The history of the Four Freshmen goes back to early 1948, when brothers Don and Ross Barbour formed a barbershop quartet while attending Butler University's Arthur Jordan Conservatory in Indianapolis called Hal's Harmonizers. They gradually began incorporating more jazz-oriented repertoire and by the end of 1948 they began performing on the road until they had their chance encounter with Kenton nearly two years later, leading to their recording contract with Capitol. In 1952, they released their first hit single, "It's a Blue World" and scored another hit in 1954 with a lush take on Duke Ellington's "Mood Indigo," followed by similar successes with "Day by Day" in 1955 and "Graduation Day" in 1956. The earned their first Grammy nomination in 1958 for The Four Freshmen in Person and repeated in 1961 with Voices in Fun and in 1962 with The Swingers.
The group made a number of television appearances through the 1950s and 1960s, eventually losing their mainstream following with the advent of the British Invasion of the mid '60s (Beatles, Stones, Kinks, etc.). But they maintained a full performance schedule through the '70s and '80s. The last original member of the Four Freshmen, Bob Flanigan, retired in 1992. Flanigan now manages the group and owns the rights to The Four Freshmen name. The current incarnation of the Four Freshmen features Brian Eichenberger (lead, guitar, keyboards, arranger), Curtis Calderon (second voice, trumpet, flugelhorn), Vince Johnson (third voice, bass, trombone, whistler, scatter, arranger), and Bob Ferreira (fourth voice, drummer, soloist). Their most recent recording is 2009's Live from Las Vegas' Suncoast Hotel and Casino.