Tenor: Keith Houts
Lead: Brian Beck
Bass: Earl Hagn
Bari: Dennis Malone
When the Side Street Ramblers of Dallas captured the 1983 international championship in Seattle, lead Brian Beck collected his second gold quartet medal. Bass Earl Hagn, however, was singing in his first quartet.
Discrepancies in experience and height (Earl was 6’5 while Brian was 5′ barely) seem to typify the quartet’s ups and downs, ins and outs, and backs and forths on their long road to the gold.
Tenor Keith Houts, bari Dennis Malone, and then-lead Jim Law were seeking a bass in 1975 when Dennis’ company suddenly transferred him to California, with only a slight chance he would return.
The other three found Earl (a guest at a Vocal Majority Chorus rehearsal. Dennis did return, and the Ramblers won the 1976 Southwestern District Contest. They placed 28th at the 1977 convention, qualified for the 1978 contest – and then Jim Law moved away. Because Jim had moved, they had to skip the competition in Cincinnati.
Their coach, Bill Thornton, who with Brian had won a gold medal in Dealer’s Choice, stepped into the lead slot, and the Ramblers jumped to 7th place in 1979, repeating that finish in 1980. Bill then moved to Oklahoma City, and Brian became the Ramblers’ third lead. The results were third-place bronze medals in both 1981 and 1982, and finally, in 1983, the gold.