In Celebration of the Human Voice - The Essential Musical Instrument
In the 1930's The St. Louis Cardinals baseball team was nicknamed "The Gas House Gang" to describe the players' fiery attitude toward the game and their fun-loving style of play. In 1987 a quartet from the St. Louis area chose the name to match its own personality. Since that time, the foursome's energetic singing style and diverse repertoire have proven the appropriateness of the title to people across North America and Europe. After winning the 1988 Central States District Competition in their first attempt, they began a steady climb up the International Competition ladder which culminated in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, where they were awarded the 1993 International Quartet Championship with the highest point total ever scored on the International stage.
The Gas House Gang has performed in 40 states and has sung in such diverse locales as Hawaii, England, Sweden, Holland and New York City's Carnegie Hall. They have been seen nation-wide on the recent PBS special, "Voices in Harmony," and have been heard world-wide on BBC radio. Performers with whom they have shared the stage include such distinguished musicans as The Four Freshmen, The Swingle Singers, Rockapella, The Persuasions, The Chordettes, The King's Singers, The St. Louis Symphony Orchestra and Victor Borge. The Gang made its theatrical debut in front of over 70,000 people as the barbershop quartet in "The Music Man" at The Muny, one of the world's largest outdoor theaters. They have produced three recordings which have consistently been top sellers in the Primarily A Cappella catalog, and were recently awarded three nominations by the Contemporary A Cappella Society of America, including Best Barbershop Song, Studio Album of the Year, and Artist of the Year.
The coming months will find them in Germany, Australia and New Zealand. Kipp Buckner - tenor, Rich Knight- lead, Rob Henry - baritone, and Jim Henry - bass, hope that you too will enjoy their brand of A Cappella Harmony at its "Rough-and-Tumble" Best.
JIM HENRY - Bass for the GHG, is a choral music professor for Lindenwood College in St Charles, Missouri. He is one of the directors for the Ambassadors Of Harmony, a 100+ men's chorus singing a wide variety of a cappella music. Jim joined the barbershop society at a very early age (11) and became enthralled in all types of music. He is currently working on his PHD in music and arranges many of the songs for the GHG including the popular Eine Kline NOT Musik and I Still Can't Say Goodbye. Jim and his wife Geda live in St Peters, MO with their 17 year old daughter Lydia and their new "pride and joy" Gea Rose! Born on Easter Sunday 1999, she is the newest GHG family member!
ROB HENRY - Joining the society in 1980, Rob joined younger brother Jim in the Ambassadors of Harmony and with their father Bob, continued the family tradition. Blending with brother Jim on bass, Rob's smooth baritone and ability to place the notes "just right" is what makes the GHG's full mellow sound. Rob works as a mortgage lender and is also one of the directors for the Ambassadors of Harmony and is a sought after coach.Rob lives in Florrisant, MO with his wife Sue. They were married in the summer of 1998 and have a very active lifestyle. They are both certified SCUBA divers and can be seen showing off their fins whenever the GHG sings someplace warm! They play golf, tennis, they raise tropical fish and enjoy "getting out of the house" and seeing the sights of Missouri on a regular basis.
KIPP BUCKNER - Singing tenor comes naturally for Kipp. Maybe it's because his voice never changed! He joined the Louisville Thoroughbred chorus at the age of 14 and along with his dad Ken and brother Todd, had the same kind of family connection as the Henry boys. He is one of 12 elite members of the barbershop society who have won the coveted gold medal two times. Once in 1987 with the Interstate Rivals quartet, and the second with the GHG in 1993. He is an Administrative Assistant in the computer department of BT Office Products International.Still newlyweds, Kipp lives in St Charles, MO with his wife Kirsten. A true come-to-life-Brady-Bunch-story, they were both living on their own and raising 2 children each! With 2 boys and 2 girls they are a very......"even" family. Gage (7), Kila (5), Taylor (3) and Keegan (3) are enjoying the blending of their families and getting along just fine, along with their new American Eskimo puppy named Coda!
RICH KNIGHT - A cappella groups are set a part from one another by song selections, stage personas, costumes and by just the unique sound that they make. Most of the personality comes from the melody or "lead" singer. The GHG is fortunate to have a truly gifted lead singer, Rich. His genuine and fluid sound makes the GHG sound unique. Their pleasant, soothing sound is largely due to Rich's voice. He joined the society in the late 70's having sung various other styles of music. Always leaning toward the groups with good vocal harmonies, Rich heard the Ambassadors of Harmony at a local concert and signed up the next day! He has been involved with the chorus and several quartets since that day and has sung lead and tenor...very well.Rich lives in Lake St Louis, MO with his partner Jan Bultman. He is a high school drafting teacher and enjoys ALL outdoor sports. The two of them can be found skiing, camping, boating, golfing or just riding around on the motorcycle...in the summer months of course!
