Write Again . . . A life-long love affair

Published 8:00 pm Monday, February 23, 2015

My friend Donald Wallace is not singing in a gospel quartet now. His baritone in “Redeemed” relocated some time ago, hence the demise of their musical foursome.

When you sing with a group for a number of years, then lose a member, it’s difficult to recruit someone who can, or will, learn an extensive repertoire. And whose voice is compatible.

Donald says his voice has become weak (compared to days of old), and that he’ll roll over to 80 his next birthday. Giving up something you truly love is very hard. He has been singing in quartets for about 100 years, bringing enjoyment to untold numbers of folks, and certainly much pleasure to himself.

Although my current quartet “Men ‘n a Chord” is a barbershop harmony as opposed to a gospel quartet, we have an extensive repertoire of gospel songs. We love singing them in our a capella style.

At three-quarters of a century plus one, I’m not very far behind Donald in birthdays. My love of barbershop harmony began when I was 10 years old, and I started actually singing it when I was 15. Now, that’s a whole lot of harmonizing, of ringing chords.

My best assessment is that my singing days are nearing an end also. I tell folks I’m not nearly as good now as I once thought I was (and probably wasn’t). Truth to tell, I always brought a lot more enthusiasm than talent to the endeavor.

I’ve sung with barbershop choruses, over the years, in Greenville, New Bern, Raleigh, Asheville, and helped to start one on the Outer Banks.

My quarteting began in high school, and there have been many more quartets since then. All of those experiences provided special enjoyment, and all of those with whom I sang have a special place in my harmony heart. (Well, almost all of them.)

Well, now, enough of this rambling, which can’t be of burning interest to those of you kind enough to still be reading this.

Let me end with a commercial. Should any of you need a program for your civic club, church group, community arts affair, or special occasion, perhaps you might consider “Men ‘n a Chord.” We would love to entertain you, to put you in harmony’s way.

Because of our ages, however, perhaps I should add: Hurry. This offer is for a limited time only.

Singcerely . . .