Mother's Day is special for Turner

Sonny Turner (in white) with the rest of The Platters. He says his mother, gospel singer Pearl Turner, was the one who got him into music.
Sonny Turner (in white) with the rest of The Platters. He says his mother, gospel singer Pearl Turner, was the one who got him into music.PHOTO: AUX MEDIA GROUP

Sonny Turner, best known for being the ex-lead singer of soul legends The Platters, says his late mother was a supermum

American singer Sonny Turner's concert here tomorrow will hold special meaning for him because he is performing a day before Mother's Day.

"Mother's Day actually means everything to me because my mother was a supermum," Turner, best known for being the former lead singer of soul legends The Platters, says over the telephone from his home in Las Vegas.

The 78-year-old crooner's late mother, gospel singer Pearl Turner, was the one who got him into music.

Life would have been very different if he had followed in the footsteps of his father, Carl Turner, a welterweight boxer.

"I started out boxing, but my mother's influence was stronger, so I changed my mind. I like boxing, but I also wanted to impress the young ladies with my singing," Tuner says with a laugh. He is married and has six children.

Tomorrow's gig at Resorts World Sentosa, dubbed The Platters The Golden Years Concert Tour, will feature the group's hits such as Only You, Unchained Melody, The Great Pretender and Smoke Gets In Your Eyes - classic tunes that are still popular to this day.

  • BOOK IT / THE PLATTERS THE GOLDEN YEARS CONCERT TOUR

  • WHERE: Resorts World Ballroom, Resorts World Convention Centre, 8 Sentosa Gateway

    WHEN: Tomorrow, 8pm

    ADMISSION: $78 to $168 from Sistic (call 6348-5555 or go to www.sistic.com.sg)

Turner was inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame, Doo Wop Hall of Fame and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2010.

In the 1960s, he recorded several hit songs with The Platters, including I Love You 1000 Times, With This Ring and Washed Ashore.

He left the group in 1970 to pursue a solo career.

While there are several groups performing under The Platters' name today, the first version of the group, which had many line-up changes throughout the years, was formed in 1952.

Turner was only 19 when he joined them as a replacement for then lead singer Tony Williams in 1959.

He was chosen out of 100 singers who auditioned for the role.

He was nervous the first time he was invited to do a live audition in front of an audience at the group's show at a supper club in Wisconsin.

But remembering his mother's words got him through.

"My mother was my biggest confidante and I would always hear her voice telling me, 'You can do this, this is who you were born to be'."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 12, 2017, with the headline 'Mother's Day is special for Turner'. Print Edition | Subscribe