In Celebration of the Human Voice - The Essential Musical Instrument

Home | Doo Wop | Barbershop | World | Contemporary | Christian | Vocal Jazz | Choral | Christmas | Instructional | Arrangements

Happiness Emporium

Happiness Emporium

The Happiness Emporium, 1975 International quartet champions, is living proof that experience pays off. The "Emporium" members averaged 37 years of age when they won gold medals. Their collective experience, even before they came together for the first time in 1972, included participation in 24 international contests and with three district champion quartets, plus four USO tours to the Pacific.

So they decided to put it all together and go for the gold. As The Harmonizer reported in January 1976, "It was a hand-picked quartet. They picked each other..." All from the Twin Cities of the Land O' Lakes District, they were Bob Dowma, tenor; Rod Johnson, lead; Bob Spong, baritone; and Jim Foy, bass.

They recognized, of course, that know-how alone would not do the job. They dedicated themselves to their goal as probably few other quartets, before or since, have done. They scheduled rehearsals or performances at least three times, and often four or five times, a week. One stopped smoking. They took up jogging, aerobics and dieting.

They continued voice lessons under Jeanne Traun, one of the top vocal teachers in the country, and began working with noted quartet coach Don Clause. At the same time, they never gave up the fun. As audiences throughout the nation learned, the Happiness Emporium was one of the most aptly named quartets around, spreading laughter and happiness wherever they appeared.

Seven months after formation they placed 24th at the contest in Portland. The next year they were 9th, and in Indianapolis in 1975 they leaped to the gold. When Bob Spong retired from the quartet in 1983, Dick Treptow sang with them until 1987, and then Rick Andersonreplaced Dick on bari.


Displaying 1-7 of 7 items.

Happiness Emporium : Golden Gospel : 00  1 CD : 

Happiness Emporium : Golden Gospel

Review: First formed as a Barbershop quartet in 1972 from members of other groups, the HE sounded great right away, a fact that became clear to all with their 1975 Gold medals as International Quartet Champions. Performing and recording actively for the next 21 years, they retired in 1993, only to return to the circuit in 1996. "Golden" was recorded in the 34th year of the group's existence, and it is dedicated to songwriter Mosie Lister, now in his 80s, who has been writing classic Gospel tunes for over 50 years. 7 of the 11 songs are Mosie's, and not coincidentally, favorites: "'Til the Storm Passes By," "I'm Feeling Fine," "Where No One Stands Alone," "The King and I," "How Long Has It Been," "Still Feelin' Fine" and "I'm Bound for the Kingdom." Other favorites are the foot-tapper, "God Sits On High" and "Step Into the Water." All songs are fairly heavily accompanied, but the highlight of all of them is the rich, heartfelt harmonies of this legendary group. When that joyous Gospel stuff just keeps on flowing, why retire?

Songlist: I'm Feeling Fine, Step into the Water, 'Til the Storm Passes By, God Sits On High, When God Dips His Love in My Heart, How Long Has it Been, Still Feelin' Fine, The King and I, Yes, He Did, Where No One Stands Alone, I'm Bound for the Kingdom

5722c | 00 1 CD | $14.98 | A Cappella Mens Barbershop Quartets CDs

Happiness Emporium : Beneath The Cross II

Review: Legends in the Barbershop community, "Beneath The Cross II" was produced in the 32nd year of HE's singing together as a quartet. Enjoying each other's company and the "joy of singing songs of our Lord" has kept Bob, Rod, Rick and Jim blessed with good health. Similar to the singers, these 12 songs are rich in harmony, deep spirituality and just plain good feeling! Some favorites: "Gonna Build A Mountain," "Will There Be Any Stars In My Crown," "The First Baseball Game," "Shall We Gather At The River," "He's Gonna See You Through," the rousing "An Old Convention Song," and the final cut, "This Train/Saints Medley." Beautifully sung, inspiring stuff from one of Barbershop's Best!

Songlist: Gonna Build A Mountain, In This Very Room, Will There Be Any Stars In My Crown, Here I Am Lord, The First Baseball Game, Shall We Gather At The River, Savior Again To Thy Dear Name We Raise, He's Gonna See You Through, Let Us Break Bread Together, An Old Convention Song, Into His Likeness, This Train/Saints Medley

5622c | 00 1 CD | $14.98 | A Cappella Mens Barbershop Quartets CDs

Happiness Emporium : Beneath The Cross : 00  1 CD : 

Happiness Emporium : Beneath The Cross

Review: Review pending

Songlist: There's a Meetin' Here Tonight / Plod Time Religion Medley, Amazing Grace, I Love To Tell the Story, How Great Thou Art, Nearer My God to Thee / I Need Thee Every Hour, What A Friend We Have In Jesus, This Little Light of Mine / Do Lord, Sweet Hour of Prayer, The Lord's Prayer, Beautiful Saviour, Run, Run, Run, Onward Christian Soldiers, Beneath The Cross of Jesus

