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Frankie Lymon & The Teenagers

b. 30 September 1942, Washington Heights, New York, USA, d. 28 February 1968, New York City, New York, USA. Often billed as the ‘boy wonder’, Lymon first entered the music business after teaming up with a local all-vocal quartet, the Premiers. The latter comprised Jimmy Merchant (b. 10 February 1940, New York, USA), Sherman Garnes (b. 8 June 1940, New York, USA, d. 26 February 1977), Herman Santiago (b. 18 February 1941, New York, USA) and Joe Negroni (b. 9 September 1940, New York, USA, d. 5 September 1978). Lymon joined them in 1954 and soon afterwards they were signed to the Gee label as the Teenagers. Their debut, the startling ‘Why Do Fools Fall In Love?’, was issued on 1 January 1956 and soon climbed into the US Top 10, alongside the early recordings of Elvis Presley and Carl Perkins. The song went on to reach number 1 in the UK and sold two million copies. Lymon soon left school and the group toured extensively. For their second single, ‘I Want You To Be My Girl’, the 13-year-old boy wonder was given superior billing to the group.

With their use of high tenor, deep bass and soprano, and teen-orientated lyrics, the Teenagers boasted one of the most distinctive sounds in 50s pop. After registering chart entries in the USA with ‘I Promise To Remember’ and ‘The ABCs Of Love’, they found greater acclaim in England. The soaring ‘I’m Not A Juvenile Delinquent’ (from the movie Rock Rock Rock) hit the UK Top 12 and Lymon was afforded the honour of appearing at the London Palladium. So strong was his appeal at this point that the single’s b-side, ‘Baby Baby’, received separate promotion and outshone the a-side by climbing to number 4. During his celebrated UK tour, Lymon recorded as a soloist with producer Norrie Paramor and the resulting ‘Goody Goody’ reached the Top 30 on both sides of the Atlantic. By the summer of 1957, he had split from the Teenagers, and thereafter, his career prospects plummeted. He enjoyed the excesses of stardom, smoking cigars, drinking heavily and enjoying underage sex with women old enough to be his mother.

Despite recording a strong album, his novelty appeal waned when his voice broke. By 1961, the teenager was a heroin addict and entered Manhattan General Hospital on a drug rehabilitation programme. Although he tried to reconstruct his career with the help of Dizzy Gillespie and even took dancing lessons and studied as a jazz drummer, his drug habit endured. In 1964, he was convicted of possessing narcotics and his finances were in a mess. His private life was equally chaotic and was punctuated by three marriages. In February 1968, he was discovered dead on the bathroom floor of his grandmother’s New York apartment with a syringe by his side. The Teenager who never grew up was dead at the tragically young age of 25. His former group continued to record sporadically and in the 80s, surviving members Santiago and Merchant formed a new Teenagers and Pearl McKinnon took Lymon’s part. They were inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in 1993.
full bio

Selected Discography

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Track List: The Very Best Of Frankie Lymon & The Teenagers

1. Why Do Fools Fall In Love

2. Please Be Mine

3. I Want You To Be My Girl

4. I'm Not A Know-It-All

5. I Promise To Remember

6. Who Can Explain?

7. The ABC's Of Love

8. Share

9. I'm Not A Juvenile Delinquent

10. Baby, Baby

11. Am I Fooling Myself Again

12. Teenage Love

13. Paper Castles

14. Out In The Cold Again

15. Goody Goody

16. Little Bitty Pretty One

Comments

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I will always be your fool wish you could go on my hike with you
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Before the Jackson five,and now Frankie lymon & the teenagers...
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Yes
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ME ENCANTA... HERMOSA VOZ
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haha yeah I am fifteen and I love old music
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such a shame what happened to him
��
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I'm 14 and I love the oldies my friends call me an old woman. But my mom says its an old soul. They just don't make music like his anymore. It's a shame every song in the radio is about the same stuff, drugs sex violence anger and lies. I wanna get back to when songs were a reprise ration of something real and honest
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This is when music was good
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I'm 14 and I've been obsessed with the teenagers since I was 9 their music is so much better than the crap that's played on the radio today
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pnotchr73
Way before my time but I love it
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pnotchr73
CYOL
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wakeup2yourf r e e d o m
The Best. He did it with ease too. =)
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Great groups from the past, will always last.
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Such a shame to lose such talent
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Frankie "The Best"
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I was a fool to fall in love
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Homophobes.. ����
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Read the end of the para graph in the last sentence on this song
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dont read this because it works you will be kissed on the nearest friday by the love of your life however ir you do not put this on at least 5 songs in 145 minutes you will be put to rest in two days its scary but it works
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Such catchy songs great band
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To bad Frankie died so young what a great talent
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Frankie Lymon has a better voice than me... But that's ok.
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The doowop legend.
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I know why I fell in love I was a fool
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Love to put good oldies for everybody
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added you to a station...!
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Great group great song.Songs like this have great sax solos.
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qwwqwerwettr t t u u y u u i u i p o o
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asdffhhghjjk k l l
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zxxccvvbbbnn m m
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997998453849 9 5 9 7 9
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fhfgkggjuyk
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la babma
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2015 ford f150
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wendo1
Still going strong! Married 55 years & still listen to the best music of the 50.s Their will never be a generation of what we call music ever again.Happy 4th of July to the best country in the world.
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He is cute!
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love it
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Love this song❤️❤️❤️
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erovette
The original best
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I love the version in Matilda the movie!
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ashamed Frankie died so young
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He was my song man
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I love Frankie Lymon even though I'm 15 and dance to Michael Jackson����
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One of their very best!!
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Beautiful
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GREAT tunes, my wife of 52 years and I grew up together with the teenager song groups. Brings back special memories. Thank you.
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Love this song:)
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Tell me! Why?
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Amazing love song
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Even better on vinyl :)
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