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The Four Freshmen - Vocal Quartet

The Four Freshmen - Vocal Quartet

Smooth harmonies and their own unbeatable accompaniment. The Four Freshmen were one of the top vocal groups of the 1950s, and formed the bridge between 40s ensembles like the Mel-Tones and harmony-based rock and roll bands such as the Beach Boys as well as groups like Spanky and Our Gang and Manhattan Transfer. Their first hit single was It's a Blue World, 1952, and they enjoyed further success with Mood Indigo, 1954, Day By Day, 1955, and Graduation Day, 1956. They released their first LP, Voices in Modern, in 1955, and some dozen more 12" discs over the next five years. That album was as impressive a jazz document as it was a vocal pop effort, showcasing the group members' playing as well as their singing; showing that these guys had lots of complex musical strings in their bow.

New lineups of the group have continued to perform into the 21st century. In 2000, The Four Freshmen were voted Vocal Group of the Year by Down Beat magazine's readers. In 2001, Mosaic Records, the company that issues complete catalogs of jazz legends going back to the 1930s, released a multi-CD box of The Four Freshmen's complete 1950s recordings, proudly proclaiming (even defiantly, given the label's catalog) the quartet's validity as a jazz outfit.

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