Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers are icons of women’s music history. Prior to their success with “Why Do Fools Fall In Love” in 1956, there was widespread skepticism that women’s high-pitched voices could be marketable on rock ‘n’ roll tracks. With the clear appeal of Lymon’s shrill 14-year old range, record companies and producers opened the door to acts like the Ronnettes and the Shirelles who would lead the way to the women-dominated Brill Building and Motown era of the early 1960s.

See Franky Lymon and the Teenagers’ first televised performance here:

For more on girl groups, read my posting, “Da Doo Ron Ron: Musings on Grrl Talk” or better yet, check out Jaqueline Warwick’s fascinating Girl Groups, Girl Culture: Popular Music and Identity in the 1960s.