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Recalling Freddy Hart The Night Of The Grammy Awards

February 11, 2019

Watching the Grammy Awards Sunday night alerted me to the death of Freddy Hart, a singer many of my readers will not recognize.  I saw him perform at the Marshfield County Fair when I was in high school.  I take note of classic country music stars on this blog, so even though the obituaries all have been written months ago I wish to add a few thoughts about why this man was important.

Freddie Hart died in October 2018 at the age of 91.  His classic recording of Easy Loving took him up the charts at country radio stations.

He was born Frederick Segrest and learned to play the guitar at age five.  At age 15 he successfully lied to the United States Marine Corps, and served his country in World War II. Hart’s initial success in the music industry came while crafting songs for Carl Smith, Patsy Cline, and Porter Wagoner.

He was not, however, having success in the music industry in his own right until an Atlanta disc jockey began playing the B-side of a Hart single.  With Easy Loving Hart was on the charts.

So why do I take note of a man many are not aware of, and who passed away months ago?

The performers on the Grammy Awards are skilled singers and musicians.  They certainly deserve their time in the spotlight.   But Hart comes to mind with a smile as he was not PR-driven.  He comes to my mind freely based on the music he sang, and the records he made.  It was a late summer night when as a teenager I saw him take the stage.  I recall he sang one of my favorites, The Key Is In The Mailbox.   Mom had several of his records, and now those are in my collection.  (Yes, they still make the turntable.)

Hart still sang and made recordings right up to the end of his life, though he had diversified his life beyond just music.  I strongly suspect in his final years making music was not solely for the money.  I have come to discover over the decades when it comes to this era of singers, who still make music, they crave the connection with fans who knew them when they were younger.  And who still show up to hear more music being made!  For these singers and musicians the show was not over until everyone who wanted a personal memory had one.  So they greet the fans after the shows and signed autographs.

Freddy Hart made for a memory tonight as I saw his picture on the awards show.  I came to my desk and thought back to a Labor Day weekend when he took the stage and made people clap…….

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