(You've Got) The Magic Touch

Album: The Platters Greatest Hits (1956)
Charted: 4
  • "(You've Got) The Magic Touch" was The Platters' follow-up hit to their even bigger "The Great Pretender." Since they released mostly singles instead of whole albums, you have to look for it on posthumous "greatest hits" albums.

    Pause for a moment and appreciate the fine crafting of this song. The perfectly-scanning lyrics, neat as a pin. The soaring vocals of lead singer Tony Williams, almost making the microphone swoon before him. The ideal slow-dancing beat. Williams himself evidentially thought highly of this song, because he named his first solo album Magic Touch of Tony (1962).
  • You could say that in the second half of the 1950s, there were the big four doo-wop groups: The Coasters, The Ink Spots, The Penguins, and The Platters. And they're all connected, mostly through the Platters' manager and producer, Buck Ram, who wrote this song. He had also managed for The Coasters and The Penguins, the latter of which asked him to manage them after seeing how well he was doing with The Platters. As for The Ink Spots, they were more prominent in the previous decade, but Ram had written songs for them, too. Their influence was so profound that The Platters considered the Ink Spots to be their roots, and paid tribute to same by producing a cover of the Ink Spots' "My Prayer."
  • One chief innovation of manager Ram was to incorporate the group; each member had a 20% share of The Platters' stock and royalties. When a Platter left, they cashed out, selling their share of the name back to manager Ram. If you can see where this is going, as members came and went and the band eventually dissolved, several factions emerged fighting tooth and nail over the mighty Platters name. After Williams left, he led his own version of the Platters on tour, as did former members Zola Taylor and Paul Robi - and these were all touring at the same time! Meanwhile, manager Buck Ram held onto his own version of The Platters. It was a mess. Oh, and in case you were wondering, the guy in the original Platters' lineup named "David Lynch" had nothing to do with the famous film director of the same name. Isn't that almost a shame?


Be the first to comment...

Jay, Peaches, Spinderella and other Darrining VictimsSong Writing

Just like Darrin was replaced on Bewitched, groups have swapped out original members, hoping we wouldn't notice.

Jello BiafraSongwriter Interviews

The former Dead Kennedys frontman on the past, present and future of the band, what music makes us "pliant and stupid," and what he learned from Alice Cooper.

Goodbye, Hello: Ten Farewell Tour Fake-OutsSong Writing

The 10 biggest "retirement tours" that didn't take.

TV Theme SongsFact or Fiction

Was a Beatles song a TV theme? And who came up with those Fresh Prince and Sopranos songs?

Christopher CrossSongwriter Interviews

The man who created Yacht Rock with "Sailing" wrote one of his biggest hits while on acid.

A Monster Ate My Red Two: Sesame Street's Greatest Song SpoofsSong Writing

When singers started spoofing their own songs on Sesame Street, the results were both educational and hilarious - here are the best of them.