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 Lawmakers Vow to Continue Immigrant Program for Afghan Interpreters

    Congressional inaction threatens funding for effort which began in 2008 and has allowed more than 20,000 interpreters, their family members to immigrate to US

    Brexit's Impact on Russia Stirs Concern

    Some analysts see Brexit aiding Putin's plans to destabilize European politics; others note that an economically unstable Europe is not in Moscow's interests

    US to Train Cambodian Government on Combating Cybercrime

    Concerns raised over drafting of law, as critics fear cybercrime regulations could be used to restrict freedom of expression and stifle political dissent

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Baghdad Bikers Defy War with a Roari
    X
    June 28, 2016 10:33 AM
    Baghdad is a city of contradictions. War is a constant. Explosions and kidnappings are part of daily life. But the Iraqi capital remains a thriving city, even if a little beat up. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on how some in Baghdad are defying the stereotype of a nation at war by pursuing a lifestyle known for its iconic symbols of rebellion: motorbikes, leather jackets and roaring engines.
    Video

    Video Baghdad Bikers Defy War with a Roar

    Baghdad is a city of contradictions. War is a constant. Explosions and kidnappings are part of daily life. But the Iraqi capital remains a thriving city, even if a little beat up. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on how some in Baghdad are defying the stereotype of a nation at war by pursuing a lifestyle known for its iconic symbols of rebellion: motorbikes, leather jackets and roaring engines.
    Video

    Video Melting Pot of Immigrants Working to Restore US Capitol Dome

    The American Iron Works company is one of the firms working to renovate the iconic U.S. Capitol Dome. The company employs immigrants of many different cultural and national backgrounds. VOA’s Arman Tarjimanyan has more.
    Video

    Video Testing Bamboo as Building Material

    For thousands of years various species of bamboo - one of the world's most versatile plants - have been used for diverse purposes ranging from food and medicine to textiles and construction. But its use on a large scale is hampered because it's not manufactured to specific standards but grown in the ground. A University of Pittsburgh professor is on track to changing that. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Orphanage in Iraqi City Houses Kids Who Lost their Parents to Attacks by IS

    An orphanage in Iraqi Kurdistan has become home to scores of Yazidi children who lost their parents after Islamic State militants took over Sinjar in Iraq’s Nineveh Province in 2014. Iraqi Kurdish forces backed by the U.S. airstrikes have since recaptured Sinjar but the need for the care provided by the orphanage continues. VOA’s Kawa Omar filed this report narrated by Rob Raffaele.
    Video

    Video Re-Opening Old Wounds in a Bullet-Riddled Cultural Landmark

    A cultural landmark before Lebanon’s civil war transformed it into a nest of snipers, Beirut’s ‘Yellow House’ is once again set to play a crucial role in the city.  Built in a neo-Ottoman style in the 1920s, in September it is set to be re-opened as a ‘memory museum’ - its bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking the city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Brexit Resounds in US Presidential Contest

    Britain’s decision to leave the European Union is resounding in America’s presidential race. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump sees Britain’s move as an affirmation of his campaign’s core messages, while Democrat Hillary Clinton sees the episode as further evidence that Trump is unfit to be president.
    Video

    Video New York Pride March A Celebration of Life, Mourning of Loss

    At this year’s march in New York marking the end of pride week, a record-breaking crowd of LGBT activists and allies marched down Manhattan's Fifth Avenue, in what will be long remembered as a powerful display of solidarity and remembrance for the 49 victims killed two weeks ago in an Orlando gay nightclub.
    Video

    Video NASA Juno Spacecraft, Nearing Jupiter, to Shed Light on Gas Giant

    After a five-year journey, the spacecraft Juno is nearing its destination, the giant planet Jupiter, where it will enter orbit and start sending data back July 4th. As Mike O'Sullivan reports from Pasadena, California, the craft will pierce the veil of Jupiter's dense cloud cover to reveal its mysteries.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora

    New in Music Alley

    Take It From The Top: Stanley Jordani
    || 0:00:00
    ...  
     
    X
    May 17, 2016 5:01 PM
    Jazz fusion artist, Stanley Jordan is known for his touch technique which allows him to play melodies and chords simultaneously. He can also play two different guitars or a guitar and piano at the same time.

    Jazz fusion artist, Stanley Jordan is known for his touch technique which allows him to play melodies and chords simultaneously.  He can also play two different guitars or a guitar and piano at the same time.

     

     

     

     

    Blogs

    African Music Treasures