Zola Taylor (1938-2007)

03 May

Zola Taylor, a member of the Platters from 1954 to 1962, passed away on April 30th atZola Taylor the age of 69. Recovering from surgery at her home, she had been bedridden following several strokes and died from complications of pneumonia. Herb Reed, the founding member of the Platters discovered her as she was rehersing with Shirley Gunter (sister of the Coaster’s Cornell Gunter) and the Queens in 1955. The Platters had just been signed to Mercury records and their manager thought they needed a female member to soften their sound.

While the voice of lead singer Tony Williams is the sound most Platters fans associate with, Zola Taylor directly contributed to one of their National chart hits. While the familiar hit “I’m Sorry” hit number 11 back in 1957, the flip side, “He’s Mine” with Zola on lead climbed to number 16 that year on it’s own merit. She was the first female member of a predominately male group to hit the Hot 100.

Taylor was back in the spotlight in the 1980s when she and two other women all claimed to be Frankie Lymon’s widow and fought over his royalties. Lymon, a juvenile pop sensation in the 1950s with such hits as “Why Do Fools Fall in Love?,” had died of a drug overdose in 1968 at age 25.

The courts eventually sided with one of the other women. The drama was a focal point in the 1998 Lymon biopic “Why Do Fools Fall in Love.” Halle Berry played Taylor.

Ms. Taylor’s nephew, Alfie Robinson, and her closest known living relative, said his aunt continued touring with other lesser-known acts until 1996 and wed two other times. Her last husband died in 1982, he said. She had no children.

Be sure to listen for the “Fabulous Flipside – He’s Mine” at TUNEDEX MEMORIES!


Posted by on May 3, 2007 in Rest In Peace


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4 responses to “Zola Taylor (1938-2007)

  1. harlan armstrong

    May 11, 2007 at 5:39 am

    i am very sorry to here the passing of ms taylor. I have been a fan of the 1950s doo-wop harmony groups since i was a teenager. i love the platters they had a great deal of influence on me. I met zola taylor many years ago. we danced together to the tune twilight time. she called me a true fan. i will never forget that moment. my prayers goes out to the family. ZOLA I WILL MISS. GOD BLESS

  2. mr denton

    October 4, 2008 at 8:48 pm

    hi im doin a family tree an was told zola taylor may have been related to me somewhere do you have any way to get in touch with her nephew alfie robinson ?? i live in the united kingdom thank you

    • Taylor Mariah

      March 3, 2021 at 8:47 pm

      He is not a good person. He is not the only living relative. I am her niece.

  3. eddy

    April 19, 2014 at 11:45 am

    Zola Taylor,she was a doll.


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