Tenor: Tim McShane
Lead: Chuck Sisson
Bass: Don Bagley
Bari: Dick Kingdon
The Chiefs of Staff won the championship on July 4th of 1988 in San Antonio during the Society’s 50th anniversary convention. They were the last recipients of the original International Quartet (Landino) Trophy.
It began during a picnic in the fall of 1983. Don Bagley got the quartet bug again during the Seattle Int’l and approached Chuck Sisson. They found southside Irishman tenor Tim McShane was available and then sang a few tags with lead, soon to be bari, Dick Kingdon in the Illinois District hospitality room at the 1984 St Louis Int’l. The foursome was set.
They decided that the sound was pretty good and stage presence help was needed. They worked with George Gipp (Cincinnati Kids and Chicago Chord of Trade). They also enlisted the help of sound and interpretation coaches Jay Giallombardo and Ken Buckner, and used the top arrangers of the day, David Wright, Greg Lyne, and Buzz Haeger. Musically the foundation was strong.
Non-singing mic time was assigned to Don, a natural storyteller. They worked on sharing the emotions of the song with their audience and succeeded adding to their popularity as a top quartet.
The Chiefs won the 1984 Illinois District Championship and moved up the ladder at the International quartet competition – 12th in 1985, 5th in 1986, 3rd in 1987 and finally FIRST in ’88.
Bass Don Bagley was a member of the Arlington Heights, ILL Arlingtones chapter. He started singing barbershop in 1961 while in the Northeastern District in quartets such as The B-Sharps.
He and his wife, CarolAnn, were a perfect “barbershop couple“. They met in 1966 at the Int’l convention there while Don was stationed in the Army in San Antonio and directing the Chordsman Chorus. She was from Oklahoma and working for the Sweet Adelines International Headquarters in Tulsa.
Don was in two other top quartets, Soundtracks (1971) and Tin Pan Allies (1981) who were both ILL district champs. He won his first medal (5th) with the Soundtracks in 1974.
CarolAnn sang lead with Jubilation in 1985 to win the Sweet Adeline Crown beating him to the championship by three years. They are only the third husband and wife couple to win both organization’s top honor.
Don has also served as president of the Association of Int’l Champs (AIC). He and CarolAnn now live in Florida.
Lead Chuck Sisson joined the Society in 1982 and came to barbershop as a church choir, folk trio, gospel trio singer with musical theatre experience. He starred his senior year of high school as Billy Bigelow in Carousel. Within weeks of joining the Arlingtones he was in a quartet called Four on the Floor. His strong voice and heartfelt presentations as lead were major contributing factor to the big sound of this quartet. Chuck still lives in the Chicago area and has worked in local theatre in recent years. As successful graphic designer, Chuck designed the new quartet trophy (the Hugh Ingram Trophy) that was presented the champs the following year.
Tenor Tim McShane is a native Chicagoan, was president of his HS glee-club and member of the All-City Choir. He formed his first quartet after seeing The Music Man on TV. In 1970 he joined the Southwest Suburban / Oaklawn chapter His first Society quartet, The Melody Four had only been together a year when they auditioned for a production of The Music Man – they got the part. Prior to the Chiefs he sang with Soundfitters Union (1976) and Daily Favorites (1983) and placed in the finals of the ILL district contests.
Bari Dick Kingdon hailed from South Dakota and recalls lots of singing at family gatherings not realizing the harmonizing was based on barbershopping. He started, as most, in high school and church choirs and glee clubs. He joined the Society in 1976 (Lombard) and was an international semi-finalist with Friends in 1980, 1981 and 1982. He sang LEAD with the 1987 International Chorus Champion West Towns and served as their lead section leader although he sang bari with the Chiefs. He’s now singing with a senior quartet, Take Note.
The produced three LPs Tribute, Solid Gold and Memories. They were best know for their renditions of Sam The Accordion Man, Ma, She’s Makin’ Eyes At Me, Brother Can You Spare a Dime, It’s a Great Day For the Irish (from their ground-breaking Leprechaun set at Int’l) Kiss Me One More Time, Lonesome, That’s All and What Kind of Fool Am I?