Welcome to the site!  It was first established in 2008 for you folks; Freddie's family, fans and friends.  Visit Freddie's Facebook tribute page by Scott Wikle here:  https://www.facebook.com/FreddieHartHOF/

By now of course, you have all heard that Freddie Hart, known to millions of Country Music fans the world over as “Mr. Easy Lovin’” passed away Saturday October 27th, 2018 in Burbank California.  But his legacy and this site will live on.

Freddie served in the Marines during World War 2 and then began his professional career in music when Lefty Frizzell hired him to go on the road with him. Lefty got Freddie a recording contract with Capitol Records and in 1953 he released his first song “Butterfly Love” with Hank Thompson’s band The Brazos Valley Boys backing him on the session. It was also during this time that Freddie had already made a huge impact as a songwriter penning hit songs such as “Loose Talk” for Carl Smith, “Lovin’ In Vain” for Patsy Cline and “My Tears Are Overdue” for George Jones among many others. Freddie was also the first person to record Harlan Howard’s country standard “The Key’s In The Mailbox”.

Freddie performed regularly on the television show “Town Hall Party” during the 1950’s. He recorded for Capitol, Columbia, Monument and Kapp records during the ‘50’s and ‘60’s building up an impressive catalog of songs, largely self penned.

But it was not until 1970, when he re-signed with Capitol Records that a song on one of his albums caught the attention of a disc jockey who began playing the song on the air and it became an overnight sensation. Of course that song was “Easy Loving” which became Freddie’s signature song. The record sold millions of copies all over the world and earned Freddie virtually every award in the Country Music industry including “Entertainer Of The Year”, “Male Vocalist Of The Year”, “Album Of The Year”, and “Single Of The Year”. “Easy Loving” had the distinction of becoming the first to be voted song of the year in two consecutive years, 1971 and 1972. The only other time this has happened was with George Jones for “He Stopped Loving Her Today” in 1980 and 1981. “Easy Loving” also won Freddie a Grammy award.

In the 1970’s Freddie toured as a superstar all over the world with his band “The Heartbeats” The number one hits continued through the decade including “Trip To Heaven”, “Got The All Overs For You”, “Bless Your Heart”, “My Hang Up Is You” and “The Want To’s”.  All together Freddie scored 14 number one hits worldwide and 34 top ten records.

Freddie appeared on many television programs over the years including “Hee Haw”, “Grand Ole Opry”, “Nashville Now”, “Mike Douglas Show”, “Dinah Shore Show”, “George Jones Show” and more recently, Country’s Family Reunion” and “Marty Stuart Show”.

During the 1980’s Freddie continued to tour and released albums for Sunbird and Fifth Avenue records.  As time went by, Freddie began recording his Gospel songs and in later years received numerous awards in that field also. To this day Freddie’s songs have been played on radio stations every day since 1953.

Perhaps Freddie’s proudest moment came in 2004 with his induction to the Nashville Songwriter’s Hall Of Fame.

During the 2000’s Freddie released several Gospel albums and this year completed a Gospel album of all original songs. The album “God Bless You”, produced by country music legend David Frizzell and released on Nashville America Records, is now available from David Frizzell's website (see crawl at top of page).

In addition to many brothers and sisters, Freddie is survived by his wife of 61 years, Ginger and sons Freddie Jr., Andy, Joe and Victor.



Presenting The Heartbeats

Ask most musicians what the major key to a successful career is and they'll tell you: it's a great back-up band.  With Freddie, it's the Heartbeats. The website staff recently did some in-depth research to bring you some interesting information about the Hearbeats members. 

J.D. Walters

James Dawson Walters was the pedal steel guitar master of the Heartbeats.  He grew up in Pascagoula, Mississippi, and lived in that area for the first 30 years of his life.  Musical ability ran in the family; his mother and younger sister both played piano.

J. D. began playing music at the tender age of six. His father William Edward "Doc" Walters arranged for him to take steel guitar lessons on a cheap beginner six-string acoustic guitar that he'd bought.

It was difficult learning at first because J.D. had just started school and couldn't yet read or do basic math. It was difficult for him to understand the numbering chart method they used on the steel guitar. However, he persisted, and by Christmas time, he found he'd developed an "ear" for music and was able to pick out and play "Silent Night" and other Christmas tunes. His playing ability grew dramatically better. As a result, his father bought him a real six-string electric steel guitar.

As J. D.'s skills progressed, the influence of the western swing sounds of Pee Wee Whitewing, Bob White and Curly Chalker worked their way into his playing style. He was also influenced by Buddy Emmons. You can hear the unique blend of these styles when J. D. plays.

J.D.'s wife was expecting their first child when he first went to work with Freddie. They were so broke they didn't have any insurance. One day Freddie called him into the back room and gave him enough money to pay all of the expenses.

"Freddie was good to me," he was quoted as saying.

The money problem went bye-bye when "Easy Lovin'" hit the radio.  In a September 14, 2000 article entitled "Hart concert reunites singer (with former steel player)," by John Wooley of Tulsa World Entertainment, J.D. chuckled as he was quoted as saying:

"I remember that we'd have to play it three or four times at every concert, especially the year it came out. We'd play two or three songs and people would start screaming for it. We'd play it, and then we'd play two or three more songs, and they'd start screaming for it again. I've played `Easy Lovin' ' so many times. I didn't write it, but it sure made me a great living."

In November 1986, J. D. and his wife Linda decided it was time to come off the road, so they packed up the family and moved from Nashville to Linda's hometown of Bellingham, Massachusetts. They wanted to give their children the quality time they needed. There, they worked in a local band called The Wyoming Machinery Company which included two of the former Heartbeats.

In that same article by  John Wooley, Freddie was quoted as saying this about the man:  "I can't say enough good about all the Heartbeats, and J.D. was the biggest component of that. He was a great leader, and, as a steel man, he can't be beat."

J. D. and his family eventually moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma. He found himself in the same town that Bob and Johnnie Lee Wills built. 

J.D. was inducted into the Pioneers of Western Swing in 2005.

More recently, he's been a member of the Brazos Valley Boys, a country/western swing band. Recently put out a couple of CD's; the first, entitled Remembering: Now and Then. J.D. Walters and Special Guests available for $15 plus shipping from their website at www.brazosvalleyboys.com.  And, in 2013 he put out a CD entitled “Honolulu Tennessee,” featuring Duane Boyd.