaynel Hodge also joined the Hollywood Flames, but stayed with the Flamingos too; and Joe Jefferson just wandered off (he'd re-surface in the Turks a few years later and also release "School Days Will Be Over" on Class in 1958).