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Buffalo Bills

Buffalo Bills

Lead: Al Shea. Tenor: Verna Reed. Baritone: Dick Grapes. Bass: Bill Spangenberg.

In 1947, baritone Hershel Smith, a corporate executive, and lead singer Al Shea, a policeman, got together at Smith's home in Buffalo New York with the idea of forming a barbershop quartet. Tenor Vern Reed, an executive for a boy's club, and bass Bill Spangenberg, a truck driver for a steel company were added. The quartet competed at various competitions with modest success. Shortly afterward, Smith was promoted and transferred to Madison Wisconsin, and the quartet was disbanded. Had they not reorganized, the entire face of barbershop harmony may have been vastly different than it is today.

However, Shea and Reed insisted on continuing, and they found baritone Dick Grapes. The quartet blossomed quickly, winning a national competition in 1950, and developing quite a fan club. Over the next few years, they booked many engagements and cut some records.

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1950 - Barbershop Quartet Champions





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