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This song describes a man who deals with his heartbreak by denying it. The Platters wrote the lyrics in the washroom of the Flamingo Hotel in Las Vegas. Doo Wop groups often practiced in washrooms because of the acoustics.
This was used in the movie Rock Around The Clock
, and also appeared on the American Graffiti
soundtrack along with 2 other songs by The Platters: "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes
" and "Only You." (thanks, adrianus - pitstown, NJ, for above 2)
Freddie Mercury revived this in 1987 and had a UK #4 hit with it. (thanks, Edward Pearce - Ashford, Kent, England)
This was the first ever Doo Wop #1 in the USA, and The Platters also became the first R&B group to have a #1 on the Pop charts. The music was not known as "Doo Wop" at the time - it was categorized as Rock or R&B. Around 1970, Gus Gossert, who was an oldies DJ on WCBS in New York City, started using the term "Doo Wopp" to describe this type of music. Gossert didn't come up with the term however: a record collector named Stan Krause did. Krause helped produce Gossert's shows and gave him song information to use on the air. (thanks to Danny Guilfoyle and the Forgotten Hits Newsletter)
You can hear a female voice harmonizing on this song. That would be Zola Taylor, who was brought in as the only female member of The Platters. She was Frankie Lymon's second wife, and was portrayed in the movie Why Do Fools Fall In Love by Halle Berry. She died from a stroke in 2007 at age 69. (thanks, Bertrand - Paris, France)
You know this is an old song because it uses the word "gay" with its original meaning: happy and carefree. The lyric: "Oh yes, I'm the great pretender/Just laughing and gay like a clown."
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