Most of you know my love of football, food, family and friends along with a little tailgating.
I also love Barbershop Music, the special harmony (thanks to the baritone), the corny jokes, the overtone when that perfect blend is hit, the tag, the soft shoe/tap dancing with spats, the straw boater hats, and the afterglow parties after the show.
This past Sunday Dave and I had the pleasure of hearing Main Street barbershop quartet in a small venue in our club’s The Magic of Music series.
2011 International Medalists
“Established in 2011, Main Street quartet harkens back to the traditional style of barbershop harmony with soft shoe dance, slapstick routines and nostalgic songs – tipping their hat to the performances from turn of the century song and dance men…
With a shine on their shoes, a snap in their spats and a twirl of the hat…you’ve got a date with Main Street.
(Photo and bio courtesy of Main Street)
The members of Main Street (L to R), Mike McGee, Myron Whittlesey, Tony DeRosa and Roger Ross bring a combined 100+ years of barbershop experience to the stage. While their involvement within the Barbershop Harmony Society is impressive, all four members have been or currently are performers at Walt Disney World with the Dapper Dans of Main St. USA. Entertaining audiences outside of barbershop include performances in film, television, radio and musical theater.”
During our event, Main Street performed many of the traditional barbershop songs and then spoke of their histories… Their initial exposure to barbershop music…their love of the harmony…their passion for exposing others to this truely American Art form…their hope that young people will fall in love with the genre and carry on the tradition…
Please watch this video…My all time favorite barbershop song Lida Rose, from The Music Man.
I think these young people are stepping up to the plate.
“The Dapper Dans at Walt Disney World spins harmonies as they play the chimes, tap dance and regale audiences with vaudeville humor.”
Children of barbershoppers, which often become members, a precious commodity.
I guess I am a Barbershop Brat.
My father was a member of the Smokeyland Chorus in Knoxville, Tennessee. He sang bass. My sisters and I grew up listening to Sweet Adeline, Side By Side, Lida Rose, 76 Trombones, and Alexander’s Ragtime Band. We knew the bass part because we heard it every night as he practiced.
We also knew our fine art would be singing. We all joined our high school chorus. Our choral director, John Ribble was the director of the Smokeyland Chorus. He also sang lead with a great quartet, “The Dignitaries”. My sisters and I took voice lessons from Gil Oxendine, the Dignitaries’ tenor. Our special family friend, Frank Hambright sang lead with the Smokeyland Chorus, tuned pianos for anyone and everyone that performed in Knoxville (including Elton John when I was in college. He called me up and said he had just tuned some guy with crazy glasses’ piano.) He had a radio show showcasing Barbershop for years.
Another good family friend, Jimmy Kennedy, sang barbershop, (wrote and arranged a song for me for my wedding), played in the UT band, and now is a celebrated choral director at Powell High School, inspiring new generations of young people to sing! Please click here to see his Hands In The Air Movie.
Singing “Side by Side” with my Daddy, Jim Lovett.
Don’t think too many people sing barbershop and drink wine at the same time…but it’s a party.
Our exposure to barbershop music began early and we loved it.
By the way, I was a member of The Sweet Adelines, Jacksonville Harmony Chorus.
Sang baritone! The part no one wants, but is a necessity for the spine tingling harmony.
And now you wonder why I never took an art class until I was way older.
Come celebrate with me. I’ll always save you a seat at the table!
Or better yet, visit Walt Disney World to enjoy the Dapper Dans unique singing form.