Why Do Fools Fall in Love (song)

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 1956. It reached #3 on Billboard magazine's Pop Singles Chart, and number one in the UK Singles Chart.

The song helped to make Frankie Lymon a household name and would make him a rock and roll pioneer, paving the way for similar teen prodigies Stevie Wonder and Michael Jackson, whose careers also took off at the age of 13.

Writing credits

Writing credits for the song were originally attributed to its singer Frankie 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.

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. The current publisher of the song is EMI Music Publishing, which still lists these as the songwriters.

Cover versions

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.

Soul singer Diana Ross released a cover version in 1981 (13 years after Lymon himself died due to a heroin overdose), which reached #7 on the Pop Singles Chart, and number four in the UK Singles Chart. Many people had almost forgotten that the song or Lymon ever existed; as Ross had done with Billie Holiday's "Lady Sings the Blues", she helped reintroduce newer audiences to Lymon. A remix of that cover marginally made it into the UK charts at number 36 in July 1994.

Why Do Fools Fall in Love has also been covered by a number of other singers and groups, including Kenny Rankin, Gale Storm, Marion Ryan, Alma Cogan, Young Son, Voices of Theory, Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons and Joni Mitchell.


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