Tenor: Harold Jones
Lead: Howard Rinkel
Bass: Morris “Mo” Rector
Bari: John Loots
The Society for the Preservation and Encouragement of Barbershop Harmony (SPEBSQSA) was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, so it was no surprise when Oklahoma quartets captured the first three International (then national) crowns. But it would be 20 years after the Society’s formation before the title returned to the Sooner state.
In 1958 in Columbus, Ohio, four Tulsa men called the Gaynotes won the gold medals as International champions. They were Harold Jones, tenor; Howard Rinkel, lead; John Loots, bari, and Morris “Mo” Rector, bass. Howard and John had sung in a couple of earlier quartets, including one sponsored by an ice cream company which required that they perform at least twice a week.
When the Gaynotes formed in 1953, Larry Stayer was tenor and Dick Galloway the bass.
Dick soon moved away and was replaced by Mo, who had started singing with quartets in high school. This combination won the Southwestern District championship in 1956, but Larry was visit page already planning to leave. The others contacted Harold Jones, a tenor in the Tulsa chorus, as a replacement. Although Harold had no quartet experience, he showed up at a rehearsal with a tape recorder, taped 13 songs and within two weeks had learned the tenor part to all of them.
It took the Gaynotes only three tries to win the gold; they placed third in 1957. They stayed together, with a two-year hiatus while Mo sang in a touring company of The Music Man, but disbanded when Mo moved to Texas in the mid-1960s