The Platters

My Prayer

Song Review by

Though the Platters scored a huge number one with this song in 1956, the 1939 recording by the Ink Spots is what heaven must sound like. Their version features the group's typically light touch and all the hallmarks of their arrangements -- guitar-arpeggio intro, spoken-word break, dramatic flourish at the end -- since scoring their first smash with "If I Didn't Care," also in 1939. Bill Kenny's soothing buttery tenor oozes with sincere emotion, sending shivers down the spine as he begins the lulling melody: "My prayer is to linger with you/At the end of the day/In a dream that's divine/My prayer is a rapture in blue/With the world far away/And your lips close to mine." His mates' harmonic support under the haunting melody is lush and lustrous. Like many songs of the era, "My Prayer" is based on a European song, with English lyrics added post-fact. In this case, Irishman Jimmy Kennedy penned lyrics to an instrumental called Avant de Mourir, Op. 17 by French composer and violinist Georges Boulanger. Kennedy was a well-known songwriter, with such notable songs as "Red Sails in the Sunset" and "South of the Border" among his catalog. The Glenn Miller Orchestra With Ray Eberle also had a hit in 1939 with their overly chipper recording of the song, beating the Ink Spots' number three by one slot. The Platters' solemn reading replaces the ballad's introduction, "When the twilight is gone and no songbirds are singing/When the twilight is gone you come into my heart/And here in my heart you will stay while I pray." Tony Williams' dramatic tenor reverberates over a the backing of a piano and the other singers. The Ink Spots were clearly a significant influence on R&B and pop singing groups that followed, but their importance to the Platters in particular can not be overstated, with the latter resuscitating many of their forebears' old hits and making them relevant again in the 1950s and early '60s. For "My Prayer," the arrangement is fairly rich, with piano arpeggios, electric guitar licks, horns, and always the impeccable harmonies of the group. It is closer to a torch song than the elegant lullaby feel of the original.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Encore of Golden Hits [Polygram] 1960 Musicpro 2:47
No Image 1962 Ember
The Platters Have the Magic Touch 1966 Musicor 3:25
The New Golden Hits of the Platters 1967 Ripete Records 2:31
Smoke Gets in Your Eyes 1968 Prism Leisure Corporation (UK) 3:24
Golden Hits [Intercontinental] 1972 Intercontinental Records 2:44
16 Greatest Hits [1987] 1976 Deluxe 3:26
No Image 1978 Mercury
Oldies But Goodies: Legendary Hits 1979
Various Artists
Original Sound Entertainment 2:44
No Image 1982 Mercury
The Platters Golden Hits 1986 Mercury / PolyGram 2:47
Oldies but Goodies, Vol. 3 [CD] 1987
Various Artists
Original Sound Entertainment 2:44
No Image 1990 Rhino
45's on CD, Vol. 1 (1956-1959) 1990
Various Artists
Mercury / PolyGram
Your Hit Parade: 1956 1990
Various Artists
Time / Life Music
Hit Parade Top Rock 'n' roll Hits: 50's and 60's, Vol. 1 1991
Various Artists
Orfeon 0:00
Only Their Best for You 1991 Pair 3:26
No Image 1992 Deja Vu 3:21
Music to Remember, Vol. 3 1993
Various Artists
Dominion 2:47
The Platters' Greatest Hits 1994 St. Clair / Prime Cuts 2:43
No Image 1994
Various Artists
Hollywood / IMG 3:23
Four Platters and One Lovely Dish 1994 Bear Family Records 2:47
The Platters in Solid Gold 1995 Starr Digital
Platinum Pop [Platinum Pop] 1995
Various Artists
Platinum Pop 3:24
