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From the Land of Band Box Records

Billboard Magazine ran mini-biographies from 1959 into the early 1960’s sometimes providing us with interesting tidbits – Each biography was generally tied to a current release on behalf of the artist

Bobby Freeman (“Ebb Tide”)

Charted Number 93 Hot 100 – December, 1959

By the time “Ebb Tide” was released in the Fall of 1959, Bobby Freeman had enjoyed five Top 100 charting singles – with 1958’s “Do You Want To Dance” marking the first ‘highlight’ of his career peaking at number 5 Hot 100 and number 2 R&B.  Bobby would actually have more success on the Hot 100 Charts vs. the R&B charts where the score was nine going Hot 100 and three R&B.

(At times Bobby’s big hit was listed as “Do You Wanna Dance”)

I remember purchasing “Do You Want To Dance” while still in Junior High School in Denver, Colorado and I joyfully discovered the “B” side the rollicking “Big Fat Woman” which I played to death!

Bobby Freeman was born Robert Thomas Freeman in San Francisco, California in June of 1940.  He would attend Mission High School where he joined his first group the “Romancers”.  The group would release four singles on the Dootone record label for two releases followed by one on the Bay-Tone label in late 1958.  By then Bobby had moved on to form his own group the “West Coast Vocaleers”.

Freeman Posing Above the Romancers

That was a brief stint for Bobby as he stepped out from the group presenting some of his own compositions to a Bay area DJ – one being “Do You Wanna Dance”.  Bobby was quickly signed with Jubilee Records – “Do You Want To Dance” was moved over to a Jubilee subsidiary label Josie where it would race up the charts.

American Bandstand 1964- Interview Bobby Freeman - YouTube

Dick Clark and Bobby – American Bandstand

More Josie singles would follow – with his first six tracks all being self-composed – Bobby was 17 years old at the time.  “Do You Want To Dance” has charted repeatedly by other artists through the years as listed in the Discography below.

He would experience a lengthy downturn in his hit record run after 1961 but would come roaring back with another Top 10 smash “C’Mon and Swim” which would also go to number 5 Hot 100 but miss the R&B Charts.  Record companies had never given up on Freeman – with several labels releasing more than 3 dozen singles into the 1970’s.

“C’Mon and Swim” was written by Sylvester Stewart of “Sly and the Family Stone” fame as was the follow up hit “S-W-I-M”.

The Viscaynes aka The Biscaynes - doo-wop

Sylvester Pre Family Stone

He continued performing for many years in the San Francisco area at night clubs.  Bobby Freeman passed away in January of 2017 at age 76.

Bobby Freeman Selected Discography

45 – The Romancers – Dootone 381 – I Still Remember b/w House Cat – January, 1956

45 – The Romancers – Dootone 404 – This Is Goodbye b/w Jump and Hop – 1956

45 – Josie 835 – Do You Want To Dance – Number 5 Hot 100 – Number 2 R&B b/w Big Fat Woman – March, 1958

45 – Josie 841 – Betty Lou Got A New Pair Of Shoes – Number 37 Hot 100 – Number 20 R&B b/w Starlight – July, 1958

45 – Josie 844 – Need Your Love Number 54 Hot 100 – Number 29 R&B b/w  Shame On You Miss Johnson – October, 1958

45 – Josie 855 – When You’re Smiling b/w A Love To Last A Lifetime – January, 1959

45 – Josie 863 – Mary Ann Thomas – Number 90 Hot 100 b/w Love Me – May, 1959

45 – Josie  867 – Where Did My Baby Go b/w My Guardian Angel – July, 1959

45 – Josie 872 – Ebb Tide – Number 93 Hot 100 b/w Sinbad – October, 1959

45 – Josie 879 – I Need Someone b/w First Day of Spring – April, 1960

45 – King 5373 – (I Do The) Shimmy Shimmy – Number 37 Hot 100 b/w You Don’t Understand Me – July, 1960

There would be 3 more King singles released but not until Bobby’s “C’Mon and Swim” charted on Josie -in 1964 – Then King scrambled to dig Freeman’s tracks out of storage

45 – Josie 886 – Baby What Would You Do b/w Miss You So – September, 1960

45 – Josie 889 – She Said She Wants To Dance b/w Put You Down – 1961

45 – Josie 887 – The Mess Around – Number 89 Hot 100 b/w So Much To Do – February, 1961

45 – Josie 896 – Love Me b/w Little Girl Don’t You Understand – March, 1962

This would be Freeman’s final Josie release

45 – Autumn 1 – Let’s Surf Again b/w Come To Me – August, 1963

45 – Autumn 2 – C’Mon and Swim Part 1 – Number 5 Hot 100 b/w C’Mon and Swim Part 2 – June, 1964

45 – Autumn 5 – S-W-I-M – Number 56 Hot 100 b/w That Little Old Heartbreaker Me – October, 1964

45 – Autumn 9 – I’ll Never Fall In Love Again – Number 131 Bubbling Under Charts b/w Friends – April, 1965

45 – Loma 2056 – Soulful Sound Of Music b/w Shadow Of Your Love – September, 1966

Bobby would cut one additional single on Loma

45 – Double Shot 139 – Everybody’s Got A Hang Up – Number 122 Bubbling Under Charts b/w Oughta Be A Law – April, 1969

This would be Bobby’s final charting record

45 – Double Shot 152 – Do You Wanna Dance, 1970 b/w Society For the Prevention Of Cruelty To People In Love – 1970

45 – Avco 4593 – I’m Shaft (You Ain’t Shaft) b/w Instrumental version – August, 1972

45 – Touch 101 – Everything’s Love b/w Midnight Snack – 1973

After this point in time a bunch of reissues on various labels would follow

LP – Jubilee 1086 – Do You Wanna Dance – 1959

LP – Jubilee 5010 – Twist With Bobby Freeman – 1962

LP – Autumn 102 – C’mon and S-W-I-M with Bobby Freeman – 1964

LP – Josie 4007 – Get In the Swim – 1965

LP – King 930 – The Lovable Style Of Bobby Freeman – 1965

Do You Want To Dance Discography by Others

45 – Joey & The Twisters – Duel 509 – Do You Want To Dance – April, 1962

45 – The Frets – Uptown 104 – Do You Want To Dance – 1962

45 – Del Shannon – Amy 911 – Do You Want To Dance – Number 43 Hot 100 – 1964

45 – The Classmen – Limelight 3016 – Do You Want To Dance – March, 1964

45 – Caesar and Cleo – Reprise 308 – Do You Want To Dance – September, 1964

45 – The Beach Boys – Capitol 5372 – Do You Wanna Dance? – Number 12 Hot 100 – 1965

45 – Denny Jorden and the Berkleys – Do You Wanna Dance – 1966

45 – The Mama’s and Papa’s – Dunhill 4171 – Do You Wanna Dance – Number 78 Hot 100 – 1968

45 – Jack Reno – Target 150 – Do You Want To Dance – May, 1972

45 – Julius Wechter and the Baja Marimba Band – Bell 45339 – Do You Wanna Dance – March, 1973

45 – Bette Midler – Atlantic 2928 – Do You Want To Dance – Number 17 Hot 100 – 1973

45 – The Ramones – Sire 1017 – Do You Want To Dance – Number 86 Hot 100 – 1978

45 – Jimmy Messina – Columbia 11182 – Do You Want To Dance – 1979

45 – McFadden & Whitehead – Philadelphia International 3704 – Do You Want To Dance – 1979

45 – Dave Edmunds – Columbia 4923 – Do You Want To Dance – May, 1985

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