Why Do Fools Fall In Love?

Album: Teenagers Featuring Frankie Lymon (1956)
Charted: 1 6


  • At age 13 Lymon was a backup singer for The Premiers. The group was rehearsing in the hallway of an apartment building when one of the residents gave them a collection of love letters written in verse form by his girlfriend. They read them all, chose "Why Do Birds Sing So Gay," and put it to music. Richard Barrett, the lead singer of another New York City group (The Valentines), brought The Premiers to the attention of George Goldner, owner of Rama and Gee Records. At the audition, Lymon filled in at lead for Herman Santiago, who was sick at the time. Goldner liked the song but not all of its lyrics, and the group was signed to Gee Records. The reworked song became "Why Do Fools Fall in Love." The Premiers became the Teenagers when they went into the studio to record the song with Jimmy Wright and his band (Wright suggested the new name).
  • The single was released in January 1956 to avoid the Christmas rush. The group was not notified that it was released - they found out when a group member heard a classmate singing it at school.
  • The Teenagers hit #6 with "Why Do Fools Fall in Love" despite covers by Gale Storm (#9) and the Diamonds (#12). Diana Ross took it back into the Top 10 a quarter century later (#7 in 1981) as her first single record on RCA. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Brad Wind - Miami, FL, for all above
  • Frankie Lymon & the Teenagers led the way for young black singing groups like The Jackson 5. A huge talent thrust into the spotlight at a very young age, Lymon was a lot like Michael Jackson. Lyman died of a heroin overdose when he was 26.
  • Royalties for this song have been in constant dispute. Record companies often claimed a share of the copyright on songs written by young artists who didn't know enough about the law or the music industry to realize they were being cheated. When this was released in 1956, record company owner George Goldner told the group that only two names could be listed on the copyright, and credited himself and Lyman as songwriters. In 1964, Goldner signed over the rights to Morris Levy, who had been claiming copyrights for years, collecting royalties on songs he didn't write by Chuck Berry, Tommy James and many others.

    This song has endured as a classic, and when Ross recorded her version in 1981, it generated even more royalty money. In 1987, Jimmy Merchant and Herman Santiago, two members of The Teenagers who said they helped write the song sued Levy, claiming he stole the songwriting credit and threatened to kill them if they tried to get it (Morris was linked to organized crime). A judge eventually ruled that while Morris did not write the song, he was entitled to the royalties because Merchant and Santiago waited too long to file their lawsuit. Also in question is Lymon's share of the royalties. He was married three times but never divorced, and all three of his wives have claimed ownership of his share.
  • The Beach Boys recorded this in 1964, with Darlene Love helping with their arrangement. Brian Wilson of The Beach Boys said in Q Magazine's 1001 Best Songs selected this as one of his five favorite ever songs, commenting: "I first heard this in a cafe in Hawthorne (California) when I was a kid. My dad played the song on one of those little jukeboxes. I went, 'What is this fantastic sound?' I like the sax break, plus all the singers. It got inside my head."
  • In 1998, a movie about Frankie Lymon was released called Why Do Fools Fall In Love. Lymon's wives were played by Halle Berry, Vivica Fox and Lela Rochon.
  • Lymon was the youngest artist to have a UK #1 hit until 9-year-old Little Jimmy Osmond topped the UK charts in 1972 with "Long Haired Lover From Liverpool."

