Write Again …An unforgettable character

Published 3:27 pm Wednesday, July 27, 2022

Freddy King. You never knew him. Never heard of him.

For those of us, probably in the thousands, literally, who did know him, or simply just saw him perform, felt they not only knew him, but that Freddy knew them as well.

His personality was powerfully, pleasantly, pleasing. His talents towering, and could he ever entertain, and make you laugh. Could he ever.

Freddy could be counted upon for any who might say “Make my day.” In a good way, not some Clint-like, movie macho crap.

In the world of barbershop harmony, Freddy King may have been, and still be remembered as, the greatest icon ever. Fact.

Freddy’s chorus, the Chorus of the Chesapeake, which he directed for years, and regularly put eighty or more on the risers, won an International Championship. So too did his quartet the Oriole Four. His women’s chorus also garnered many awards. His last quartet, Sage, which earned honors in the seniors category, was quite good and truly entertaining.

When I was a member of the Sir Walter Chorus many years ago, we brought Freddy down for a weekend of listening, learning, and singing.

After one intense but inspiring session of singing, being evaluated by Freddy, and loving his humor, he said something I’ll never forget.

He asked us, after one song, “Gentlemen, do you really know what this weekend, this hobby of ours, is all about? It’s a love affair. We are sharing our love.”

At an international convention/contest in a city, the name of which now eludes me, Freddy, on-stage, told us about one of his chapter’s former chorus members, long-since departed to that “Chapter Eternal”, who once said (to Freddy), “May your life be as beautiful as you were in the mind of God even before you were born.” Freddy wished that for all of us too.

If Freddy had never reached the zenith of the Barbershop Harmony Society world, if he had never had a career as a choral music school teacher, he could have made his mark as a standup comic. He was really that good.

Freddy did not hide his light under the proverbial bushel basket. He shared his talents, his passion, freely. In so doing he enriched countless lives. This weary world could use more like him.

Freddy King. You never knew him. Never heard of him.

I did. How fortunate for me, for each of us who did.

APROPOS – “For some, there really is a brotherhood of harmony.”