Donald's Encyclopedia of Popular Music

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HART, Freddie

(b Frederick Segrest, 21 Dec. '26, Lochapoka AL) Country singer with sentimental ballad style. One of 15 children from very poor family; joined US Marines, after discharge worked in a band NYC; to Arizona '51 where he joined Left Frizzell and began writing songs. Signed with Capitol, made little impression as recording artist but was regular on Home Town Jamboree TV series in Hollywood. Signed to Columbia '57, had first hits with "The Wall', "The Key's In The Mailbox', "What A Laugh!' '59-61. To Kapp label '65 and cult record "Hank Williams' Guitar'; minor hits '66-8. Re-joined Capitol and was about to be dropped after 15 country hits '59-70, nine in top 40, when he had the biggest: "Easy Loving' '71, no. 1 country and top 20 pop, the only song to win CMA Song of the Year two years running ('71-2). He had 32 more country chart hits '72-87, 13 top tens incl. "My Hang-Up Is You', "Bless Your Heart' and three more all no. 1 '72-3. He label-hopped in the '80s, retired to his business interests.