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Early Rock Figure Bobby Freeman Dies At 76

DALY CITY (CelebrityAccess) — Bobby Freeman, an early progenitor of rock n' roll, who scored a big hit with his song “Do You Want to Dance,” died on Jan. 23 at his home in Daly City. He was 76.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, his son, Robert Freeman Jr., said the cause of death as a heart attack.

Freeman wrote and recorded the song that became “Do You Wanna Dance,” at the age of 17. The song reached No. 5 on the Billboard singles chart and would become a featured piece of music in George Lucas's nostalgic 1978 film "American Graffiti" that sparked the '60s revival and led to other films such as "Grease." The song would go on to be re-recorded by artists ranging from Bette Midler to the Ramones.

Freeman also took part in one of the Bay Area's first major rock concert, when he appeared as a featured performer at Chubby Checker’s Twist Party at the Cow Palace on Jan. 27, 1962.

Freeman would go on to score a second top ten charting hit in 1964 with "C'mon and Swim" which peaked at #5 on the US pop charts.

In addition to his son, Robert, he is survived by another son, Jerrald; his partner of 17 years, Michele Ellen; two daughters, April Freeman and Nichole Hackett; and several grandchildren. – Staff Writers