The Four Freshmen

The Four Freshmen

Infobox Musical artist
Name = The Four Freshmen

Img_capt =
Img_size =
Landscape =
Background = group_or_band
Origin = Indianapolis, Indiana
Genre = Jazz
Years_active = 1948–present
Label = Capitol
Associated_acts =
Current_members = Brian Eichenberger
Curtis Calderon
Vince Johnson
Bob Ferreira
Past_members = Ross Barbour
Don Barbour
Marvin Pruitt
Bill Comstock
Bob Flanigan
Ken Errair
Hal Kratzsch
Ken Albers
Ray Brown
Gary Lee Rosenberg
Kevin Stout
Greg Stegeman
Autie Goodman
Alan McIntosh
Newton Graber
Dennis Grillo
Rod Henley
Dave Jennings
Mike Beisner
Kirk Marcy

The Four Freshmen is an American vocal band that continued a style of open-harmony vocals which builds on the barbershop tradition and big band vocal groups such as the Pied Pipers, Mills Brothers and Andrews Sisters. The current quartet accompanies itself on guitar, trumpet, bass, and drums. The group continues to perform and record smooth jazz/timeless pop standards since its 1948 founding, thanks to a series of incarnations. [cite news | last =Smith | first =William H. | coauthors = | title =A Vocal Group at the Top of Its Class | work =The Wall Street Journal | pages =D9 | language = | publisher = | date =2008-08-20 | url = | accessdate = ]

The Four Freshmen (FF) influenced many vocal groups. These groups include-- from the beginning-- The Hi-Lo's and Lambert, Hendricks, and Ross-- to later on-- The Beatles,Fact|date=September 2008 The Lettermen, The Four Preps, Spanky and Our Gang, The Association, The Four Seasons, The Swingle Singers, The Manhattan Transfer, New York Voices, and Take 6. In Brian Wilson's autobiography, he attributes the success of the Beach Boys' sound to the arrangement style of The Four Freshmen. In concert, the Beach Boys honors the FF verbally and illustrates the FF's voicing with an a cappella version of its hit, "In My Room."


In early 1948, brothers Ross and Don Barbour, then at Butler University's Arthur Jordan Conservatory in Indianapolis, Indiana, formed a barbershop quartet called Hal's Harmonizers. The Harmonizers also included Marvin Pruitt, soon replaced by Ross and Don's cousin Bob Flanigan, and Hal Kratzsch (1925–70), replaced in 1953 by Ken Errair. The quartet soon adopted a more jazz-oriented repertoire and renamed itself the Toppers. At first, they were influenced by Glenn Miller's The Modernaires and Mel Tormé's Mel-Tones, but soon developed their own style of improvised vocal harmony. In September of 1948, the quartet went on the road as The Four Freshmen, and soon drew the admiration of jazz legends such as Dizzy Gillespie and Woody Herman.

In 1950, The Four Freshmen got their big break when band leader Stan Kenton heard the quartet in Dayton, Ohio, and arranged for an audition with his label, Capitol Records, which signed The Four later that year. In 1952, they released their first hit single "It's a Blue World". Further hits included "Mood Indigo" in 1954, "Day by Day" in 1955, and "Graduation Day" in 1956.

The Four Freshmen won Best Vocal Group of the Year in DownBeat magazine's Readers Polls in 1953, 1954, 1955, 1956, and 1958.

Throughout the 50s and early 60s, The Four Freshmen released a number of successful recordings, made film and television appearances, and performed in concert. The group eventually lost their mainstream following with the advent of the British pop bands of the 1960s. The group did not disband, however, even after the last original member, Bob Flanigan, retired in 1992. Flanigan now manages the group and owns the rights to The Four Freshmen name.

The current incarnation of The Four Freshmen features Brian Eichenberger (lead, guitar, keyboards, arranger), Curtis Calderon (second voice, trumpet, flugelhorn), Vince Johnson (third voice, bass, trombone, whistler, scatter, arranger), and Bob Ferreira (fourth voice, drummer, soloist). This configuration is in their thirties so they can handle the upwards of 100 bookings a year. Their latest recordings are "The Star-spangled Banner" (a single CD), the best-selling CD "In Session" (with previously unrecorded titles and Brian's arrangements), the CD "Live in Holland with the Concertgebouw Jazz Orchestra," and the DVD "Live from Las Vegas' Suncoast Hotel and Casino."

Brian, Curtis, Vince, and Bob have been honored with the following designations: JazzTimes magazine's Readers Poll Best Vocal Group (multiple wins), DownBeat magazine's Readers Poll Best Vocal Group (multiple wins),and DownBeat magazine's Readers Poll Hall of Fame finals (multiple years).

