Categorized | Music News

Bobby Freeman

Posted on 04 February 2017 by Brian Walsh

Robert Thomas “Bobby” Freeman, who wrote and recorded the original “Do You Want To Dance” (#5-1958), has died at the age of 76. An exact date and cause was not given. Born in San Francisco, Bobby began recording at the age of 14 with a doo-wop group called the Romancers, who had three releases on Dootone and Baytone Records. He later formed the West Coast Vocaleers to even less success. But it was as a solo artist that Josie Records heard some demos he recorded and signed Bobby, releasing a more polished version of “Do You Want To Dance”. Though five of his seven Josie records charted, only his version of “Betty Lou Got A New Pair Of Shoes” (#37-1958) made the top 40 and in 1960, Bobby signed with King Records, where “(I Do) Shimmy Shimmy”got to #37. Inexplicably, King didn’t release another Bobby Freeman single for four years, at which time Bobby was working with producer/writer Sly Stone at San Francisco’s Autumn Records. “C’Mon And Swim” put Bobby back on the charts, reaching #5 in 1964. It was followed by “S-W-I-M” (#56-1964), but subsequent releases merely “bubbled under” the Hot 100 charts. Re-makes of “Do You Want To Dance” by the Beach Boys, the Mamas & the Papas and Bette Midler however, kept Bobby’s name alive and contributed to a life-long career as a club singer.

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