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It was memorable because it was the first time that the Ermines were asked to sign autographs.After the show, in honor of the Cadillacs, they decided to change their name to the "Coupe de Villes." This only lasted a short time however, and then a new, more eloquent name: the "Premiers." One night, practicing in Sherman's hallway, one of the tenants told them that he'd give them some letters that his girlfriend had sent him, so that they could possibly write some original material based on the contents.
The Empire State Building was put up in only eighteen months.And the Teenagers only lasted for about eighteen months. Because of the profound influence that they had on Rhythm & Blues and Rock & Roll.There were only five vocal group leads, prior to the Sixties, who had that degree of influence: Bill Kenny of the Ink Spots started it all; Sonny Til of the Orioles made every guy want to start a vocal group; Jimmy Ricks of the Ravens influenced an entire generation of bass singers; Clyde Mc Phatter of the Dominoes influenced the same generation of tenors; and Frankie Lymon of the Teenagers, with his child-like tenor/soprano voice caused the spawning of an uncountable number of groups that tried to capture the same "kid sound." Yes, the Teenagers were influential, and their influence was felt for almost a decade after they formed in 1955.Then Sherman hooked up with a Hispanic neighborhood friend, Joe Negroni (who was in the process of forming a group, to be called the Ermines, with his friend Herman Santiago).Joe asked Sherman to sing bass and to bring his friend Jimmy along. They practiced in the hallway of Sherman's house (on the corner of 165th Street and Edgecombe), or in Herman's house (165th, between Amsterdam and Edgecombe).At this time, Herman was the usual lead of the group, but sometimes he and Frankie did a duet lead, and sometimes Joe would front.
Finally, Barrett talked George Goldner into hearing the Premiers.
This was the selling point that Barrett used.) They auditioned (on a day that the Cleftones were there rehearsing for a recording session), by singing songs they'd hear on the radio: "You Painted Pictures" (led by Joe), "That's What You're Doing To Me" (led by Herman), and "Why Don't You Write Me" (another Herman lead).
Although Frankie was in the background, he wasn't the type to stay there for long.
(In spite of their ages, however, both the Mello-Moods and the Castelles sang sophisticated, adult songs for an adult audience.) But the Teenagers were "in the right place at the right time" (to coin a phrase), and rode straight to the top of the nascent Rock and Roll craze.
The way to the top was remarkably easy; the way down wasn't. There was enough singing going on there for him to start learning about it, not only contributing his voice, but learning how popular music was structured and arranged.
Goldner didn't really want to hear them, but Barrett conned him into it by telling him that two of the guys were Spanish.