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Four Freshmen start five-day stand

The Four Freshmen are performing in Laughlin through Sunday. From left: Curtis Calderon, Bob Ferreira, Brian Eichenberger and Vince Johnson.

The Four Freshmen, an American vocal group that's been crooning for audiences for 65 years, is playing five nightly shows at the Riverside Hotel Resort & Casino in Laughlin starting tonight.

The group, which was co-founded by Bob Flanigan in the late 1940s, has featured 24 different vocalists over the years, but the current group of Brian Eichenberger, Curtis Calderon, Vince Johnson and Bob Ferreira has been together for more than a decade. Their longevity lends itself to a tight sound that very much reflects the original harmonies of the group.

"We always strive to have the best sound we can," said Ferreira, who sings and plays percussion in the group. "We want to keep the integrity of the group intact."

Ferreira has been in the group for more than 20 years. One would think that being part of a group that's been so successful would put intense pressure on its members. But Ferreira said that's not the case. He's never felt like he had big shoes to fill.

The group, which has more than 100 albums, 70 top-selling singles, countless music awards and six Grammy nominations, will sing many of their hits, such as "It's a Blue World" and "Graduation Day" at its upcoming shows. But it will also give the audience a taste of music from its latest album, "The Four Freshmen: Love Songs."

"The new album is in line with the tradition of The Freshmen Sound," Ferreira said.

He joked that people will be racking their brains to remember when the songs from the latest album were recorded. They'll be going back through the record collections in their heads, trying in vain to find where they first heard a certain song.

Despite all the time together, the group still needs to fine-tune its work regularly. Just when the members think one problem has been resolved, another one springs up.

"It's like auto maintenance," Ferreira said. "We're always troubleshooting."

The Four Freshmen do more than just sing. Each of the members plays an instrument, too. It surprises people to see and hear a group that sings tight and plays instruments at the same time, Ferreira said.

But it's just another case of the current configuration of The Four Freshmen keeping the tradition started by the original members alive, he said.

"A little bit of everything," Ferreira said - that's what people who attend one of the shows should expect.


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