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1947 – The Doctors of Harmony

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Tenor: H.H. “Jumbo” Smith
Lead: Max “Junior” Cripe
Bass: Lee “Reverend” Kidder
Bari: Elton “Butch” Hummel

When the Elkhart, Indiana chapter of SPEBSQSA was formed in September 1943, Ron Younce, lead; Lee “Reverend” Kidder, bass; and Elton “Butch” Hummel, bari were already looking for a tenor they could push around. They found H.H. “Jumbo” Smith, standing five feet tall in his socks and weighing 125 pounds.

Kidder and Hummel had sung together in a high school quartet; Smith had sung as a baritone with two professional quartets and had been an acrobatic performer on the vaudeville stage. Younce went into the Navy and was replaced by Max “Junior” Cripe in the spring of 1944.

The Doctors of Harmony became the first Indiana state quartet champion at a contest held in January, 1945. Thirteen quartets competed. The quartet entered international competition in 1945 and placed fifth. The following year, they finished third place and in 1947 they won the international championship.

According to the Doctors, a prescription of hard work earned them the gold medals. One of the songs they sang in competition was a new tune entitled Mississippi Moon, written by Jumbo Smith, ending a rumor that judges only liked familiar songs.

The quartet disbanded in 1950. Kidder sang bass in the 1953 Cardinal District champion Clef Chefs, a quartet that became an international semifinalist in 1953 and 1954.

By | 2017-11-27T14:07:16-05:00 December 7th, 2011|All Champions, Uncategorized|Comments Off on 1947 – The Doctors of Harmony

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