Every Monday morning. Music so good, it must be shared.
This week: “Harlem Roulette” — The Mountain Goats, off their 2012 album, “Transcendental Youth”
The latest album from the prolific John Darnielle (“The Mountain Goats”) includes a song that is apparently about Frankie Lymon, best known for the 1950s classic, “Why Do Fools Fall in Love?” And here’s where I show my age. For years, WDFFIL has been one of my juke-box go-tos. No matter the crowd, the bar, the drink special, WDFFIL always wins the night. It’s just that good.
So, yea, I had no idea that Lymon was just 13 years old when the song came out; no idea that he was lead singer of a group called The Teenagers, which released WDFFIL. And no idea that, by age 25, Lymon would drop dead, succumbing, like so many other child stars, to a drug overdose. This is, Darnielle says, what the song is about. It’s sad, and a shame, and tragic all at one. And damn, is it a good song. – RD