Arrow-right Camera
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
Clear Day 39° Clear
News >  Features

Lifted up by his belt loops

Errin Haines Associated Press

He won’t be the next “American Idol,” but the show’s hardly over for Larry Platt.

The 63-year-old civil rights veteran has become an Internet sensation after performing his original song “Pants On The Ground” at an audition for the ninth season of “Idol.”

It wasn’t really singing or rapping, but was performed with some gusto and even included a little break dancing for good measure.

“I have a horrible feeling that song could be a hit,” skeptical “Idol” judge Simon Cowell reluctantly predicted.

Surrounded by plaques recognizing his work in civil rights and photographs of him with Martin Luther King Jr., Congressman John Lewis and others from that era at his home in East Atlanta, Platt seemed dazed by the attention.

His message is simple and the lyrics of the song came to him one day after he spotted a young man holding a child, his pants hanging below his waist.

“After all this work I did with Dr. King … walking around with your pants on the ground?” Platt said. “They’re going to have to get them up. I’m sorry.”

He said he’s hoping for the same fate as fellow wacky “Idol” contestant William Hung, whose 2004 rendition of Latin crooner Ricky Martin’s “She Bangs” gained him a cult following and a record deal, even though he didn’t win the competition.

“He still made it, ain’t that right?” Platt said, smiling. “That’s what I’m going to do.”

The birthday bunch

Actor-director Kevin Costner is 55. Country singer Mark Collie is 54. Comedian Dave Attell (“Insomniac”) is 45. Actor Jesse L. Martin (“Law & Order”) is 41. Rapper DJ Quik is 40. Singer Jonathan Davis (Korn) is 39. Actor Jason Segal (“How I Met Your Mother”) is 30. Singer Samantha Mumba is 27.

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

Local journalism is essential.

Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.

Active Person

Subscribe to the Coronavirus newsletter

Get the day’s latest Coronavirus news delivered to your inbox by subscribing to our newsletter.