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We're Little But We're Loud
Review: In 1987 a St. Louis, MO municipal band was looking for a barbershop group to sing "Lida Rose" for the "Music Man" section of their Broadway tribute. When no local groups were available, Rob Henry found three friends to sing with him. The four loved the sound, came up with a name, and the group is still together sixteen years, thirteen countries, forty nine states, five recordings and an international championship later. Sadly, Rob contracted cancer and died this year after recording this fifth CD with the group, it is dedicated with love to him. The GHG sings with a lot of feeling, humor, and ringing harmonies that take our breath away. Beethoven 5.1, the opening cut, is a seven-minute tour-de-force with wonderful, funny, personal lyrics that go on for four pages. eleven more songs: the 70's summer anthem "Lazy Day," Lennon/McCartney's "Blackbird/I Will" and "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da," "Goodbye,World, Goodbye," "My Coloring Book," "We're Little But Were Loud," "Great Day," Carole King's "Will You Love Me Tomorrow?", "Ezekiel Saw The Wheel," Billy Joel's "Lullabye" and the inspirational "Hold On." The GHG is our best-selling barbershop group, and with good reason. Highly recommended!
The Little Drummer Boy
Review: TWO YEARS IN THE MAKING!!! Perfection achieved!! Enough hyperbole already, you think to yourself? Not a chance...where's the thesaurus. Ok, we'll rein in our enthusiasm and resort to merely telling you about a Christmas album sung by one of the greatest barbershop quartets of our time. On this recording we listen to a quartet who achieves the tightest harmonies humanly possible apply those talents to traditional Christmas music. It's funny but as they aren't specifically singing barbershop chording, it is only occasionally that we remember just what tradition this fabulous singing springs from. Touches of jazz, elements of gospel reverence, and moments of almost operatic virtuosity abound throughout and all come together with vocal percussionist Jeff Thatcher of Rockapella adding his talents on "Go Tell It On the Mountain." We were also struck momentarily speechless when we found that, for the first time in quite a while, we actually enjoyed "The Little Drummer Boy" once more. The Gang rescues that song from the Christmas cul-de-sac of fruit-cake jokes with a beautiful rendition. What a tenor lead! You'll hear a fabulous Gregorianesque intro to "O Come Emanuel" which sounds as though it is emerging from a heavenly cathedral. The song list meanders through all of the Christmas spirit to arrive at the title track, "Some Children See Him." This is a wonderful message on which to leave, each child who sees Christ, sees Him in their own image...
Brother, Can You Spare A Dime
Review: It isn't just perfect vowel matching or ringing chords that set these Champions apart. They pick joyous arrangements which make for fascinating listening and always seem to have some completely unusual element added into their non competition repertoire. For example, when David Wright arranged Muskrat Ramble for The Gang he came back with the lyric score with some sections written for a Dixieland band. The Gas House Gang ran with it, imitating a trumpet, a trombone, a clarinet and an upright bass, with some percussion thrown in. You must hear the wonderful arrangement of "Above My Head, I Hear Music In The Air" for it moves the spirit just as much as the Southern Sons' version does. We haven't time to describe each of the fourteen tunes on this recording but you should hear them.
Eine Kleine Not Musik
Review: The Gang appeared on the International Medalist road to supremacy in 1991 with a third place medal. In 1992 they were second which rather prepared the world for their Calgary appearance in 1993, at which they were awarded the grand accolade. These wonderful singers also have a broad sense of humor which will send any classical music aficionado into guffaws as they parody Mozart in "Eine Kleine Not Musik." This reviewer has played that tune on a radio show several times and always received more calls for information about it than any other single piece of music! This is not, however, just a comedic group but recognized as one of the best singing groups in the world.
The Chemical Elements
Review: Just before beginning their ascension to international acclaim the Gang released this recording of twelve songs which are of a great variety. You keep running into unexpected little embellishments on the pure barbershop songs such as the brief intimation of calliope or the bell-like chord inthe "Bowery Medley." Then there is the ringing traditional close harmony of "So Long, Mother," the sweet beauty of "When I Look In Your Eyes," the humorous "My Old Man" (of Smothers Brothers fame) and the fabulous enunciation on "The Chemical Elements." There's gospel, a popular sound on "Sixteen Tons" and the "William Tell Overture" is in the spirit of their later Mozart spoof. Great!