Personalities | Frankie Lymon & The Teenagers | Fifties | Rock
(Vocal group, 1955–65)
New Yorker Lymon (1942–68) was invited to join a school vocal group with Sherman Gaines (1940–78), Jimmy Merchant, Joe Negroni and Herman Santiago. Before finding Lymon, the others, who were known as The Premiers, were working on a song they had written, but needed a soprano lead voice, a vacancy Lymon filled. The result was the 1956 million-selling US Top 10 hit, ‘Why Do Fools Fall In Love’, which also topped the UK chart. The group managed a few more minor hits from 1956–57, the best being 1957’s UK Top 5 hit, ‘Baby Baby’, but without the novelty aspect, the group were in decline. Lymon made the US chart with 1960’s ‘Little Bitty Pretty One’, but drug problems resulted in his early death. Later, both The Beach Boys and Diana Ross recorded ‘Why Do Fools Fall In Love’, and clearly The Jackson Five were strongly influenced by The Teenagers.
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