Bobby Freeman Biography
Robert Thomas Freeman, who was known as Bobby Freeman, was a San Francisco-based American rock, soul, and R&B singer, composer, and record producer best known for his two Top Ten songs, “Do You Want to Dance” on Josie Records in 1958 and “C’mon and Swim” on Autumn Records in 1964.
Freeman was born in the San Francisco Bay Area on June 13, 1940, and spent much of his childhood there. He went to Mission High School. In his early teens, he joined the Romancers, a doo-wop group, and made his first recording for Dootone Records in 1956. Their tracks included “House Cat,” which was eventually included on various rock & roll collections. However, the group quickly disbanded, and Freeman formed a new group, the Vocaleers (not to be confused with an earlier group of the same name who recorded “Is It a Dream”).
When a local DJ inquired if he had written any songs, he wrote a few and recorded them as solo demos. These included “Do You Want to Dance,” which was heard by Mortimer Palitz of Jubilee Records, a visiting record company executive. He signed Freeman to the company and overdubbed the original track in New York using studio musicians such as guitarist Billy Mure. “Do You Want to Dance,” released on the Jubilee subsidiary label Josie, immediately went to number 5 on the pop chart and number 2 on the R&B chart in early 1958, when Freeman was still only 17. Del Shannon, the Beach Boys, Johnny Rivers, Bette Midler, John Lennon, Cliff Richard, Marc Bolan & T.Rex, the Mamas & The Papas, Bobby Vee, and the Ramones later recorded the song (as “Do You Wanna Dance”).
Freeman performed on American Bandstand and toured with Fats Domino, the Coasters, and Jackie Wilson. Several of his Josie follow-ups, including “Betty Lou Got a New Pair of Shoes” and “Need Your Love,” a ballad, also charted. He left Josie in 1960 and joined with King Records, where he re-entered the charts with “Shimmy Shimmy.”
Several of Freeman’s later recordings with King in the early 1960s, however, went unpublished for unknown reasons. He didn’t return to the charts until 1964, when he signed with the Autumn label and had his second top ten hit with “C’mon and Swim.” The song was co-written and produced by label owner and radio DJ Tom Donahue (billed as Thomas Coman) and 20-year-old Sylvester Stewart, later known as Sly Stone. Later in 1964, Freeman’s final hit was “S-W-I-M.”
Bobby Freeman was a regular at the Condor Club in San Francisco in 1964, where Carol Doda performed her topless go-go dancing acts. By the late 1960s, Freeman was primarily supporting himself as a club singer, and he continued to record singles on several tiny local labels until the mid-1970s, although he had little commercial success. Later in his career, Freeman performed at the Bay Area Music (“Bammy”) Awards. In the 1970s, he became well-known among northern soul lovers in the United Kingdom.
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Frequently Asked Questions
What Is Genre Of Bobby Freeman?
The genre of Bobby Freeman is Rhythm and Blues.
What Is The Most Famous Song Of Bobby Freeman?
The most famous song of Bobby Freeman is “Do You Want to Dance?” This song was originally released in 1958 and reached number 5 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. It has been covered by many artists over the years, including Bette Midler, the Beach Boys, and Johnny Rivers.
What Is The Best Selling Album Of Bobby Freeman?
The best selling album of Bobby Freeman is “C’mon and Swim”. It was released in 1964 on the Josie label and reached number 2 on the Billboard Hot 100. The album was produced by Jerry Heller and features the hit single “C’mon and Swim”, which was written by Freeman and produced by Heller.
Why Bobby Freeman Was Famous?
Bobby Freeman was a popular R&B singer in the 1950s. He is best known for his hit song, “Do You Want to Dance?” which reached number five on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1958. Freeman was born and raised in San Francisco, California.