Freddie Hart Biography

Fred Segrest, 21 December 1926, Loachapoka, Alabama, USA. Hart was one of 10 boys and five girls born to a family of sharecroppers. He left school at the age of 12 and started working for his parents. When he was only 15, he lied about his age - and his parents signed the papers - so that he could join the marines. He saw action at both Guam and Iwo Jima. Four years later he was back as a civilian and taught karate to the Los Angeles police. He acquired a black belt, but in 1951, he went into country music when he joined Lefty Frizzell’s band. In 1953 he was given a recording contract with Capitol Records, but it was not until 1959 that he had his first hit - ‘The Wall’ with Columbia Records. He recorded further country hits with Monument Records and Kapp Records, including ‘Hank Williams’ Guitar’, and, in 1969, he rejoined Capitol as a successful country performer.

In 1971 Hart went to number 17 in the US pop charts with ‘Easy Loving’, which won the Country Music Association’s Song Of The Year award two years running. He explained its success as follows: ‘I try to put down in my songs what every man wants to say, and what every woman wants to hear. A song like ‘Easy Loving’ has brought a lot of people together. Many people have told me that they have fallen in love and gotten married because of that song.’ This method of songwriting has led Hart into some obscure corners, none more so than ‘The Child’ in which he plays a baby in his mother’s womb! His country hits include ‘My Hang Up Is You’, ‘Bless Your Heart’, ‘The Pleasure’s Been All Mine’ and ‘Why Lovers Turn To Strangers’. His compositions include ‘Skid Row Joe’ for Porter Wagoner and ‘I Ain’t Goin’ Hungry Anymore’ for Charlie Rich. In the early 80s, he had success with ‘Roses Are Red’ and ‘You Were There’ on the small Sunbird label, but by then he was no longer fully committed to country music. With shrewd investing, Hart became wealthy, and in the 80s, he concentrated on his acres of plum trees, his trucking company and his 200 breeding bulls. He now runs a school for handicapped children in Burbank, California. In 1988, he returned with a collection of songs that he had written ‘with the Lord in my heart’. Hart was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2004.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.

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