February 28, 2013

The Four Freshmen - Their Hearts Were Full of Spring (1961)

This singing quartet was formed by brothers Ross and Don Barbour at Butler University in early 1948. Originally known as Hal’s Harmonizers and briefly the Toppers, they first went on the road in September 1948 under their finalized name, read above, where they were discovered by band leader Stan Kenton in Dayton, Ohio. Later that same year, they were signed to Capitol Records and began recording songs. Their first hit came in 1952 in the form of “It’s a Blue World.” Multiple hits soon followed and the group’s popularity went national. Unbeknownst to the quartet at the time, a young Brian Wilson was studying the vocal arrangements of each of their records as early as the mid-‘50s and practicing them with his brothers and friends, what would eventually evolve into The Beach Boys. Although the popularity of this group faded with the bands of the British Invasion, they remained intact and performed with at least one original member all the way through 1992. Since, a new lineup of the band exists and consistently tours across the United States.

Now, more than fifty years after the formation of The Beach Boys, people hearing this quarter for the first time tend to think that they were either inspired by The Beach Boys or that they are in fact The Beach Boys. But it was in fact The Beach Boys who were inspired by this quartet and using them as a template to perfect their own vocal harmonies. This song, written by the same guy who wrote “(Get Your Kicks On) Route 66”, Bobby Troup, originally appeared on the group’s 1961 album, The Fresh-Man Year, on Capitol Records. It would later be covered by The Beach Boys numerous times.

album art

The Four Freshmen - Their Hearts Were Full of Spring (1961)

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There's a story told of a very gentle boy
And the girl who wore his ring
Through the wintery snow
The world they knew was warm
For their hearts were full of spring

As the days grew old
And the nights passed into time
And the weeks and years took wing
Gentle boy, tender girl
Their love remained still young
For their hearts were full of spring

Then one day they died
And their graves were side by side
On a hill where robins sing
And they say violets
Grow there the whole year round
For their hearts were full of spring

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