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1939 – Bartlesville Barflies

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Tenor: George McCaslin
Lead: Harry Hall
Bass: Herman Kaiser
Bari: Bob Durand

In 1937 the American Legion in Bartlesville, Oklahoma decided to put on a minstrel show. New in town, a wiry little man by the name of Harry Hall who was born and raised in England, had produced a minstrel show in Pawhuska, OK so he got the job of putting this show together.

All the men in town were invited to participate and sing. Having some experience with singing close harmony, George McCaslin was appointed as committee of one to come up with a quartet. Just like that – abracadabra.

McCaslin listened around and discovered that one of the minstrel end men, Herman Kaiser, was doing a good job of putting the bass to the choral songs. Harry Hall volunteered to sing tenor but as chairman of the quartet committee, McCaslin made Hall sing the lead part and took the tenor for himself. Someone suggested that there was a young, just-out-of-college baritone down at the First National Bank.

With the usual skepticism of a quartet man searching for a good baritone, McCaslin dropped in to have a look at Bob Durand and invited him to a quartet rehearsal. Their first session sounded good; the resulting Bartlesville American Legion Minstrel Quartet was the hit of the show.

The following year, O. C. Cash was looking for a quartet to sing at the state teacher’s convention in Tulsa and asked McCaslin if his quartet was available. They were willing to sing and O. C. informed the local newspaper. Cash told a reporter covering the story that the quartet was called the Bartlesville Barflies.

Owen Cash not only founded the Society for the Preservation and Encouragement of Barber Shop Quartet Singing in America, but he named what would turn out to be its first championship quartet.

By | 2017-11-27T14:07:15-05:00 December 22nd, 2011|All Champions, Uncategorized|Comments Off on 1939 – Bartlesville Barflies

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