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This American Idol is an American Hero January 18, 2010

Posted by friedgreenbananafish in Journalism, Youtube.
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I must admit, I have never been a fan of American Idol.  I have never watched the program religiously, nor have I ever voted for my “favorite” contestant.  

But recently a singer has emerged from this pop culture phenomenon that I cannot ignore.

I’m talking of course, about General Larry Platt.

His viral hit, Pants on the Ground, has taken the internet by storm.  It seems we can’t get enough of this funny little song calling on the nation’s youth to quit flashing their underwear to the masses.

But Platt is a better singer than you might think.  How many American Idol contestants have sung in front of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.?  Just one, as far as I can tell.

Take a moment to look at this photograph.  See the young man on the left, looking directly into the camera?  That’s General Larry Platt at age 16.

He writes:

“We had come by bus in 1963 to a church in Savannah, Georgia to plan a march to desegregate the city. Reverend Hosea Williams and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. were our leaders. That particular planned march was canceled and we were singing to raise our spirits before returning home.”

But he did get to march with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  In fact, he was one of the many beaten in the historic march from Selma to Montgomery on Bloody Sunday.   

How many American Idols have done that?

The Georgia General Assembly even declared September 4, 2001 “Larry Platt Day” in recognition of his, “his priceless and immeasurable contributions to society…”

Above the CRMV photograph is a quote by Ella Baker:

“We who believe in freedom cannot rest.”

And at 62 years old, Platt doesn’t look like he’s going to be resting anytime soon.

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Comments»

1. more - January 18, 2010

Nice. Didn’t know this about General Larry Platt. I guess it’s not a surprise then, that he is full of life and energy. He has sure seen a lot in his life.

2. friedgreenbananafish - January 19, 2010

Thanks for the comment. It’s great knowing there are actually people reading!

3. thereandback207 - January 31, 2010

Very interesting post. Did they mention anything about it on the show? Just seems like that would have been really good “feel good” filler story. I wonder what made him want to go on American Idol at age 62 to sing that song. Whatever works i guess. Haha :/

friedgreenbananafish - February 2, 2010

Thanks for the comment! Platt says he went on American Idol because he thought it would be the best way to get his message across to the young generation. As for them mentioning his past with the Civil Rights Movement, it was not on the show – it only came to light after his video went viral and people started researching him.


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