Lewis Lymon And The Teenchords

Written by MorganCity
Category: Timeline Created: Monday, 20 May 1957 16:22
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Thee Teenchords didn't even have to leave Harlem to be discovered and recorded. On a visit to the Apollo to hear the Teenagers, Lewis and his group were tipped off that local entrepreneur Bobby Robinson was looking for new talent. The Teenchords performed "Who Can Explain," a Teenagers song. Convinced that the young lads could sing, and with the Lymon name to go along with it, Robinson signed the Teenchords on the spot.

Lewis Lymon And The Teenchords

1957 - Too Young / Your last chance (End 1003)
1957 - I found out why / Tell me love (End 1007)
1956 - I'm So Happy / Lydia (Fury 1000)
1957 - Honey, Honey / Please Tell The Angels (Fury 1003)
1957 - I'm Not Too Young To Fall In Love / Falling In Love (Fury 1006); Item de contrariis, a quibus ad genera formasque generum venerunt.

The Lymon family was a musical one

The Lymon family was a musical one, with the father, Howard Lymon singing in a local gospel group, the Harlemaires. Lewis had previously sung with the Harlemaires Juniors along with brothers Frankie and Howard Jr.. And in 1956, with the success the Teenagers were having, it was not surprising that Lewis wanted to take a stab at it too. The Harlem-based Teenchords even had a similar-sounding name to the pace-setting Teenagers. The group consisted of Lewis Lymon (lead), Ralph Vaughan (first tenor), Rossilio Rocca (second tenor), Lyndon Harold (baritone), and David Little (bass).

The Teenchords didn't even have to leave Harlem to be discovered and recorded. On a visit to the Apollo to hear the Teenagers, Lewis and his group were tipped off that local entrepreneur Bobby Robinson was looking for new talent. Robinson started two record labels, Red Robin and Whirlin' Disc out of his fathers's record store in Harlem.  The fledgling Teenchords group went to the Robinson's shop and introduced themselves. When Robinson learned that Frankie Lymon's brother, Lewis, was in the group, he was quite receptive to an on-the-spot audition. The Teenchords performed "Who Can Explain," a Teenagers song. Convinced that the young lads could sing, and with the Lymon name to go along with it, Robinson signed the Teenchords on the spot.

For their first recording, Robinson tried to come up with something that would be catchy and appealing to a teenage audience. First he came up with a vocal riff. He had the group keep singing ad nauseum, until finally he came up with suitable lyrics to go with it. And so "I'm So Happy" was born. The flip side, "Lydia," was penned by Lymon and relates to a girl he knew from his neighborhood. The tunes were issued on Robinson's newly formed Fury label and released in late 1956. The record never charted nationally, but had respectable East Coast sales. In a January 1957 trade ad, Robinson boasted the disc had sold 40,000 copies in its first ten days in the New York, Philadelphia, and Boston markets. In fact, four years later, in 1961, a young record producer named Phil Spector would cover the record with a group called the Ducanes. The Teenchords' second record, and perhaps their best two-sider, was released in March of 1957. It paired the up-tempo "Honey, Honey" with a nice ballad, "Please Tell the Angels." The Teenchords maintained an active performance schedule. They returned to the Apollo, but this time as performers rather than fans, and also appeared at the Paramount on an Alan Freed extravaganza. A June 1957 press release announced that the Teenchords would be featured in a new film, "The Hit Record," along with a bevy of other rock & roll acts. When the film made it to the screen, the title had been changed to Jamboree. The group's last Fury release, also in 1957, was "I'm Not Too Young to Fall in Love" backed with "Falling in Love."