From the Golden Vaults 1995 Starr Digital
Back to the 50's: 18 Golden Memories 1995
Various Artists
K-Tel Distribution 2:46
Greatest Hits [Eclipse 64788] 1996 Eclipse Music Group 3:24
Those Wonderful Years, Vol. 21: April Love 1996
Various Artists
JCI Associated Labels 2:45
The Platters [Allegiance] 1996 Allegiance Records 2:45
The Hit Box 1 1996
Various Artists
United Multi Consign 2:40
The Very Best of the Platters [Disky] 1996 Disky
Golden Classics: 21 Original Musicor Recordings 1996 Masters Intercontinental 3:25
Original Platters 1996 DJ Specialist 2:46
Wedding Album [Double Gold] 1997
Various Artists
Double Gold 2:45
Gold 1997 Madacy Distribution / Madacy 3:20
Rock n' Roll Reunion: Class of 56 1997
Various Artists
Madacy Distribution / Madacy 2:48
No Image 1997
Various Artists
Eclipse Records 2:48
The Best of the Platters Gold [Excelsior] 1997 Excelsior Recordings 3:20
100 Jukebox Hits: 50's & 60's 1998
Various Artists
Madacy Distribution / Madacy 2:47
#1 Hits: The 50's Decade, Vol. 2 1998
Various Artists
St. Clair / Number 1 Hits 2:40
Selection of the Platters 1998 Golden Sounds 3:24
Enchanted: The Best of the Platters 1998 Rhino 2:48
Gold Collection [Fine Tune] 1998 Fine Tune 3:24
No Image 1998 Excelsior Recordings
Greatest Hits, Vol. 2 [Platinum] 1999 Platinum Disc 3:26
The Best of the Platters [Polygram] 1999 Spectrum Music / PolyGram / Universal 2:46
World Famous Platters: Kings of Rock N Roll Series 1999 Classic World Productions, Inc. 2:58
Sixties 1999 Charly Records 3:26
Sound & Sensation 1999 Madacy Distribution / Madacy 2:43
4 Legendary Soul Groups 1999
Various Artists
Double Play Records 3:24
50's [Intercontinental] 1999
Various Artists
Intercontinental Records 2:43
Rock N' Roll of the 50's, Vol. 2 1999
Various Artists
Madacy 2:46
The Platters: Magic Collection 2000 The Magic Collection
Hot Hits: Rock N' Roll of the 50's 2000
Various Artists
Madacy Distribution / Madacy 2:46
Oldies But Goodies, Vol. 2 & 3 2000
Various Artists
Original Sound Entertainment 2:44
Soul Ballads [Boxsets] 2000
Various Artists
Boxsets 0:00
Golden Legends 2000 Direct Source 3:24
High Profile 2000 Direct Source 2:43
No Image 2000 Direct Source 2:42
Forever Gold: The Platters Meet the Drifters 2000 Boxsets 2:53
Collection [Mastersound] 2000 Mastersound 2:41
Soul Ballads, Vol. 3 [Retro] 2000
Various Artists
Retro Music 2:42
50s Party Pack 2001
Various Artists
Legacy 2:42
No Image 2001
Various Artists
St. Clair 2:48
Golden Greats 2001 Goldies 2:45
The Platters [Direct Source #2] 2001 Direct Source 3:24
Mega Soul 2001
Various Artists
Wagram Records 3:23
The Fabulous Fifties, Vol. 3: Back to the Fifties [Time Life] 2001
Various Artists
Time / Life Music 2:46
Rock, Rhythm and Doo Wop, Vol. 1: The Greatest Songs from Early Rock 'n' Roll 2001
Various Artists
Rhino 2:47
The Legends Collection, Vol. 1 2001 Dressed To Kill 3:26
The Best of the Platters [Castle Pulse] 2002 Castle Pulse 2:59
Street Corner Souvenirs: Doo Wop Classics 2002
Various Artists
Golden Stars 2:45
Greatest Hits 2002 King 3:26
Unforgettable [K-Tel] 2002
Various Artists
K-Tel Distribution 2:44
The Fabulous Fifties 2002
Various Artists
Time / Life Music 2:46
Gold Collection: More Soul Ballads 2002
Various Artists
St. Clair 2:42
The Picture of Romance 2003
Various Artists
Madacy Distribution / Madacy 2:45
Father's Favourites [K-Tel] 2003
Various Artists
K-Tel Distribution 2:45
Jukebox Hits, Vol. 4 2003
Various Artists
United Audio Entertainment 2:41
21 Winners: Rock 'n' Roll Hits of the 50's [2003] 2003
Various Artists
