In Celebration of the Human Voice - The Essential Musical Instrument
When the Rural Route 4 won the international quartet championship in 1986, they did not exactly qualify as an overnight sensation. Organized in 1971 by four residents of Cass County MO., the quartet would not win the gold until 15 years and two personnel changes later. Along the way were dozens of contests, from the chapter to international level, and years of hard work. But there was fun too, ar the RR4 gradually built a reputation as on of the most entertaining show quartets around.
Brothers Calvin and Willard Yoder, lead and bass respectively, and the owners of a dairy farm, plus bari Rufus Kenagy, also a farmer, and tenor Everett Roth, a carpenter, were the original members of the group. They qualified for their first international contest in 1976 in San Francisco, finishing in 21st place. The next eight years were a roller coaster - in the top ten three times, out of the twice and laying out three years when the wives proclaimed, "We're not spending this vacation at a contest!" Meanwhile, Rufus had dropped out in 1977 and was replaced by Jim Bagby, an Associated Press newsman from Kansas City who had coached the quartet since 1972. Everett was replaced by Don Kahl, a respiratory therapist in 1983. Finally in 1985 at the Minneapolis convention, the RR4 earned fifth-place bronze medals. The following year, to their own suprise more than anyone else's, they jumped to the number one spot.
Members are Jim Bagby of Kansas City, Calvin and Willard Yoder of rural Garden City, Mo., and Wes Yoder of Seattle, WA.
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Review: When 1986 SPEBSQSA International Quartet champs RR4 made this recording in 1987, their producer told them they should consider making CDs. They went with albums and cassettes, and one month later everyone had CDs. So now by popular demand, we have a digitally remastered CD of this half-live, half-studio collection of 17 songs from one of the most popular and respected winners of SPEBSQSA Quartet Gold. 'How's Every Little Thing in Dixie,' 'Rockabye Baby Days,' 'Lida Rose/Dream of Now,' 'Tie Me To Your Apron Strings Again,' the heart-tugging 'Little Pal,' 'Where the Black-Eyed Susans Grow,' 'I've Been Everywhere,' 'Old Apple Tree' and 'The Richest Man in the World' are favorites. Lots of feeling, smooth, effortless harmonies-'Friends and Relatives' is ringing, straight-up, traditional barbershop from one of the best!
Songlist: How's Ev'ry Little Thing in Dixie, Rock-A-Bye Baby Days, My Missouri Home, Lida Rose / Dream of Now, My Mother's Eyes, Tie Me Down To Your Apron Strings Again, I'm Wingin' My Way Back Home, Little Pal, Where The Black-Eyed Susans Grow, Rosie, Seme Thong, Old MacDonald, I've Been Everywhere, Knock, Knock, Old Apple Tree, Richest Man in the World