ATLANTA — It has been a decade since “General” Larry Platt uttered the words, “Pants on the Ground.” Those four words made Platt a household name. His audition was arguably one of the most iconic moments from American Idol.

“My wife told the people not to judge me by my age. I was 62-years-old,” Platt said. Platt is now 73. 

“I feel real, real, real good. Everybody was singing my song,” he mentioned.

You can still spot Larry at rallies across Atlanta and he said he still helps with Hosea Helps. From time to time people still come up to him and sing Pants on the Ground.

He told 11Alive’s Nick Sturdivant that he was inspired to write the song after he saw a young man with his pants sagging.

“I give all my credit to my wife for getting on American Idol,” said Platt.

According to Complex, the song was produced, recorded and released in February of 2010. It clocked in around 260,000 downloads.

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But before the viral fame, he was an activist.

“January 25th, 1964…that’s me,” he said as he pointed to a picture of him protesting outside of an Atlanta restaurant. Platt said he started his activist work at 18.

“This me. This is my wife, and this is Dr. [Martin Luther] King [Jr.],” Platt stated as he pointed to another picture. He said he’s worked with Julian Bond as a part of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee.

Platt also marched across the Edmund Pettus Bridge and even participated in the 1963 March on Washington.

“I’ve worked with James Farmer. I’ve worked with James Baldwin,” he said.

While more recently, he’s been recognized for his appearance on American Idol. Over the years, Platt has been honored for his contributions to the civil rights movement.

“I’m just that kind of person that will not give up no matter how old I get,” he said.

Platt said he’s still passionate about helping his community in whatever way he can.  He also revealed that he was able to get his song, Pants on the Ground, copyrighted.


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