Madacy Distribution / Madacy 2:41
The Singles Plus 2003 BR Music 2:47
Gold Collection: 30 Years of Rock 'N' Roll 2004
Various Artists
St. Clair 2:42
Music Legends - The Platters: Twilight Time 2004 Brentwood Records 2:56
Doo Wop Favorites [Box Set] 2004
Various Artists
Madacy 2:43
20 Best Hits of the '50s 2004
Various Artists
Madacy 2:42
Rock N Roll: Gold Collection 2004
Various Artists
Dejavu Retro 3:21
#1 Hits of the Rock N Roll Era 2004
Various Artists
K-Tel Distribution
The Best of the Platters [St. Clair] 2004 St. Clair / Essential Records 2:42
Great Platters 2005 Rajon Entertainment Pty Ltd. 3:01
Fabulous 50's [Madacy] 2005
Various Artists
Madacy Distribution / Madacy 2:41
More Happy Days '50s and '60s 2005
Various Artists
Madacy Distribution / Madacy 2:46
No Image 2005
Various Artists
Legacy 2:41
The Ultimate Doo Wop 2005
Various Artists
Madacy Distribution / Madacy 2:46
Doo Wop Era 2005
Various Artists
Madacy Distribution / Madacy 2:40
Ultimate 16: Ultimate Doo Wop 2005
Various Artists
Madacy 2:46
Platinum Collection 2005 Prime Sound 2:45
Anniversary Collection 2005
Various Artists
K-Tel Distribution 2:47
Young Love: The 50's 2006
Various Artists
Music Mill 2:46
Golden Legends: Doo Wop Legends 2006
Various Artists
Madacy 2:42
Best of the Platters [Direct Source] 2006 Direct Source 2:42
#1 Hits of the Summer: Summer Hits 2006
Various Artists
Collectables 2:47
Forever Gold: The Great Pretender 2006 Trace Records 2:46
9 Top Ten Hits 2006 Direct Source 2:42
The Best of R&B Soul Stars 2006
Various Artists
Direct Source 2:42
The Magic Touch: The Classic Early Years 1954-1956 2006 Jasmine Records 2:46
Hits of the 50's: The Ultimate Collection 2007
Various Artists
Red Box 2:45
Forever Gold: The Platters 2007 St. Clair 2:41
Hit Parade 1956 2007
Various Artists
Dynamic Nostalgia / Dynamic 2:45
America's Greatest Hits [Acrobat] 2007
Various Artists
Acrobat Music 2:45
1956 British Hit Parade: Britain's Greatest Hits, Vol. 5, Pt. 2 2007
Various Artists
Acrobat Music 2:46
Only You: Best Selection 2008 Kingfisher Records
Originals 2008 Music Brokers 2:44
Melody of Love: Great 50's Love Songs 2008
Various Artists
Dynamic 2:44
100 Great Love Songs of the Fifties 2008
Various Artists
High Fidelity Records 2:46
The Rock 'n Roll [Box Set] 2009
Various Artists
Music & Melody 2:47
Street Corner Symphonies: The Complete Story of Doo Wop, Vol. 8 (1956) 2012
Various Artists
Bear Family Records 2:47
The Ballads of the Platters 2013 Bear Family Records 2:47
Britain's Greatest Hits 1956 2013
Various Artists
Fabulous 2:46
The R&B No. 1s of the '50s 2013
Various Artists
Acrobat Music 2:47
The Complete A & B Sides 1953-62 2014 Acrobat Music 2:46
Twin Peaks [Music From the Limited Event Series] 2017
Various Artists
Rhino 2:45
#1's of the 50's
Various Artists
AAO Music 2:42
20 Greatest Hits Prism Entertainment
50 Favourites from the 50's
Various Artists
Gralin Music
60 #1 Pop Hits
Various Artists
AAO Music / United Audio Entertainment 2:42
8 Best Hits of the 50's
Various Artists
Madacy Special Products
America's Greatest Hits, Vol. 7: 1956
Various Artists
Acrobat Music 2:46
Decade of Hits: The 50's
Various Artists
Dynamic Nostalgia 0:00
No Image Pickwick
Remember When [AIM Records] Aim Trading Group Pty, Ltd. / Aim Records 3:35
Rock 'n' Roll USA, Vol. 1: 1954-1959
Various Artists
Acrobat Music 2:46
No Image Phantom
Way It Was: Rock Around the Clock the 50's
Various Artists
Dynamic 2:47
Why Do Fools Fall in Love? [Crimson]
Various Artists
Crimson Productions / Music Video Distribution 2:46