Jazz and chorus

(9) The Four Freshmen It 's A Blue World  

Stan Kenton(1911-1971)

Stan Kenton was taken to the Esquire Lounge if not listening though there was a chorus which emitted the sound like the Kenton Orchestra when he visited the town named Dayton in Ohio in 1950. He listened and was so surprised, and Kenton immediately took them to the Capitol Record. I understood the reason why there are a lot of arrangements of Pete Rugoro of the Kenton band in FF's records in early days. A famous first album"Four Freshmen and Five Trombones" has been accompanied by the Pete Rugoro Band.

It has been unknown who took Kenton to see the guys for a long time.

But it turned out in 1996. Dale Stevens who was an editor of Dayton Daily News informed that the person was a DJ named Gene Barry.

Kenton Orchestra accompanied in the concert of the Four Freshmen in later years, and he also did MC and said;

"Our band sounds like the Four Freshmen" and the audience were boiled.

The Four Freshmen(Group No. 1)

The Four Freshmen was formed at the Butler University in Indianapolis in 1948. As literal, they were freshmen. And, they became professional, so they have been freshmen for a long time and never graduated from the university.

"It's A Blue World" is a hit tune in 1952 which continued No. 1 of the chart of Downbeat for weeks, and became a million seller. That's like the United States, though a chorus group takes the first place of a hit chart. We can not imagine such a thing in Japan of harmony-deaf.

They all play musical instruments as for their merit, and their accompaniments to do by themselves in their shows. Moreover, the solo performance is a skill like the marvel of musicians of the instrumental music specialty. Such a group does not appear easily.

There is an international fan club named the Four Freshmen Society. There are bout 80 Japanese members in the FFS. FFS holds a convention once in a year and some fanatic members attend in the convention every year. In Japan, domestic members gather from the whole Japan sometimes. Divided into four parts, and they reproduce Freshmen sounds. If you are interested : mail to the representative of FFS Japan, Yasushi Ichiura. Yes, I am a member.

(10) The Most Fresh Freshmen

The Four Freshmen (Group No.22)

They say that the golden age of the Four Freshmen is from 50's to 60's. It's the days of No.3 and No.4. After then, Bob Flanigan had continued the leader of the group to keep the fire of Four Freshmen burning until 1992. Bob is concentrating on the manager of the group now.

Kevin Stout of No. 20 left in 2000, and Vince Johnson joined to the Four Freshmen. Therefore, chorus's part changed completely places. FF No.21 : from the left,

  Lead Voice Brian Eichenberger bass, guitar
  2nd Tenor Curtis Calderon trumpet, flugelhorn,
  Baritone Vince Johnson bass, trombone, guitar
  Bass Bob Ferreira drums, flugelhorn

Now, the latest CD is "Still Fresh" (1999) of No.20. The next CD which recorded in a live show of No. 21 will be put on the market in the year end of 2001. Let's enjoy it.

New member, Curtis Calderon joins in September, 2001. And No.22 will start.

FF was formed more than 50 years ago, and Freshmen has been kept the tradition of the sounds called "open harmony". There were no vocal groups which put the melody part in the highest part before. We were happy to hear that FF got the place of No. 1 of "Vocal Group of the Year" in 2000. The good one is valued indefinitely in the United States.

Group #23, 2013/10

Vince Johnson leaved and he was replaced by Stein Malvey.

  Lead Voice Brian Eichenberger bass, guitar
  2nd Tenor Stein Malvey guitar
  Baritone Curtis Calderon trumpet, flugelhorn,
  Bass Bob Ferreira drums, flugelhorn

Bob Flanigan and Kristian Lindeman

(11) 50th Formation Anniversary

The commemoration party of the 50th Four Freshmen formation anniversary was held at Las Vegas on September 19, 1998.

A chorus "Ode to the Four Freshmen" to praise FF was written by a FreshFan Kristian Lindeman and performed it by his quartet.

The photograph is Bob Flanigan gladly receiving the song.

Wanting what to listen : please click here.

Other related pages:
Graduation Day  (English Version)
Indian Summer  (English Version)

The Four Freshmen Official Site 
Four Freshmen News

FF in Tokyo, 2001

Four Freshmen Welcom Party, 2002
 (in English)
OZ SONS'S Friend
FF Welcome Party, 2003  (in English)
FF Meets Starlight Junction (in English)