picture of Ernie Freeman
Ernie Freeman
Freeman (* 1922) was born in Cleveland, Ohio. In 1935 he began playing in local Cleveland area nightclubs, and also formed a classical music trio for local social functions with his father and his sister Evelyn. Around 1939, he and Evelyn formed a new band, The Evelyn Freeman Swing Band. Evelyn played piano, while Ernie played saxophone and also began writing arrangements for the band. The band began a regular engagement at the Circle Ballroom in Cleveland, and broadcast shows. In 1942, most of the band, apart from Evelyn, joined the US Navy together, and became the first all-black Navy Band, called The Gobs of Swing with Ernie as its leader.
After leaving the Navy in 1945 Ernie entered the Cleveland Institute of Music, from which he graduated with a BA degree. In 1946 he moved with his family to Los Angeles, to attend the University of Southern California where he received his master's degree in music composition. In Los Angeles, he played in clubs, accompanying Dinah Washington and Dorothy Dandridge among others, as well as recording under his own name for the Mambo label. After a spell as arranger for Woody Herman he joined the Ernie Fields Orchestra, playing the piano. Other members of the band included saxophonists Earl Bostic and Plas Johnson, guitarist René Hall, and drummer Earl Palmer. In 1951 Freeman also began playing with the Billy Hadnott Sextet, but left in 1954 to form his own combo with Johnson, Palmer and guitarist Irving Ashby.
Freeman played on numerous early rock and R&B sessions in Los Angeles, California, in the 1950s. He played piano on the Platters' "The Great Pretender" in 1955, and began releasing a number of instrumental records of his own. In 1956 the Ernie Freeman Combo and the Platters appeared in Paramount Pictures' Rock Around The Clock. In the same year he was signed by Imperial Records, where he released 29 singles and seven LPs over the next seven years. In 1958 the Ernie Fields Orchestra, including Freeman, became the house band for the newly formed Rendezvous record label. In 1961, with Palmer, Johnson, and René Hall, they began recording as B. Bumble and the Stingers.
He continued a successful session career in the 1960s, arranging and appearing on material by Frank Sinatra ("That's Life", "Strangers in the Night"), Connie Francis ("Jealous Heart", "Addio, mi' amore"), Dean Martin ("Everybody Loves Somebody", "Somewhere There's a Someone"), Johnny Mathis, and Petula Clark ("This Is My Song", "For Love"), and becoming musical director with Reprise Records. From 1960 to 1969 he arranged virtually every session for Snuff Garrett at Liberty Records.
In 1970 he contributed string arrangements to Simon and Garfunkel's Bridge Over Troubled Water album before his retirement later in the decade. According to several sources, he suffered from alcoholism. He died at his home in Los Angeles in 1981.
from Wikipedia


In A Mood For The Blues
Capitol T1503
recorded May/June 1960 in Hollywood, CA/USA
Plas Johnson, tenor sax
Ray Johnson, piano
Ernie Freeman, Hammond organ
Rene Hall, guitar
Bill Pitman, guitar
Red Callender, b Bass
Earl Palmer, drums
Comin' Home Baby
Liberty LRP 3331
released 1963
Ernie Freeman, organ
The Ernie Freeman Combo
Sarah Sings Soulfully
Roulette SR 52116
recorded June 1963 in Los Angeles, CA/USA
Sarah Vaughan, vocals
Teddy Edwards, tenor sax
Carmell Jones, trumpet
Ernie Freeman, organ
Milt Turner, drums
a/ by Gerald Wlson

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