Thursday, September 3, 2015

A Few Hundred Barbershop Quartet Enthusiasts Walk Into an Auditorium...

Hi, everyone,

First, I want to mention a couple of notes I got that the sound files for download on earlier posts weren't working. This is correct - they weren't. This problem seems to have now been solved, as they were working for download five minutes ago.

About the name of this post: here's a short bit of tape (four minutes) that I just LOVE.

This segment came in the middle of a fairly lengthy tape of a barbershop quartet contest. The tape quality was awful - it was recorded at the low-fi speed of 1 7/8 AND the tape was literally coming apart, flaking away in places. I had one shot to copy it, and I kept the part that I found worth keeping, before throwing what was left of the tape away.

For in the middle of the program, while setting up for another act, someone on stage had a bright idea (maybe this is common at these contests, I don't know): we have several hundred fans of Barbershop Quartet singing in our audience. It's a good bet most of them know how to sing in Barbershop style. Lets have EVERYONE sing a few Barbershop standards, since they'll all know at least one of the four parts.

The results are just lovely, even given the cruddy quality of the sound. First, there are two goes at "Let Me Call You Sweetheart", and then a stab at "I Want a Girl Just Like the Girl That Married Dear Old Dad".

This is truly one of the "little" treasures of my collection.

Download: Barbershop Audience Sings Together

(And that's a group that did it's share of Barbershop Quartet singing - The Mellomen, with Thurl Ravenscroft on the right.)


  1. What a beautiful thing to have captured.......and for you to have preserved!!! Thank you, Bob!!!!

  2. This brings back memories of congregational singing at church. You rarely hear large groups of people able to sing like this anymore. How lovely.

  3. This is indeed great. Thank you for preserving and sharing it.

  4. Given the large amount of female voices on this tape, I wonder if it was not just a barbershop contest but maybe a Sweet Adelines contest as well?

  5. Thanks for all the comments - I'm glad this connected with others as it does with me. Stu, I vaguely remember the rest of the tape, and believe their were female groups as well.

  6. Another unique find. Thank you for the work you do.