by Tony Berman
researched & edited by Shana Dines
While I was in Las Vegas the past couple of days, I checked out the listings of entertainment at the casinos. There were obvious “tribute” shows such as “The Rat Pack is Back,” “Barbra and Frank: The Concert That Never Was,” and “Four Lads From Liverpool.”
Then there were some performers that made me wonder - “The Platters,” “Cornell Gunter's Coasters,” and “The Marvelettes.”
I thought, “Didn’t Cornell Gunter die in the '90s in Las Vegas after being shot?” Who were these Coasters then?
And what about these Marvelettes? I knew that for many years, none of the original members were able to tour under the name "The Marvelettes" in the United States due to a decision by Motown Records to sell their name to a promoter who had much younger girls on both coasts appearing as "The Marvelettes."
"Did original Marvelette Gladys Horton regain control of the name?" I wondered.
And how many of the original Platters would be at this gig? Certainly not Zola Taylor, who I knew had died last year.
Impersonators and tribute bands have long been a popular, inexpensive alternative to seeing the real musical groups, especially those who have passed away. However, when a group falsely claims to include an original member and bills themselves as the real thing, they cross the line and become impostors.