Why Do Fools Fall in Love (song)
|"Why Do Fools Fall in Love"|
|Single by Frankie Lymon & The Teenagers|
|from the album |
The Teenagers Featuring Frankie Lymon
|B-side||"Please Be Mine"|
|Released||January 10, 1956|
|Genre||Doo-wop, rock and roll|
|Songwriter(s)||Frankie Lymon, Herman Santiago, Jimmy Merchant|
|Frankie Lymon & The Teenagers singles chronology|
"Why Do Fools Fall in Love" is a song by New York City-based rock and roll group Frankie Lymon & the Teenagers that was released on January 10, 1956. It reached No. 1 on the R&B chart, No. 6 on Billboard's Pop Singles chart, and No. 1 on the UK Singles Chart in July.
The song helped to make Frankie Lymon a household name and would make him a rock and roll pioneer.
The Canadian group The Diamonds also did a more traditional doo wop version that came out two months after Lymon's in March 1956. This version stayed 19 weeks on the Billboard chart, topping out at No. 12.
The song was included in Robert Christgau's "Basic Record Library" of 1950s and 1960s recordings—published in Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies (1981)—and ranked No. 314 on the Rolling Stone magazine's list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.
In late 1955, The Teenagers (at that time calling themselves The Premiers) auditioned a song called "Why do Birds Sing So Gay?" for George Goldner, recording producer and owner of Gee Records. Herman Santiago, tenor of the group, had written the song based on a line from some love letters given to the guys by a tenant in bassist Sherman Garnes' apartment building. One of them featured the words "Why do birds sing so gay?," which fit in with lyrics of other songs that Herman had been writing based on a 1-6-2-5 chord pattern. Herman adjusted the harmony to take advantage of Frankie Lymon's high tenor/soprano. Along the way, at Goldner's suggestion, some of the lyrics were changed. During the audition, Frankie's voice stood out and Goldner recommended the lead in subsequent recording sessions be given to Frankie. Frankie did some improvising and recreated the melody to match his own style. According to Jimmy Merchant, what happened at the recording session was a combination of "Frankie's singing ability coupled with George Goldner's special ability to bring out the best in Frankie."
Although early vinyl single releases of "Why Do Fools Fall in Love" credit Frankie Lymon, Herman Santiago, and George Goldner as co-writers of the song, later releases and cover versions were attributed only to Lymon and record producer George Goldner. Goldner's name was later replaced by Morris Levy when Levy bought Goldner's interest in Gee Records, the Teenagers' record company.
After a lengthy court battle, songwriting credits were awarded to original Teenagers members Herman Santiago and Jimmy Merchant in December 1992.
However, in 1996, this ruling was overturned by the Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit under the statute of limitations and authorship, because Santiago and Merchant did not bring the case to court soon enough. This gave the song rights back to Lymon and Levy. The current publisher of the song is EMI Music Publishing, which still lists these two as the songwriters.
Frankie Lymon & the Teenagers Version
- Frankie Lymon – lead vocals
- Herman Santiago – vocals
- Jimmy Merchant – vocals
- Joe Negroni – vocals
- Sherman Garnes – bass vocals
- Jimmy Wright – production, bandleader, tenor saxophone
- instrumentalists unknown – feature double bass, drums, piano, and trombone
Diana Ross version
|"Why Do Fools Fall in Love"|
|Single by Diana Ross|
|from the album Why Do Fools Fall in Love|
|B-side||"Think I'm in Love"|
|Released||September 25, 1981|
|Diana Ross singles chronology|
Diana Ross released a cover version on the RCA label September 25, 1981, peaking at No. 2 on the US adult contemporary chart, No. 4 in the UK Singles Chart, No. 6 on the US R&B chart, and No. 7 on Billboard's Pop Singles Chart, and earning her a British Phonographic Industry silver disc award for sales in excess of 250,000 copies. It also reached No.1 in Belgium and the Netherlands and climbed to the top 10 in Ireland, New Zealand and Switzerland as well as making the top 20 in Australia, Canada and Germany. Unlike the original, this version contains echoes of the soul of the 1960s. A reissue of Ross' cover peaked at No. 36 on the UK chart in July, 1994.
In the music video, Diana Ross performs the song in a city full of casinos and clubs (Las Vegas).
