We live in a day and age which is used to seeing overnight sensations, especially in the music business. Every day, it seems, we are treated to the sound of a new "star" who rockets to instant fame on the strength of a single hit recording, backed-up by a barrage of press agentry.
The "Four Freshmen Story", however has much more of a plot. It is more like the traditional success story, filled with the struggles and frustrations on the way to the eventual happy ending. Their rise to the top has been a steady and deliberate process, a determined march from obscurity to their unchallenged position as "America's Number One Vocal and Instrumental Quartet."
It was in 1947 that four young Hoosiers organized their quartet at Butler University in Indianapolis. They were four freshmen who were not to become sophomores...for on September 20th, 1948, they went on the road seeking fame and fortune.
"During our first four years we managed somehow to keep from setting the world on fire. We made a lot of music and very little money."
But while success continued to evade them, the boys never deviated from their basic approach to their sound...a modern, inventive concept in vocal music quite unlike anything heard before. They doggedly stuck to their guns, even though at times they doubted whether the public would ever be ready to accept their completely different style.
Then, as in all good success stories, fortune started to smile at last. In this case it was ushered-in, most appropriately, by none other than Stan Kenton, pioneer and innovator in the field of modern music for more than two decades. It was 1950. The Freshmen were appearing in Dayton, Ohio, and Stan who just happened to be in town, stopped in and caught their act. So impressed was Kenton that he phoned Capitol Records in Hollywood the very next day, and convinced them to sign the Freshmen to a contract. The rest, as the saying goes, is history.
In 1952 their great version of "It's a Blue World" swept the country, launching what was to become a spectacular recording career for the Four Freshmen. "Graduation Day" was introduced to the world by their hit record. They introduced, recorded and performed "How Can I Tell Her" in the movie "Lucy Gallant." You saw them do "How Do You Like Your Eggs In The Morning" in the movie "Rich Young and Pretty" with Vic Damone and Jane Powell. Their versions of "Day By Day", "Candy" and a host of others brightened the middle 50's.
Through the "Folk Singer craze", the "Elvis phase", "Beatle-mania" and "Acid Rock", the Freshmen have continued a steady parade of musical albums, the sales of which have reached the two million mark. In addition, the Freshmen have won every major music poll during their years. They have been honored time and again by Downbeat, Playboy, Billboard, and a host of other leading publications, as the Nation's "Best Vocal Group" ...a title they're not likely to relinquish for a long, long time.