Hospital's Freddie 'D' offers
Freddie Foley is a true believer in inspiration. When Foley was asked to
write a song in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. for the hospital's celebration
of King Day last month, he was somewhat apprehensive.
romantic, soulful sounds
"I didn't know where to begin," said Foley, who works in Emory
Hospital's Food and Nutrition Services Department. "So I prayed and
asked God for help in writing the music. Later on, as I was getting ready
for church one Sunday, this music started humming around inside of my head.
I didn't want to forget it, so I went and put it down on the computer. Then
I went back to the bathroom to continue getting ready for church, and the
words to the music just came to me out of the air. Before I left that house,
I had the whole song down."
By the time King Day rolled around, Foley had written two songs for the
event: "Let Freedom Ring" and "Amazing Love."
A lifetime of
Music has been an integral part of Foley's life since childhood. He
began playing trombone in elementary school, then switched to flute in the
seventh grade because "it's a passionate instrument," he said.
While still living in his native New Orleans, Foley formed a vocal group
called The Miraculous Four, which toured with B.B. King, Aaron Neville and
many others. He later moved to California and studied music at Los Angeles
City College where in addition to studying flute, tenor sax and piano, he
also took courses in orchestration, arranging and ear training.
Despite his love for music, Foley went through a period of about five years
when he didn't play at all. When he decided to start playing again, it was
not simply a matter of picking up the instrument and practicing with dedication.
After returning to New Orleans, Foley severely injured one of his fingers
and lost all feeling in it. Consequently, learning to play the flute again,
as well as taking up the acoustic guitar, required him to go through an
arduous process of rehabilitating his finger. All that work, Foley says,
has been well worth the effort.
Today, Foley performs at various venues around Atlanta as Freddie "D"
and he is backed by Fred Thomas on guitar and vocals and Johnny Pierce on
keyboards, alto/tenor saxophone and background vocals. Foley describes his
repertoire as quality music that varies from jazz and rhythm and blues to
'60s, '70s and '80s popular music. Foley uses computers equipped with digital
keyboards, sound effects and keyboard modules (keyboards without the keys,
he calls them).
"I'm really a balladeer," Foley said, "and I like to sing
a lot of love songs. I also write love songs. Some of my up tempo songs
are love songs. It's very relaxing, soothing music."
On Valentine's Day, Foley played for a large dinner dance at Temptations
Cafe in Gwinnett County. He is scheduled to perform March 8 and 22 at Catfish
Station across from City Hall East on Ponce de Leon Avenue. He also plays
frequently at Hairston's in Stone Mountain and at private events at churches
and other venues such as weddings, parties and cocktail receptions.
Artists whose work Foley enjoys playing include: Marvin Gaye, The Temptations,
Al Green, Smokey Robinson, Ray Charles, Ben E. King, Johnny Gill, the Whispers,
James Brown, David Sanborn and George Benson.
Foley also has released a CD titled "Here I Am" featuring four
of his most romantic tunes. The CD is not available in stores, but Foley
has some copies for sale. With the demand for his work increasing, Foley
is planning to meet with music store owners soon about the possibility of
carrying his music.
During the daytime hours, Foley puts away his flute and concentrates on
his work at Emory Hospital's Food and Nutrition Services Department. Foley
coordinates catered events at Asbury Court cafeteria, including the Lullwater
and Oxford meeting rooms located in the cafeteria. He also assists with
menu planning for catered events.
In addition to Asbury Court, Foley works closely with the Hospital's clinical
nutritionists in compiling reports on how many patients the nutritionists
see, how many meals per day are being served and the nutritional value of
Foley first came to Emory Hospital in 1994 as a temporary employee, but
was soon hired as a permanent staff member. Although he loves his work,
Foley still dreams of hitting the big time in the music business. "I
would love to have that kind of opportunity," he said. "But I
understand that the music business takes some consistency and just being
ready. I have found that success happens when preparation and opportunity
Editor's note: To purchase a copy of Foley's CD or for
information on booking him for an event, call (404) 294-5464.
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