Four Freshmen stay young at heart through music


If you can use your senior citizen’s discount at Friendly’s, then you will probably know who the Four Freshmen are.

However, if you are under 30, The Four Freshmen may need an introduction.

The H. Ric Luhrs Performing Arts Center presented The Four Freshmen on April 15 at 3 p.m.The Four Freshmen are considered a vocal band quartet.

However, they are different from other groups because they added complicated jazz arrangements.

They are known for singing, “It’s a Blue World,” “Graduation Day” and “Their Hearts Were Full of Spring.”

The band was created in 1948 by a group of college students. The original group was made up of brothers Ross and Don Barbour and their cousins Hal Kratzsch and Bob Flanigan.

That was over 60 years ago. Now the lineup of the bandmates has completely changed to fresher and younger singers. The new members do not disappoint.

They still maintain the same sound of the original group but enrich the music with their youthful presence.

The new line-up includes Bob Ferreira on vocals and drums, Brian Eichenberger on leads and guitar, Vince Johnson on bass and vocals and Curtis Calderon on vocals, flugelhorn and trumpet.
The show reminded me of what good music really is. This kind of music was the foundation that influenced other groups such as the Beach Boys.

I found myself often tapping along to the beats and rhythms of the music during their performance.

I grew up listening to music from the ’50s and ’60s. Because of this, this group was very appealing to me. I continue to appreciate this genre of music.

The Beach Boys are one of my favorite bands of all time. It was after learning that Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys was influenced by this group that I decided to listen to them.
They played “Angel Eyes” and “Their Hearts Were Full of Spring” in tribute to the original members who started the group in 1948.

“We wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for the four original guys from Indiana,” Calderon said.
“Their Hearts Were Full of Spring” was written for the group by songwriter Bobby Troup.
This particular song had greatly influenced the Beach Boy’s harmonies. When they sang the song it definitely did not disappoint the audience.

They also sang another familiar song from Troup called “Route 66.”

Drummer Bob Ferreira said, “Some are reliving moments from the past and some are creating new ones,” about the audience.

The Four Freshmen sang their biggest commercial hit “Graduation Day.” This song is one of my favorites.

I felt a little bit silly sitting by myself tearing up thinking about my own graduation. The lyrics are so simple and powerful. Throughout their performance, there were some hilarious moments.
Usually every band keeps a set-list of songs on the stage so they can remember the order and what songs they are playing.

Calderon and the group joked about how they can barely read the list because of Calderon’s small and poor handwriting.

I found it interesting that the group does not rely on the songs of the past. I think most people who are new to a legendary band often have some nervousness when it comes to adding new songs and arrangements.

This group wants to further the uniqueness of the original songs, but they also want to do new and different things that will still fascinate others.

The Four Freshmen ended the early evening with a tribute to the Beach Boys by singing, “Little Surfer Girl.”

It came dangerously close to the sound of my beloved group.

Overall the performace was a good time. I hope that younger generations will start to appreciate this older style of music before it fades away.

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