The Platters started out as a Los Angeles-based doo wop group with little identity of their own to make them stand out from the pack. They made their first records for Federal, a subsidiary of Cincinnati's King Records. These early sides don't sound anything like the better-known sides that would eventually emerge from this group, instead merely aping the current R&B trends and styles of the day. What changed their fortunes can be reduced down to one very important name: their mentor, manager, producer, songwriter, and vocal coach, Buck Ram. Ram took what many would say were a run-of-the-mill R&B doo wop vocal group and turned them into stars and one of the most enduring and lucrative groups of all time. By 1954, Ram was already running a talent agency in Los Angeles, writing and arranging for publisher Mills Music, managing the Three Suns -- a pop group with some success -- and working with his protégés, the Penguins. The Platters seemed like a good addition to his stable.