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Episode 14:

Season 3 – Carol Jean Fremy Swist

Released: June 17, 2023

About This Episode:

Carol Jean Swist joined Rockabilly Greg “In the Flamingo Lounge” on April 27, 2023 and talked about very vast career and the many people that she has had the honor to work with over the years.

Photo by: Frank Priore

Carol Jean Swist’s best advice for having a happy and fulfilling life in music: “Be born into a musical family and always hang out with wonderful musician friends. I’ve done both.”

Carol Jean recalls walking to her childhood teacher’s house for piano lessons. She began performing in elementary school groups and was playing professionally during high school and college years in an era where there were plenty of clubs and gigs that could be either one-nighters, or even six nights in the same place.

Many remember her from the oldies group “Big Wheelie and the Hubcaps”, who sold over 100,000 copies of the album Solid Grease. But then, Carol Jean moved into other genres. In country, she had long tenures with Mike Thompson, DeeAnn DiMeo Tompkins, Buffalo Zew Review, and Jimmy Yeomans. Given her heart for the R&B, soul and blues genres, she joined Barbara St. Clair’s band “The Shadows” in the 90s. Amazingly, “The Shadows” still perform today as Terrie George and the Shadows with original members Carol Jean, Chris Haug and Bobby Falk.

Carol Jean treasured playing with Buffalo Blues Brother’s Jon Rose (RIP), Joyride’s John Collins (RIP), the acclaimed Nick Salomone (RIP), and Greg Zark in The Sharks. She also played with Mo Porter and also The Bravuras and Sweet Tumbleweed with April Mazzone and Jack Civiletto for many years.

Today, she’s a member of the “Veltri-Guarino R&B Soul Reviews”, “The Donna Rose Band”, “The 12-Pack Jack Blues Band”, and other projects.

Carol Jean has a both a B.F.A. and an Ed. M. in visual arts, music and education from SUNY Buffalo. She taught all grades for 25 years in Buffalo and Tonawanda City Schools and was inducted into the Buffalo Music Hall of Fame in 2001. She lovingly credits her local piano teachers Al Tinney, Russ Messina, Larry Eason, and Tony Manno as well as her mom, dad, and sisters Nita and Diana Fremy for propelling her into a life of music.

Below is a pictorial journey of Carol’s career.

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