… he died on February 1, 1989 from pancreatic cancer.
Paul Irvin Roby was born on August 20, 1931 in New Orleans, Louisiana. The Platters formed in Los Angeles in 1953 and became one of the top vocal groups of the 1950's, selling 53 million records. The group underwent numerous line-up changes. In 1954, lead vocalist Cornell Gunter, Alex Hodge and Joe Jefferson were out and Paul Robi, new lead Tony Williams and a female, Zola Taylor were in. joining Herb Reed and David Lynch.
As a group, the Platters began to have difficulties with the public after 1959, when the four male members were arrested in Cincinnati on drug and prostitution charges. Although none were convicted, their professional reputation was seriously damaged and US radio stations started removing their records from playlists, forcing the group to rely more heavily on European bookings. Robi left the group in 1965.
The group had 40 charting singles on the Billboard Hot 100 chart between 1955 and 1967, including four no. 1 hits. The Platters were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990, the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in its inaugural year of 1998 and the Hit Parade Hall of Fame in 2009.
The Platters were the first rock and roll group to have a Top Ten album in America. They were also the only act to have three songs included on the American Graffiti soundtrack that sparked an oldies revival in the early to mid-1970s: "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes," "The Great Pretender" and "Only You (and You Alone.)"