“The Great Pretender” By The Platters Is On Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox

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Biggest Influence on My Music – The jukebox. I lived beside jukeboxes all through the fifties. … I never knew who was singing. I never followed things that way. I still don’t. I wasn’t a student of music; I was a student of the restaurant I was in — and the waitresses. The music was a part of it. I knew what number the song was. - Leonard Cohen (Yakety Yak by Scott Cohen, 1994)

Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox: In interviews through the years, Leonard Cohen has mentioned a handful of specific songs he favors. Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox is a Heck Of A Guy feature that began playing these tunes for your edification and entertainment on April 4, 2009.

Classic 1950s Hit From The Platters – The Great Pretender

The Leonard Cohen comment on the role of the jukebox featured in the recent post, Leonard Cohen On His Major Musical Influence – And Waitresses,  provides the documentation for today’s song selection:

Biggest Influence on My Music: The jukebox. I lived beside jukeboxes all through the fifties. There was “The Great Pretender,” “Cross Over the Road.” I never knew who was singing. I never followed things that way. I still don’t. I wasn’t a student of music; I was a student of the restaurant I was in — and the waitresses. The music was a part of it. I knew what number the song was.  – Leonard Cohen, quoted in Scott Cohen’s 1994 book, Yakety Yak:1

“The Great Pretender” was released as a single in 1955 and became a number #1 hit on both the R&B and pop charts in 1955.

And, as luck would have it, an outstanding video from a 1950s performance of this great song by the Platters is available on YouTube. This is a treat.

The Platters – The Great Pretender

Other Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox Posts

All posts featured in the Heck Of A Guy Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox series can be found at the end of the Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox Page.

  1. Full title: “Yakety-Yak : The Midnight Confessions and Revelation of Thirty-Seven Rock Stars and Legends” published by Fireside. []

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