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

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The Original Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox

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: Over the years, Leonard Cohen has mentioned a number of specific songs he favors. Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox is a Cohencentric feature that began collecting these tunes for the edification and entertainment of viewers on April 4, 2009. All posts in the Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox series can be found at The Original Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox Page.

Classic 1950s Hit From The Platters – The Great Pretender

17560159881_f3a1c909a3_bLeonard Cohen’s comment on the role of the jukebox 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 [bolding mine]

“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

Note: Originally posted Apr 22, 2010 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

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