Why Do Fools Fall in Love (song)

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"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
Recorded November 1955
Genre Doo wop, rock and roll
Length 2:20
Label Gee
Songwriter(s) Frankie Lymon, Herman Santiago, Jimmy Merchant
Frankie Lymon & The Teenagers singles chronology
"Why Do Fools Fall in Love"
(1956)
"I Want You to Be My Girl"
(1956)
"Why Do Fools Fall in Love"
(1956)
"I Want You to Be My Girl"
(1956)
33 RPM record without Herman Santiago listed in the song writer credits.

"Why Do Fools Fall in Love" is a song that was originally a hit for early New York City-based rock and roll group Frankie Lymon & the Teenagers in January 1956. It reached No. 1 on the R&B chart,[1] No. 6 on Billboard's Pop Singles chart,[2] and number 1 on the UK Singles Chart in July.[3][4]

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 the week after Lymon's, in March 1956. This version spent 19 weeks on the Billboard chart, topping out at No. 12.[5]

The song was ranked #314 on the Rolling Stone magazine's list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.[6]

The song was the first hit recording made in the Bell Sound Studio in New York City. It was recorded in November of 1955.

Writing credits[edit]

Original vinyl produced in December of 1955.

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. So Herman worked with it, creating a song for Herman Santiago to lead, and adjusting the harmony to take advantage of Frankie Lymon's high tenor/soprano. Along the way, Herman changed some of the lyrics. During the audition Frankie's voice stood out and, at Goldner's suggestion, the lead in subsequent recording sessions was given to Frankie. Frankie did some improvising and re-created 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."[7]

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, song-writing credits were awarded to original Teenagers members Herman Santiago and Jimmy Merchant in December 1992.[8]

However, four years later 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.[8] The current publisher of the song is EMI Music Publishing, which still lists these as the songwriters.

Personnel[edit]

  • Frankie Lymon - lead vocals
  • Herman Santiago - vocals
  • Jimmy Merchant - vocals
  • Joe Negroni - vocals
  • Sherman Garnes - bass vocals
  • Jimmy Wright - production, bandleader
  • instrumentalists unknown - feature double bass, drums, piano, saxophone and trombone
Preceded by
"The Great Pretender" by The Platters
Billboard R&B Best Seller in Stores number-one single
March 17, 1956 - April 7, 1956
Succeeded by
"Long Tall Sally" by Little Richard and His Band

Diana Ross version[edit]

"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
Format 7" vinyl
Recorded 1980
Genre R&B, soul
Length 2:51
Label RCA Records
Songwriter(s) Herman Santiago
Producer(s) Diana Ross
Diana Ross singles chronology
"Endless Love"
(1981)
"Why Do Fools Fall in Love"
(1981)
"Mirror Mirror"
(1981)
"Endless Love"
(1981)
"Why Do Fools Fall in Love"
(1981)
"Mirror Mirror"
(1981)

Diana Ross released a cover version on the RCA label in 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,[9] and earning her a British Phonographic Industry silver disc award for sales in excess of 250,000 copies. It also reached #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 #36 on the UK chart in July, 1994.[3]

Music video[edit]

The plot of the music video Diana Ross performs the song in a city full of casinos and clubs (Las Vegas).[10]

Personnel[edit]

Track listings[edit]

7" Single
  1. "Why Do Fools Fall in Love" - 2:51
  2. "Think I'm In Love"
UK remix CD
  1. "Why Do Fools Fall in Love" (159.0 bpm) - 2:53
  2. "I'm Coming Out" (Joey Negro Extended 12", 109.7 bpm) - 6:05
  3. "The Boss" (David Morales Club, taken from: Diana Extended/The Remixes, 124.0 bpm) - 6:29
  4. "Love Hangover" (Joey Negro Hangover Symphony, 121.0 bpm) - 8:57
  • UK reissue 7"
  1. "Why Do Fools Fall in Love"
  2. "I'm Coming Out" (Joey Negro 7" Mix)

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1994) Peak
position
UK Singles Chart 36
Preceded by
"Under Pressure" by Queen featuring David Bowie
Dutch Top 40 number-one single
December 19, 1981 – January 8, 1982
Succeeded by
"One of Us" by ABBA
Preceded by
"Pretend" by Alvin Stardust
Belgian Singles Chart number-one single
December 26, 1981 – January 1, 1982
Succeeded by
"One of Us" by ABBA

The Beach Boys version[edit]

