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Frankie Lymon
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    (September 30, 1942-February 28, 1968)
    Lead singer of 50's doo wop group The Teenagers
    Best known for recording 'Why Do Fools Fall In Love,' 'I Want You To Be My Girl,' 'I'm Not A Juvenile Delinquent' and 'Goody Goody'
    He sang with a shrill, falsetto voice.
    He appeared in the horrid 50's teen rock movies 'Rock, Rock, Rock' and 'Mister Rock and Roll.'
    His baby face and angelic singing voice didn't jive with his lowlife behavior.
    He hustled prostitutes in Harlem when he was only 10-years-old.
    The Teenagers recorded their first album, became one of the biggest acts in the world, and then broke up all in a matter of eighteen months.
    While touring Europe, they trashed their London hotel. (So much for not being juvenile delinquents).
    Frankie went solo, but his career fizzled as soon as his voice changed.
    He was a junkie at sixteen.
    He was barely 4'11 when he became Zola Taylor's (of the Platters) lover at 13-years-old. She was 17.
    He was a polygamist, having married three times without divorcing any of his wives.
    He died at 25 of a heroin overdose. He had been clean for years, but recklessly decided to celebrate his recent new recording session schedule by going on a drug binge.
    Twenty years later, his three wives (including Zola) squabbled over publishing rights to 'Why Do Fools Fall In Love' after Diana Ross topped the charts with her cover of the song. His third wife, a Georgia schoolteacher named Emira Eagle, ultimately won his estate, which had accrued over $1 million.
    He was the first black teen idol.
    He might have had a strong solo career if his record label had given him material other than tired old pop songs to cover.
    He is considered the precursor of the 60s 'girl group' sound, as well as a major influence for modern day boy bands.
    He unintentionally caused a scandal by dancing with a white girl on the Alan Freed Show. Two weeks later, the show was cancelled after infuriating angry white bigots.
    Frankie Lymon and The Teenagers were among the first child groups to gain worldwide recognition, paving the way for other young performers like Stevie Wonder and The Jackson 5.
    Despite having been the frontman for one of the 50's most famous groups, he died penniless and forgotten by the public.

Credit: Carnal Carnivale

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