In 1953, bass singer Herb Reed put together a group of four singers called The Platters, an idea he got from a disc jockey referring to records as platters. The original group was made up of Reed, Joe Jefferson, Cornell Gunther and Alex Hodge. The original group got its start on a television show called "Ebony Showcase" with Cornell Gunther singing lead on a swing version of "Old MacDonald Had a Farm." Months later, David Lynch replaced Jefferson and Tony Williams replaced Gunther. While at an amateur show, Ralph Bass from Federal Records saw them perform with Reed singing lead and signed the group to its first recording contract. Late in 1953, the group signed a management contract with songwriter Buck Ram.