Formed at Arthur Jordan Conservatory of Music in Indianapolis, Indiana, USA, in 1948, the Four Freshmen were a ground-breaking vocal group who influenced the Hi-Los, the Beach Boys, Manhattan Transfer and countless other close-harmony outfits. The group originally consisted of lead vocalist Bob Flanigan (22 August 1926, Greencastle, Indiana, USA), his cousins Ross Barbour (b. 31 December 1928, Columbus, Indiana, USA) and Don Barbour (b. 19 April 1927, Columbus, Indiana, USA, d. 5 October 1961), and Hal Kratzsch (b. 6 October 1925, Warsaw, Indiana, USA, d. 18 November 1970). Prior to the formation of the Four Freshmen, the Barbour brothers and Kratzsch, along with lead singer Marvin Pruitt, had been in a barbershop quartet called Hals Harmonizers, each member playing an instrument. The same line-up formed a more jazz-orientated second group, called the Toppers, in 1948. Pruitt left that same year, at which point Flanigan returned from Florida, where he...
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