RIP Bobby Freeman

Photo courtesy of

In 1964, we were introduced to Bobby Freeman doing “the swim.” Remember this?

Mr. Freeman was born in San Francisco on June 13, 1940 and died on January 23, 2017  at 76 years of age. He was considered San Francisco’s first rock star. But “C’mon and Swim” was not his only hit. In 1958, he recorded, “Do You Wanna Dance.” That song was also recorded by many other artists, including the Beach Boys and Bette Midler.

According to Rolling Stone magazine, the lead guitar on Freeman’s original recording was played by Jerry Garcia. This was years before we would know him as a member of the Grateful Dead.

“Do You Wanna Dance” was also featured in George Lucas’ movie “American Graffiti” in 1973. Freeman’s original recording is included on the “American Graffiti” album. Here is the song with some great still photos from the film, including some of Mel’s Drive-In in San Francisco.


RIP Bobby Freeman,