Ernie Freeman

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Ernie Freeman (August 16, 1922 in Cleveland, OH - May 16, 1981 in Hawaii) is name-checked on the cover of "Freak Out!" (1966) under the heading "These People Have Contributed Materially In Many Ways To Make Our Music What It Is. Please Do Not Hold It Against Them". One of so many interesting behind-the-scenes figures of early rock & roll, pianist and arranger Freeman played on numerous early rock and R&B sessions in the '50s. He worked on dates for the L.A. indies Specialty, Modern, and Aladdin, as well as white artists such as Duane Eddy, Johnny Burnette, the Crickets, Bobby Vee, and Buddy Knox; his most memorable session appearance was probably on the Platters' "The Great Pretender", to which he contributed the stuttering piano riffs. Freeman also put out many instrumental records of his own, mostly for Imperial, and usually in a generic rocked-up jump R&B sort of style. Sometimes had Carol Kaye, name-checked on the cover of "Freak Out!" (1966) under the heading "Mothers' Auxiliary", as a studio musician. He had minor hits with a cover of Chubby Checker's "The Twist". He also recorded in the easy-listening style under the pseudonym Sir Chauncey. His own career petered out by the mid-'60s, but he worked with Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and Sammy Davis Jr. at Reprise Records, and as late as 1970 was doing some string arrangements on Simon & Garfunkel's "Bridge Over Troubled Water" album.

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