"Why Do Fools Fall in Love"
Why Do Fools Fall in Love Beach Boys.jpg
Single by The Beach Boys
from the album Shut Down Volume 2
A-side "Fun, Fun, Fun"
Released February 3, 1964
Format Vinyl
Recorded January 1, 1964
Length 2:07
Label Capitol
Songwriter(s) Frankie Lymon / Morris Levy
Producer(s) Brian Wilson
The Beach Boys singles chronology
"Little Saint Nick"
(1963)
"Why Do Fools Fall in Love"
(1964)
"I Get Around"
(1964)
"Little Saint Nick"
(1963)
"Fun, Fun, Fun"
(1964)
"I Get Around"
(1964)

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.[16] The Beach Boys version of the song charted at #120.[17] 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.

Other charting versions[edit]

  • Gale Storm released a version of the song as a single in 1956 that reached #9 on the Billboard pop chart.[18]
  • Gloria Mann released a version of the song as a single in 1956 that reached #59 on the Billboard pop chart.[19]
  • Alma Cogan released a version of the song as a single in 1956 that reached #25 in the UK.[20]
  • The Happenings released a version of the song as a single in 1967 that reached #41 on the Billboard pop chart.[21]
  • 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.[22]
  • Joni Mitchell released a live version of the song as a single in 1980 that reached #102 on the Billboard pop chart.[23]

Other cover versions[edit]

Legacy[edit]

The recording by Frankie Lymon & The Teenagers features in the 1973 film American Graffiti in the scene where Richard Dreyfuss' 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.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 368. 
  2. ^ The heart of rock & soul: the 1001 greatest singles ever made - Dave Marsh - Google Books. Books.google.com. Retrieved 2012-01-08. 
  3. ^ a b EveryHit.com (search for songs called "Why Do Fools Fall In Love")
  4. ^ Rice, Jo (1982). The Guinness Book of 500 Number One Hits (1st ed.). En-field, Middle-sex: Guinness Superlatives Ltd. pp. 26–7. ISBN 0-85112-250-7. 
  5. ^ "The Diamonds, "Why Do Fools Fall in Love" Chart Position". Retrieved December 8, 2016. 
  6. ^ "Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time". Rolling Stone. April 7, 2011. Retrieved October 1, 2015. 
  7. ^ Marv Goldberg's R&B Notebooks, "The Teenagers", based on interviews with Jimmy Merchant.
  8. ^ a b "Frankie Lymon (1942 - 1968) - Find A Grave Memorial". Findagrave.com. Retrieved 2014-03-18. 
  9. ^ "Diana Ross, "Why Do Fools Fall in Love" Chart Positions". Retrieved December 8, 2016. 
  10. ^ "Diana Ross - Why Do Fools Fall In Love - Video Dailymotion". Dailymotion.com. 2007-04-28. Retrieved 2014-03-18. 
  11. ^ a b Steffen Hung. "Forum - Top 100 End of Year AMR Charts - 1980s (ARIA Charts: Special Occasion Charts)". Australian-charts.com. Archived from the original on 2014-10-06. Retrieved 2016-08-22. 
  12. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – Why Do Fools Fall in Love". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved June 22, 2017.
  13. ^ "Chart File Top 100" (PDF). Record Mirror. London: Spotlight Publications. December 26, 1981. p. 27. Retrieved June 13, 2016. 
  14. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2015-10-04. 
  15. ^ "Top 100 Hits for 1982". Longboredsurfer.com. Retrieved January 17, 2016. 
  16. ^ "The Beach Boys, "Fun, Fun, Fun" Chart Position". Retrieved December 8, 2016. 
  17. ^ "The Beach Boys, "Why Do Fools Fall in Love" Chart Position". Retrieved December 8, 2016. 
  18. ^ "Gale Storm, "Why Do Fools Fall in Love?" Chart Position". Retrieved December 8, 2016. 
  19. ^ "Gloria Mann, "Why Do Fools Fall in Love?" Chart Position". Retrieved December 8, 2016. 
  20. ^ "Alma Cogan, "Why Do Fools Fall in Love" Chart Position". Retrieved December 8, 2016. 
  21. ^ "The Happenings, "Why Do Fools Fall in Love" Chart Position". Retrieved December 8, 2016. 
  22. ^ "Ponderosa Twins Plus One, "Why Do Fools Fall in Love" Chart Positions". Retrieved December 8, 2016. 
  23. ^ "Joni Mitchell, "Why Do Fools Fall in Love" Chart Position". Retrieved December 8, 2016. 

External links[edit]