The Four Freshmen Society 2008 International Convention, "Back Home in Indiana," was held in Indianapolis, the home of Butler University, on August 21-23. Six hundred of the approximately 3,000 Society members attended in honor of The Four Freshmen's 60th year of continuous performance. Present were original FF, Ross Barbour and Bob Flanigan, (now Butler honorary doctors), and the widow of Don Barbour. Former FF, Ray Brown (Group 5), Rod Henley (Groups 8 and 11), Kirk Marcy (Group 12), and Greg Stegeman (Groups 14-21) attended and performed along with current FF, Brian, Curtis, Vince, and Bob (Group 22).


Albums, CDs, and DVDs

*1955. "Voices in Modern"
*1955. "4 Freshmen and 5 Trombones"
*1956. "Freshmen Favorites"
*1957. "4 Freshmen and 5 Trumpets"
*1957. "4 Freshmen and 5 Saxes"
*1958. "Voices In Latin"
*1958. "The Freshman Year"
*1958. "Voices In Love"
*1958. "In Person"
*1959. "4 Freshmen and 5 Guitars"
*1959. "Love Lost"
*1960. "Voices And Brass"
*1960. "Road Show"
*1960. "First Affair"
*1961. "Voices in Fun"
*"The Freshman Year" (1961)
*"Best of The Four Freshmen" (1961)
*"Stars in Our Eyes" (1962)
*"The Swingers" (1962)
*"Day By Day" (1962)
*"Got That Feelin"' (1963)
*"In Person, Vol. 2" (1963)
*"More 4 Freshmen and 5 Trombones" (1963)
*"Funny How Time Slips Away" (1964)
*"That's My Desire" (1967)
*"A Today Kind of Thing" (1968)
*"Today is Tomorrow" (1968)
*"Four Freshmen in Tokyo '68" (1969)
*"Different Strokes" (1969)
*"My Special Angel" (1970)
*"Return to Romance" (1971)
*"Mount Freshmore" (1977)
*"Alive & Well in Nashville" (1977)
*"Live At Butler University With Stan Kenton And His Orchestra" (1986)
*"Fresh!" (1986, nominated for a Grammy)
*"Freshmas!" (1992)
*"Angel Eyes" (1995)
*"Easy Street"(1997)
*"Golden Anniversary Celebration" (1998)
*"Still Fresh" CD (1999)
*"Four Freshmen Live" CD (2000)
*"Live in the New Millennium" CD (2002)
*"Live In Holland" CD (2004)
*"In Session" CD (2005)
*"Star-spangled Banner" Single CD (2005)
*"Live From Las Vegas" DVD (2006)
*"Snowfall" CD (2007)

45 RPM Singles (A-Side / B-side, release date, stock number)

*"Mr. B's Blues / Then I'll Be Happy" (11/50) Capitol 1293
*"Now You Know / Pick Up Your Tears and Go Home" (4/51) Capitol 1377
*"It's A Blue World / Tuxedo Junction" (7/52) Capitol 2152
*"The Day Isn't Long Enough / Stormy Weather" (11/52) Capitol 2286
*"Poinciana / Baltimore Oriole" (4/53) Capitol 2398
*"Holiday / It Happened Once Before" (8/53) Capitol 2564
*"Seems Like Old Times / Crazy Bones" (2/54) Capitol 2745
*"I'll Be Seeing You / Please Remember" (6/54) Capitol 2832
*"We'll Be Together Again /My Heart Stood Still" (8/54) Capitol 2898
*"Mood Indigo / Love Turns Winter to Spring" (10/54) Capitol 2961
*"It Never Occurred to Me / Malaya" (3/55) Capitol 3070
*"Day By Day / How Can I Tell Her" (6/55) Capitol 3154
*"Charmaine / In This Whole Wide World" (11/55) Capitol 3292
*"Angel Eyes / Love Is Just Around the Cornter" (2/56) Capitol 3359
*"Graduation Day / Lonely Night in Paris" (4/56) Capitol 3410
*"He Who Loves and Runs Away / You're So Far Above Me" (9/56) Capitol 3532
*"That's the Way I Feel / What's it Gonna Be" (2/57) Capitol 3652
*"Julie Is Her Name / Sometimes I'm Happy" (8/57) Capitol 3779
*"How Can I Begin To Tell / Granada" (11/57) Capitol 3832
*"Whistle Me Some Blues / Nights Are Longer" (3/58) Capitol 3930
*"Don't Worry Bout Me / I Never Knew ?? Capitol
*"Candy / Route 66" (2/60) Capitol 4341
*"Teach Me Tonight / Shangri-La" (6/62) Capitol 4749
*"I'm Gonna Go Fishin' / Taps Miller" (9/62) Capitol 4824
*"Summertime / Baby Won't You Please Come Home" (6/63) Capitol 5007
*"Funny How Time Slips Away / Charade" (11/63) Capitol 5083
*"My Baby's Gone / Don't Make Me Sorry" (3/64) Capitol 5151
*"When I Stop Lovin' You / Nights Are Long" (4/65) Capitol 5401
*"Old Cape Cod / Men In Their Flying Machines" (8/65) Capitol 5471
*"Cry / Nowhere to Go" (12/66) Decca 32070
*"Cherish / Come Fly With Me" (6/68) Liberty 56047
*"Windy / Up, Up and Away
*"Blue World / Phoenix" (4/69) Liberty 56099
*"My Special Angel"
*"I Want To Love / While I'm Young" Capitol F 3539 (Ken Errair solo
*"Ain't Goin' Nowhere "
*"How About Me" Capitol F 3890 (Ken Errair Quartet)
*"How's About Tomorrow Night"
*"The Creep / Tenderly" (2/54 Capitol 2685 (FF sing on Tenderly)

