Al Zaid and the Platters


Al Zaid, far right, will perform with the Sounds of the Platters at the Guild Theater on May 18. Tickets are available at Underground Books. (Photo by Antonio Harvey)

SACRAMENTO – No, Al Zaid is not the silky-smooth lead singer as Tony Williams was for the original Platters. But when Zaid perform here in Sacramento on May 18, concert goers will notice that he is close enough to the guy who sang golden classics from the age of Rock and Roll.

Zaid and the Sounds of the Platters will perform at the Guild Theater to celebrate the 40 Acres Business Complex’s 10th Year Anniversary. The festivities starts at 6:30 p.m. with a VIP reception ($40 including general admission), followed by a show at 8:00 p.m. Plenty tickets are still available and general admission at the door is $25.

Born in Kansas City, Mo., but resides in Elk Grove, Zaid has been singing with the Platters since 1999 when female Zola Taylor (1938-2007), also one of the original members, was leading her version of the singing group that charted 40 singles on Billboard Hot 100.

The Platters, with the original lineup of Williams, Taylor, Paul Robi, David Lynch, and Herb Reed. The Platters were the first Doo-Wop group to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

The group was actually created around tenor Williams distinctive and versatile voice, a sound Zaid has taken pride in emulating through classics such as “The Magic Touch,” “If I Didn’t Care,” “Smoke Gets In Your Eyes,” “Twilight Time,” “The Great Pretender,” and “Only You.”

“B.J. Mitchell had taught me the vocal to copy (Williams’) sound,” Zaid told The OBSERVER. “Tony Williams had a wide range and I can sing first and second tenor while most lead singers who sung Platters songs were baritone. Most people would say that I’ve mastered it.”

Zaid has performed tributes and makeovers of such  iconic singers such as Sam Cooke, Al Green, Marvin Gaye, Eddie Kendricks, Curtis Mayfield, George Benson, Issac Hayes, Bobby Womack, Al Jarreau, and Johnny Mathis. There is no limit to Zaid’s ability.

Zaid said performing on the Guilt Theater stage singing Platter hits with the other singers () is an absolutely great way to pay homage to a Black-owned business in Sacramento.

“I think it is historical,” Zaid said. “Especially for an area that deserve more attention than it’s getting. But our performance may raise that for the next 10 years.”

Zaid said the concert should not end with the Sounds of the Platters. He is working on bringing in other artist and singing groups to Oak Park such as the Coasters, Vibrations, and Drifters.

“We can make it a place where people can enjoy to see decent and quality entertainers,” Zaid said.

The Sounds of the Platters will take the stage at the Guild Theater on May 18. The Guild Theater is at 35th and Broadway in Oak Park. For more information, call (916) 737-3333.
By Antonio Harvey
OBSERVER Staff Writer