Our favorite phone calls at Harmony Hall come from customers unfamiliar with some of the grandmaster barbershop arrangers. "Do you have this music by Way-esh?" "It looks like SAY-Boo."
Did you know you can search by arranger in the Harmony Marketplace? Try typing in Waesche, Szabo, or Latzko to see the hundreds of charts these men wrote. Then realize many of these guys wrote without being able to hear the Finale playback as a crutch. That's ace musicianship, guys.
And that's to say nothing of Val Hicks, Earl Moon, Roger Payne, Freddie King, and a dozen other past giants. Sift through and find some classic roots barbershop. Think "The Shadow of Your Smile" "Who'll Dry Your Tears?" "From the First Hello" and other iconic babashaaaawp songs.
Part of the pleasure of rummaging around the catalog is finding charts in the arranger's own hand. Yes, it's nice to read a clear, typeset sheet of music; but there is something thrilling and organic about seeing Walter's hand on "Emaline."
Here are a few faves you might recall.:
- Ed Waesche, "Midnight Rose" (also with learning tracks)
- Walter Latzko, "Without A Song" as sung by The Buffalo Bills, The Sun Tones, Bluegrass Student Union and Keepsake
- Val Hicks, "Walkin' My Baby Back Home"
- Burt Szabo, "Shenandoah"