Note: The first fifteen singles ("Mr. B" through "Graduation Day") were also released as 78rpm Capitol discs, with the same stock numbers as above.

Promotional Singles

*"It's a Blue World / Poinciana" Capitol PRO 862
*"You're So Far Above Me / Brazil" Capitol PRO 863
*"Every Time We Say Goodbye / Circus" Capitol PRO 864
*"Whistle Me Some Blues / It Never Occurred To Me" Capitol PRO 865
*"You Stepped Out Of A Dream / I May Be Wrong" Capitol PRO 866
*"Baltimore Oriole / It Could Happen To You" Capitol Pro 867
*"Accentuate The Positive / I Want To Be Happy" Capitol PRO 1822
*"We've Got A World That Swings / When My Sugar Walks Down The Street" Capitol PRO 2392 (red vinyl)
*"It Never Occurred To Me / Malaya" Capitol PRO 2969
*"How Can I Tell Her / Day By Day" Capitol PRO 3070
*"Angel Eyes / Love Is Just Around The Corner" Capitol PRO 3154
*"I Want To Love While I'm Still Young / Aint'Goin' Nowhere" (Ken Errair Capitol PRO 3359
*"Give Me The Simple Life (dated 1/12/62)) / Say it Isn't So (not a FF cut)" USAF presents Music in the Air
*"Nowhere To Go / Cry" Decca 32070

7 inch, 33 1/3 (small hole) Promo Singles

*"Here's Hollywood / And So It's Over" Capitol PRO 2402
*"Moon River / Dynaflow" Capitol PRO 2449
*"Blue World / Poinciana" Capitol PRO 2510
*"Li'l Darlin' / Lulu's Back In Town" Capitol XE 1753
*"Candy / It Could Happen To You" Capitol XE 1640 (set of 3)
*"Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe / While You Are Gone "
*"Day By Day / Little Girl Blue "
*"Moonlight Rain "
*"I'm Beginning To See The Light / It's A Blue World"


External links

* [ Official homepage]
* [ Official fanpage] . Video and sound clips can be found here with a little work.
* [ The Four Freshmen]
* [ The Four Freshman] in the Vocal Hall of Fame.

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • The Four Freshmen — Allgemeine Informationen Genre(s) Jazz Gründung 1948 Gründungsmitglieder …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • The Four Freshmen — Four Freshmen (en français : Les quatre Bizuts), est un quartette vocal et instrumental américain, né en 1948 à « l Arthur Jordan Conservatory of Music » d Indianapolis. Les différentes compositions du groupe Ross Barbour (drums,… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Four Freshmen — The Four Fresh Man Gründung 1948 Genre Jazz Gründungsmitglieder Gesang Ross Barbour (bis 1977) Gesang Don Barbour (bis 1960) Gesang Marvin Pruitt (bis 1948) Gesang …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Four Freshmen — The Four Freshmen Jazz Terminologie du jazz Principaux courants ragtime …   Wikipédia en Français

  • The Four Preps — Origin Los Angeles, California Genres Pop music Years active 1956–present Labels Capitol Records …   Wikipedia

  • Four Knights — The Four Knights Gründung 1943 Auflösung 1966 Genre R n B, Gospel Letzte Besetzung vor der Auflösung Erster Tenor Gene Alford (bis 1960) Zweiter Tenor, Gitarre J …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • The Beach Boys — Слева по часовой стрелке: Карл Уилсон, Брайан Уилсон, Алан Дж …   Википедия

  • The Beach Boys — The Beach Boys, de arriba a abajo: Dennis Wilson, Al Jar …   Wikipedia Español

  • The Beach Boys' Christmas Album — Studio album by The Beach Boys Released November 9, 1964 …   Wikipedia

  • The Notorious Byrd Brothers — Studio album by The Byrds Released January 15, 1968 …   Wikipedia