1971 Freddie Hart – Easy Loving
Frederick Segrest grew up with 11 brothers and sisters in Alabama. He began playing guitar at age five and quit school by age twelve. After lying about his age, he enrolled in the U.S. Marine Corps and survived active duty in the Pacific theater during World War II.
He began writing Country songs and used the name Freddie Hart professionally. He began releasing singles in 1953, but did not reach the charts until 1959. In the mid-fifties, Carl Smith, Patsy Cline, and George Jones recorded some of the songs he wrote.
Eight of his singles for Columbia Records and later Kapp Records reached the top thirty on the US Country charts between 1959 and 1967. He then signed with Capitol Records. None of his singles charted at all in 1969. A #27 single in 1970 preceded three more singles that failed to reach the top forty. Capitol Records then ended his contract.
In 1969, Freddie recorded a song he had written, Easy Loving. A disk jockey in Atlanta began playing the song regularly in the Summer of 1970, and other radio stations picked up the record as well.
The single eventually reached #1 on the Country charts. Capitol, of course, then resigned Freddie to a new contract.
The record crossed over to the pop charts in the US and peaked at #17 on the Hot 100 in 1971. He never reached the Hot 100 chart again.
Easy Loving also reached #28 on the Adult Contemporary chart, the only time he reached that chart as well.
Freddie’s next five singles for Capitol all hit the top of the Country chart, and another half-dozen top five singles followed. He continued recording top forty Country hits through 1981, after which he switched over to a successful career in Gospel music.
Freddie died after a bout of pneumonia in 2018.
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