Comments: 15

  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn this day in 1957 {August 8th} Frankie Lymon performed "Goody Goody" on the Dick Clark ABC-TV weekday-afternoon program 'American Bandstand'...
    At the time the song was at #46 on Billboard's Top 100 chart, ten days later on August 18th it would peak at #20 on Billboard's Best Selling in Stores chart, and it spent 17 weeks on the Top 100...
    It reached #24 on the United Kingdom's Singles chart...
    As a solo act he had one other Top 100 record, "Little Bitty Pretty One", it peaked at #59 in 1960...
    With the Teenagers he charted four times, "Why Do Fools Fall In Love" {#6 in 1956}, "I Want You To Be My Girl" {#13 in 1956}, "I Promise to Remember" [#57 in 1957}, and "The ABC's of Love" {#77 in 1956}...
    Sadly, Franklin Joseph Lymon passed away at the young age of 25 on February 27th, 1968...
    May he R.I.P.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn June 16th 1956, the 'Giant Rock 'n Roll Revue' show began two days of live performances at the Hippodrome Theater in Cleveland, Ohio {Home of the Rock 'N Roll Hall of Fame}...
    One of the acts were the Diamonds, and at the time they had two covered versions on Billboard's Top 100 chart...
    At #26 was "Church Bells May Ring", original version by the Willows, and "Why Do Fools Fall in Love", originally done by Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers*...
    * And it just happened that Lymon & the Teenagers were also on the same bill, at the time their "I Want You to Be My Girl" was at #24 on the Top 100.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn December 5th 1956, the Alan Freed rock 'n roll movie 'Rock, Rock, Rock' opened in theaters across the U.S.A.
    Frankie Lymon & the Teenagers were featured in the film; they performed "I'm Not a Juvenile Delinquent"...
    The song was released on Gee Records, the B-side was "Baby, Baby", but it did not make any of the national record charts...
    Frankie Lymon passed away on February 27th, 1968 at the young age of 25...
    May he R.I.P.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn March 4th 1956, Gloria Mann's covered version of "Why Do Fools Fall In Love?" entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart; eventually it peaked at #59 and spent 5 weeks on the Top 100...
    Frankie Lymon & the Teenagers' original version peaked at #1 (for 5 weeks) March 11th, 1956 on Billboard's R&B Singles chart and #6 on the Top 100 chart...
    Four other covered versions have made the Top 100; Gale Storm (#9 in 1956) The Diamonds (#12 also in 1956), The Happenings (#41 in 1967), and Diana Ross (#7 in 1981).
  • Gorchen from Philadephia, BotswanaThis song was pandering the white audiences, man! What was going on was some opressive musicians rising up, tooting their horns, tooting toots, ya dig?

    By singing music that only white people can dance to, they secured a larger finicial market. It was f--king brilliant man. Until he died.
  • Steve Dotstar from Los Angeles, CaI remember playing the 78 pressing of this tune at my cousin's house,on the wierd looking "Gee" label...it was strange sounding,
    with very little echo, but had an immediate sound
    I was fascinated by it.Nice groove and sax solo, a true classic of doo wop 50's...hail to you Mr. Goldner and Mr. Barrett, where ever both of you are now!
  • Joel from Halifax, NsGolden Oldie for sure, eh
  • Angel from Pittsburgh, PaActually, Frankie Lymon was a part of the group called The Premiers; which at the time they also caled themselves The Ermines. The guys that were in the Teenagers w/ him...were also apart of these group(s). After the song, "why do fools fall in love" was released, they became the teenagers.
  • Xtine from Los Angeles, CaI sang Why Do Fools Fall in Love Karaoke Posted it on youtube and it was removed for CopyRight infringements. Woulld someone care to explain his damage for this awful crime I am committed
  • June from Maui, HiI like to sing the song, especially Karaoke. I'm looking for the lyrics for another song "Goodie Goodie" by Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers. If anyone knows where I can get a Karoke cd for "Goodie Goodie"? I'd really appreciate it.
  • Jeff from Miller Place, Nyits ok
  • Mairi from Cantsay, CanadaOk, this is kind of embarrassing, but for the longest time I thought that Frankie Lymon was a girl with a boy's name! Am I the only one?
  • Frederic from Grenoble, FranceJust discovered the site, great job, got all the information I needed.
    BIG CHEERS, keep up the good work!
  • Leroy from New York, NyThe movie why do fools fall in love is a great hit I recomend it to all the Frankie Lymon lovers out there GOD BLESS YOU FRANKIE love leroy
  • Leroy from New York, Nyin the first paraghaph it is said that frankie lymon was a backup singer for the Premiers, it is not the premiers he was really part of the group, it was Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers

    thank you for reading my comment
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