- Diana Ross – producer, lead vocals, backing vocals
- Rob Mounsey – musical arrangements
- Ray Chew – electric piano
- Eric Gale – electric guitar
- Yogi Horton – drums
- Neil Jason – bass
- Ralph MacDonald – percussion
- Jeff Mironov – electric guitar
- Ted Jensen at Sterling Sound, NYC – mastering
- Bob Kulick - lead guitar
- 7" Single
- "Why Do Fools Fall in Love" - 2:51
- "Think I'm In Love"
- UK remix CD
- "Why Do Fools Fall in Love" (159.0 bpm) - 2:53
- "I'm Coming Out" (Joey Negro Extended 12", 109.7 bpm) - 6:05
- "The Boss" (David Morales Club, taken from: Diana Extended/The Remixes, 124.0 bpm) - 6:29
- "Love Hangover" (Joey Negro Hangover Symphony, 121.0 bpm) - 8:57
- UK reissue 7"
- "Why Do Fools Fall in Love"
- "I'm Coming Out" (Joey Negro 7" Mix)
|United Kingdom (BPI)||Silver||200,000^|
^shipments figures based on certification alone
|UK Singles Chart||36|
The Beach Boys version
|"Why Do Fools Fall in Love"|
|Single by The Beach Boys|
|from the album Shut Down Volume 2|
|A-side||"Fun, Fun, Fun"|
|Released||February 3, 1964|
|Recorded||January 1, 1964|
|Songwriter(s)||Frankie Lymon / Morris Levy|
|The Beach Boys singles chronology|
The song was used as a B-side for The Beach Boys single "Fun, Fun, Fun", which reached #5 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1964. The Beach Boys' version of the song charted at #120. It was included on the Beach Boys 1964 album Shut Down Volume 2 and had only appeared in mono since the release of the single back in 1964. The single mix of the song was later found and used on the 2007 The Warmth of the Sun compilation and on The Original US Singles Collection The Capitol Years 1962–1965. This box set, released in 2008, also used a recently found mono single edit mix. In 2009, a new stereo mix was created with a newly discovered intro, thanks to the discovery of the original multitrack masters by Jon Stebbins and is featured on the band's compilation Summer Love Songs. The song was also performed as part of the band's 50th Anniversary Tour, usually during the first half of the shows. One of the performances was later included on the live album from the tour.
Sourced from Craig Slowinski.
The Beach Boys
- Al Jardine – harmony and backing vocals
- Mike Love – intro bass vocal, harmony and backing vocals
- Brian Wilson – lead, harmony, and backing vocals, upright piano
- Carl Wilson – harmony and backing vocals
- Dennis Wilson – harmony and backing vocals
- Leon Russell – upright piano, tack piano
- Al de Lory – grand piano
- Bill Pitman – acoustic guitar
- Tommy Tedesco – electric guitar
- Ray Pohlman – bass guitar
- Jimmy Bond – double bass
- Hal Blaine – drums, timpani
- Frank Capp – glockenspiel, temple blocks, castanets
- Steve Douglas – tenor saxophone
- Plas Johnson – tenor saxophone
- Jay Migliori – baritone saxophone
Other charting versions
- Gale Storm released a version of the song as a single in 1956 that reached #9 on the Billboard pop chart.
- Gloria Mann released a version of the song as a single in 1956 that reached #59 on the Billboard pop chart.
- Alma Cogan released a version of the song as a single in 1956 that reached #25 in the UK.
- The Happenings released a version of the song as a single in 1967 that reached #41 on the Billboard pop chart.
- Ponderosa Twins Plus One released a version of the song as a single in 1972 that reached #40 on the US R&B chart and #102 on the Billboard pop chart.
- Joni Mitchell released a live version of the song as a single in 1980 that reached #102 on the Billboard pop chart.
Other cover versions
- The Diamonds 1956
- Barry Frank
- Pat Carroll, 1965
- The Fourmost, as the B-side of their 1965 single "Girls! Girls! Girls!"
- Eddie Holman, as the B-side of his 1967 single "Never Let Me Go".
- Kenny Rankin
- Marion Ryan
- Voices of Theory
- Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons
- Mud in 1979 as part of a medley with "The Book of Love"
- Tatyana Ali performed the song as a contestant on Star Search in 1987. She also performed it in an introductory skit in Eddie Murphy Raw where she played Eddie's sister.
- Gina Thompson and rapper Mocha covered the song with production by Timbaland and Missy Elliott for the 1998 original soundtrack of the film of the same name.
- The Overtones on their debut album Good Ol' Fashioned Love in November 2010.
- Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich
The recording by Frankie Lymon & The Teenagers features in the 1973 film American Graffiti in the scene where Charles Martin Smith's character first notices the mysterious blonde girl. The same recording was also featured on the in-game radio station "Empire Central Radio" in the 2010 video game Mafia II. It is featured in the final episode of the first series of the 2012 BBC drama Call the Midwife, when the character Chummy played by Miranda Hart marries PC Noakes. In 1998, the legacy of the song and its author was the theme of the movie of the same name.
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- "Gale Storm, "Why Do Fools Fall in Love?" Chart Position". Retrieved December 8, 2016.
- "Gloria Mann, "Why Do Fools Fall in Love?" Chart Position". Retrieved December 8, 2016.
- "Alma Cogan, "Why Do Fools Fall in Love" Chart Position". Retrieved December 8, 2016.
- "The Happenings, "Why Do Fools Fall in Love" Chart Position". Retrieved December 8, 2016.
- "Ponderosa Twins Plus One, "Why Do Fools Fall in Love" Chart Positions". Retrieved December 8, 2016.
- "Joni Mitchell, "Why Do Fools Fall in Love" Chart Position". Retrieved December 8, 2016.
- "The Fourmost – Girls, Girls, Girls". Discogs. Retrieved 2019-12-21.
- "Eddie Holman – Never Let Me Go / Why Do Fools Fall In Love". Discogs. Retrieved 2019-12-21.