musicology #205

12AngryMen #2 (alternativesoundtrack #3)

(Frankie Lymon & The Teenagers – I’m Not A Juvenile Delinquent)

day two of the 12 Angry Men selection and the ‘action’ begins. 12 jurors, 1 Room, Hottest day of the year…No Air-Con. The jockying has already started as Lee J. Cobb, (Juror #3), lets his feelings known on what he thinks the verdict should be.

themusicologist wasn’t even born in 1957 but from what I have read and heard the ‘Teenager’ had most definately arrived. Music, (Rock and Roll), being an example of this. The way I have understood it, before World War II music was made predominantly by and for ‘grown ups’.  Swing had begun to change that but by the time Rock and Roll emerged the writing was well and truly on the wall for who to target…Teenagers.

the slice of, (1956), musicology, (released in early ’57), is courtesy of 13 year old !! Frankie Lymon and The Teenagers, (Herman Santiago, Joe Negroni, Jimmy Merchant, Sherman Garnes), who epitomised the change as well as anyone. Of note is that the majority of the group members were of Puerto Rican descent, as was the kid charged with murder in the film, and half of the subjects of the original 1957 Broadway production of West Side Story.


9 thoughts on “musicology #205

  1. Well I’ll be blowed… you could knock me down with a feather… that’s what I call “more than happenstance”


  2. just watched the film, and what a film!…a brilliant portrayel of prejudices and lack of
    care for a a young lad whose life lay in their hands…..the voice of Frankie Lymon is near
    perfect for me, an inspired slice for the a.s.t.
    it played in my mind over the opening shot of the accused.


  3. back in the late 70s there was a tv special called ‘heroes of rock and roll’ (one of the only shows i’ve seen on tv that realized that the teen idols that came after elvis-berry-lewis-etc were a bunch of crap).

    they showed footage of frankie lymon singing this song. innocent voice. angelic face. “it’s easy to be good, it’s hard to be bad. stay away from trouble and you’ll be glad.”

    then the voice-over told you he died of a heroin overdose at 25.

    if you keep that in mind, this song is one of the saddest songs i know.


  4. fame can be a cruel mistress…I believe that he was introduced to the ‘brown’ by a much older woman that he was involved with at the time?

    Seems like all too often, (especially where children are concerned), the price of fame seems like a heavy one to pay. One day you are loved by millions, the next cast aside and forgotten like a broken toy.

    thanks for the comment


  5. On “one of the saddest songs” and “the price of fame”…..

    Frankie Lymon was one among many: far too many in my opinion. I know it doesn’t make it any easier to swallow but from the beginning of “popular music” i.e. with Wolfgang Mozart, right up to today musical genius has been badly treated my the Gods….

    I wonder why?


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