News / Arts & Entertainment

The Four Freshmen Celebrate Their 65th Anniversary

The Four Freshmen: From left, Bob Ferreira, Vince Johnson, Curtis Calderon, Brian Eichenberger
The Four Freshmen: From left, Bob Ferreira, Vince Johnson, Curtis Calderon, Brian Eichenberger
Doug Levine
The Four Freshmen are back.  Actually, the famed vocal group that began on a small college campus 65 years ago never really went away.  

The Four Freshmen’s current lineup features Brian Eichenberger, Curtis Calderon, Vince Johnson and Bob Ferreira and they have a new album, “Love Songs.”

Founded in 1948 by two brothers, Ross and Don Barbour, at Butler University in Indianapolis, Indiana, the group was first known as Hal’s Harmonizers, then The Toppers, and finally, The Four Freshmen.  Two years later, they signed with Capitol Records and produced a string of hits in the 1950s. 

The Four Freshmen Celebrate Their 65th Anniversary
The Four Freshmen Celebrate Their 65th Anniversaryi
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X

Singer and drummer Bob Ferriera says the quartet became popular not only on the strength of their vocal harmonies but also on their original musical accompaniment.

"The group started out as four freshmen in college and they were just trying to get around and get some gigs and play around.  So, they played these little bowling alleys or supper clubs and different things," he said. "They’d sometimes do two shows in a day, so they would just throw all of their instruments in a car and run from show to show.  A lot of it was that it was kind of hard to hire out musicians to do all these shows when you’re young and you’re broke and in college.  They were all playing instruments anyway so they figured ‘let’s just do it.’”
    
The songs performed now are from those early years, going back to the 1940s and 1950s - keeping intact the sound that the Four Freshmen were best known for.  

“The group over the years has experimented in different styles of music as many musical acts do.  They will take contemporary songs and adapt them to their style, with mixed success," Ferreira said.  "I think our approach, the four of us, even though we were raised in a different time with different styles of music being our initial influences, we know and understand that the Four Freshmen sound is best when it is applied to the Great American Songbook.”
    
x
The Four Freshmen is the longest running musical group in pop history.  Today, the group performs more than 100 shows a year across the globe.  Bob Ferriera says most fans have a favorite Four Freshmen song in mind.

“More often than not they’re coming to share these songs and hear this style of harmony they grew up with," he said. "They have so many memories that were created around this period in their lives and around these songs in their lives.  So they get songs like ‘It’s a Blue World’ or ‘Graduation Day.’  They say, ‘I was graduating college in [19]’56 when ‘Graduation Day’ came out, or ‘I met my first love to this song.’”  It’s great.  It’s wonderful to hear these stories and to know that these people still have that passion for the music and the nostalgia, but also, they’re coming to hear a different group of four guys singing these songs and accept us.”   
     
The Four Freshmen - Bob, Brian, Curtis and Vince - will be on tour throughout the year, including a stop at the annual International Four Freshmen Society Convention in Fort Wayne, Indiana.  From September 5 to September 7, members from previous groups and fans from around the world will celebrate The Four Freshmen’s 65th anniversary, as well as the release of the new CD.

You May Like

US Firms Concerned About China's New Cyber Regulations

New rules would require technology companies doing business in financial sector to hand over their source code, adopt Chinese encryption algorithms More

WHO Focus on Ebola Shifts to Ending Outbreak

Focus to be less on building facilities and more on efforts to find infected people, manage their cases, engage with communities and ensure proper burials More

US Scientist Who Conceived of Groundbreaking Laser Technology Dies

Charles Townes, Nobel laureate, laser co-creator paved way for other scientific discoveries: CDs, eye surgery, metal cutters to name a few technologies that rely on lasers More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Super Bowl Ads Compete for Eyes on TV, Webi
X
January 29, 2015 9:58 AM
Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 1) is about more than just the NFL's American football championship and big parties to watch the game. Viewers also tune in for the world famous commercials that send Facebook and Twitter abuzz. Daniela Schrier reports on the social media rewards for America’s priciest advertising.
Video

Video Super Bowl Ads Compete for Eyes on TV, Web

Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 1) is about more than just the NFL's American football championship and big parties to watch the game. Viewers also tune in for the world famous commercials that send Facebook and Twitter abuzz. Daniela Schrier reports on the social media rewards for America’s priciest advertising.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Freedom on Decline Worldwide, Report Says

The state of global freedom declined for the ninth consecutive year in 2014, according to global watchdog Freedom House's annual report released Wednesday. VOA's William Gallo has more.
Video

Video As Ground Shifts, Obama Reviews Middle East Strategy

The death of Saudi Arabia’s king, the collapse of a U.S.-friendly government in Yemen and a problematic relationship with Israel’s leadership are presenting a new set of complications for the Obama administration and its Middle East policy. Not only is the U.S. leader dealing with adversaries in Iran, the Islamic State and al-Qaida, but he is now juggling trouble with traditional allies, as White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video MRI Seems to Help Diagnose Prostate Cancer, Preliminary Study Shows

Just as with mammography used to detect breast cancer, there's a lot of controversy about tests used to diagnose prostate cancer. Fortunately, a new study shows doctors may now have a more reliable way to diagnose prostate cancer for high risk patients. More from VOA's Carol Pearson.
Video

Video Smartphones About to Make Leap, Carry Basic Senses

Long-distance communication contains mostly sounds and pictures - for now. But scientists in Britain say they are close to creating additions for our smartphones that will make it possible to send taste, smell and even a basic touch. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.
Video

Video Saved By a Mistake - an Auschwitz Survivor's Story

Dagmar Lieblova was 14 when she arrived at Auschwitz in December 1943, along with her entire Czech Jewish family. All of them were to die there, but she was able to leave after several months due to a bureaucratic mix-up which saved her life. Now 85, with three children and six grandchildren, she says she has a feeling of victory. This report by Ahmad Wadiei and Farin Assemi, of RFE/RL's Radio Farda is narrated by RFE’s Raymond Furlong.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid

New in Music Alley

 

 

 

 

 

Singer Leyla McCalla takes up not only the guitar, but the banjo and cello to perform songs from her new disc, “A Tribute to Langston Hughes,” music that mixes the Creole rhythms of Haiti with the French Quarter flavor of New Orleans on this edition of "The Hamilton Live."