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|Born||June 13, 1940|
|Origin||San Francisco, California, United States|
|Occupation(s)||Singer, songwriter, record producer|
|Instruments||Vocals, piano, keyboards|
|Labels||Dootone Records, Josie Records, Autumn Records, Touch Music|
|Associated acts||The Romancers, The West Coast Vocaleers|
Bobby Freeman (born June 13, 1940) is an African-American soul and R&B singer, songwriter and record producer from San Francisco, California. He is best known for his two Top Ten hits, the first in 1958 on Josie Records called "Do You Want to Dance" and the second in 1964 for Autumn Records, "C'mon and Swim".
"Do You Want to Dance" was covered later (as "Do You Wanna Dance") by Del Shannon, the Beach Boys, Johnny Rivers, Bette Midler, John Lennon, Cliff Richard, Marc Bolan & T.Rex, the Mamas & The Papas, Bobby Vee and the Ramones. "C'mon and Swim" was written and produced by 20-year-old Sylvester Stewart, later known as Sly Stone.
Freeman began his recording career at age 14 with the Romancers, who recorded briefly for Dootone Records. At age 17, he scored a hit with "Do You Want to Dance" and appeared on the pop charts with various follow-ups through 1961. In 1964, he was back in the Top Ten with the dance-craze hit "C'mon and Swim", which reached Number 5. The craze had cooled by the time he released his follow-up "S-W-I-M" which failed to sell as well (#56), but he continued to tour widely over the next few years.
In 1964, Bobby Freeman played nightly at the Condor Club in San Francisco where Carol Doda performed her topless go-go dancing shows. Mainly supporting himself as a singer in clubs by the late 1960s, he released another single in 1974 on Touch Music, but it met with little commercial success. He has performed at the Bay Area Music ("Bammy") Awards in recent years.
- 1958 "Do You Want to Dance" (#5 Pop, #2 R&B)
- 1958 "Betty Lou Got a New Pair of Shoes" (#37 Pop, #20 R&B)
- 1958 "Need Your Love" (#54 Pop, #29 R&B)
- 1959 "Mary Ann Thomas" (#90 Pop)
- 1959 "Ebb Tide" (#93 Pop)
- 1960 "(I Do the) Shimmy Shimmy" (#37 Pop)
- 1961 "Mess Around" (#89 Pop)
- 1964 "C'mon and Swim" (#5 Pop)
- 1964 "S-W-I-M" (#56 Pop)
- 1974 "Everything's Love" (Uncharted)
- 1958 Do You Wanna Dance (Jubilee Records)
- 1959 Get in the Swim (Josie Records)
- 1960 Lovable Style of Bobby Freeman (King Records)
- 1964 C'mon and Swim (Autumn Records)
- The Rolling Stone Encyclopedia of Rock & Roll, Pareles, Jon & Romanowski, Patricia, eds., Summit Books 1983