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Popular harmony group to perform at Capitol

April 06, 2006|by JULIE GREENE

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - They're not a barbershop quartet, and they're not a big band. The Four Freshmen have a sound that member Bob Ferreira says is still innovative today.

They'll be performing Friday night at The Capitol Theatre.

The original Four Freshmen, formed in September 1948, created a sound that listeners in the 1950s weren't used to hearing - a four-part harmony with a male lead singing the melody, Ferreira says.

For further distinction, The Four Freshmen play instruments.

"The (original) Four Freshmen couldn't afford to hire musicians to back them up," says Ferreira.

Ferreira sings bass and plays drums. Lead singer Brian Eichenberger plays bass, guitar and keyboard. Curtis Calderon sings the second part in group harmonies and plays trumpet and fluegelhorn, a three-valved horn with a mellower sound than the trumpet. Vince Johnson sings baritone and plays guitar, trombone and bass.

The group, often Eichenberger, arranges jazz standards and songs from The Great American Songbook into their sound.

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The sound of their jazz-based harmony is similar to the rock 'n' roll harmony of The Beach Boys. That's because lead singer Brian Wilson was influenced by the Freshmen, Ferreira says.

On Friday, the Freshmen are expected to perform some new jazz standards, their personal favorites from older albums such as "Angel Eyes" and hits from the past such as "It's a Blue World."

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