On my lunchtime, I took 15 minutes or so slide all my records over one shelf space. If there’s anything else quite so satisfying as making more room in your existing record collection, I haven’t found it. Anyway, while doing so I came across this long forgotten album, the ‘Barbershop Quartet Winners – 1959‘.
It beats the living shit out of me where I got this from; probably a dusty box at a flea market somewhere or maybe along the side of the road on garbage day – who knows. And judging by the smell emanating off this album that is equal parts dust, mold, mildew and kitty litter, the roadside might not be far from the truth.
I don’t actually think I’ve ever listened to it to be perfectly honest but today I’m thinking: “Hey, how about a little Barbershop Quartet this afternoon?”
I mean, really, why not?
Obviously the album cover has seen better days but the record inside is still good as new. Well, as good as a record from nearly 60 years ago can be anyway. From what does remain of the album cover I can determine that this was originally recorded at the Civic Opera House, in Chicago, Ill., at the Barbershop Quartet finals, on July 3rd, 1959. It features performances by the ultimate competition winners The Four Pitchikers, as well as the Evans Quartet (2nd place finishers), the Town and Country Four (3rd place finishers), the Easternaires (4th place finishers) and The Short Cuts (5th place finishers). Each group, quartet, whatever, sings two or three songs from what I am guessing was their set at the competition.
It’s certainly a different listen from what I am accustomed to but it’s actually quite fun. However, having said that, after handling it, I now have to thoroughly wipe my hands down with Lysol to ensure I don’t come down with some sort of rare fossilized strain of Ebola or something.
By the way, whatever happened to Barbershop Quartet? How is this not a think anymore? Or is it? If it isn’t, it should be. Hey, anyone want to meet me at the corner of Thunder Bay and Ridge Roads tonight by the blazing garbage can to practice?