Sunday, May 20, 5 p.m., 7 p.m., $30
It’s hard to believe that when four guys formed a vocal harmony group in 1948 at Butler University, it would last for over five decades. The Four Freshmen have done that and more, having recorded more than 45 albums and garnered six Grammy nominations and 70 chart-topping singles. The group has also influenced many top jazz and pop vocal groups along the way.
The Freshmen will return to Indy at the Jazz Kitchen Sunday, May 20 for two shows. NUVO interviewed one of the original Freshmen, Bob Flannigan, who sang lead and played trombone with the group, via phone from his home in Las Vegas.
Flannigan, who no longer sings with the Freshmen, now owns and manages the group. “The current version of the Freshmen has been together seven years,” he says. “Next year, the Freshman will be in Indianapolis to celebrate [their] 60th birthday as a group.”
The Four Freshmen have a tremendous worldwide fan club, the Four Freshmen Society. “We have played every college and university in this country at one time or another in the ’50s and ’60s. We made a legion of fans that are still Four Freshmen fans, [and] that’s where the Four Freshmen Society comes from,” Flannigan says. “There will be people coming in from Canada, Italy, Japan, England and all over next year for the 60th anniversary.”
The current 22nd edition of the Four Freshmen is devoted to maintaining the group’s sound and style. The members include Bob Ferreira, drummer and the fourth-part bass vocalist; Brian Eichenberger, lead singer, guitarist and bassist; Vince Johnson, baritone harmony vocalist, bassist, guitarist, trombonist and whistler; and, lastly, Curtis Calderon, second-part vocalist, trumpeter and flugelhorn player.