5503c | 00 1 CD | $14.98 | A Cappella Mens Barbershop Quartets CDs

Happiness Emporium : Entertainment/Control Yourself : 00  1 CD : 

Happiness Emporium : Entertainment/Control Yourself

Review: The H.E. were International Champions in 1975. This double CD, comprising "That's Entertainment" and "Control Yourself," contains a smorgasbord of the best Broadway and show tunes, with some traditional barbershop as well. Many of the cuts on "That's Entertainment" are in fact medleys, organized around the original performer that popularized the songs, e.g. Astaire, Jolson and Durante, with a preface by the group themselves discussing the relative merits of each. In general, good-natured banter prevails, and the asides allow the listener to feel as if they were enjoying a live show! Of course, a Championship Group also possesses impeccable technique and originality, displayed through the uniqueness of their arrangements. The Happiness Emporium has much to smile about on that score, and so will you after you hear them!

Songlist: Astaire Medley: I'm Putin' On My Top Hat, When There's A Shine On Your Shoes, I Wont' Dance, Steppin' Out With My Baby, Easter Parade, Jolson Medley: Mammy, Rock-A-Bye Your Baby, Swanee, Durante Medley: Start Off Each Day With A Song, Ink-A-Dink-A Doo, I Can Do Without Broadway, Cohan Medley: Give My Regards To Broadway, Yankee Doodle Dandy, You're A Grand Old Flag, That's Entertainment, Sing/ Together Medley: I'd Like To Teach The World To Sing, Together, Lerner & Loewe Medley: On The Street Where You Live, Gigi, I've Grown Accustomed Ot Her Face, Godfrey Medley: Trail Of The Lonesome Pine, Slow Poke, Alice Blue Gown, Thank You World, Ain't She Sweet, When I'm Sixty-Four, I'm Looking Over A Four-Leaf Clover, Brothers, Walkin' My Baby Back Home, Minnesnowta, Control Yourself, Dream A Little Dream Of Me, It's A Good Day, Sleeping Child, Firefly, Harmonizin' Medley: Harmonizin', Sweet Lorraine, When My Sugar Walks Down The Street, I'm Just Breezin' Along With The Breeze, Button Up Your Overcoat

5539c | 00 1 CD | $14.98 | A Cappella Mens Barbershop Quartets CDs

Happiness Emporium : Right From The Start / Rise And Shine : 00  1 CD : 

Happiness Emporium : Right From The Start / Rise And Shine

Review: Bob Dowma, Rod Johnson, Bob Spong and Jim Foy got together in 1972, and 2 1/2 years later they were Barbershop Champions. Since then they've been dealing in happiness, singing with it and creating it in their audiences. This is a compilation of 2 cds (with a groovy flashing cover), "Right from the Start" and "Rise 'N Shine," and there's a lot of happy nostalgia here. "Bring Back Those Good Old Days" sums it up, but they're all good: "What I Ask For My Little Boy," "Back In 1910," "If I Were A Rich Man," "It's A Good Day." 23 feel-good songs in all - a great deal from four merchants of happiness!

Songlist: My Lady Loves to Dance, Back in 1910, Sleeping Child, What I Ask For My Little Boy, Rock-A-Bye Baby Days, From the First Hello to the Last Goodbye, Run, Run, Run, Bring Back Those Good Old Days, Linda Rose and Will I Ever Tell You?, Have a Happy Day, God Bless America, On a Wonderul Day like Today, Heart of my Heart, All The Things You Are, If I Were A Rich Man, And I Love You So, When I Lost You, It's A Good Day, On the Way to Home Sweet Home, It's Good to Know I'm Welcome In My Old Hometown, Rubber Duckie, Medley: We've Only Just Begun, Dear Hearts and Gentle People, Top Of the World, We'll Be Seeing You

5468c | 00 1 CD | $14.98 | A Cappella Mens Barbershop Quartets CDs

Happiness Emporium : That's Life : 00  1 CD : 

Happiness Emporium : That's Life

Review: Dedicated to longtime arranger Ed Waesche, who is an integral part of the Emporium's style, "That's Life" delivers a big bang for the buck! Full of "sets," such as the School Days, Camping, and Child, as well as a "Showboat Medley," "Broadway Intro" and many more, these 1975 gold medalists keep it coming! Their sound anticipates the contemporary arranging style that would be popularized by today's luminaries ("Why Do They Take The Night Boat To Albany"), while retaining the comfortable stability of the familiar.

Songlist: Child Set, School Days Set, Camping Set, Why Do They All Take The Night Boat To Albany , Marriage Set, You Made Me Love You, Daddy, Don't You Walk So Fast, When I Grow Too Old To Dream, This Old House, That's Life, Broadway Intro, Showboat Medley, Toyland, My Baby Just Cares For Me, Close As Pages In A Book, What I Did For Love , Motherhood March

5184c | 00 1 CD | $14.98 | A Cappella Mens Barbershop Quartets CDs

Happiness Emporium : Double Feature : DVD : 

Happiness Emporium : Double Feature

Review: Formed in 1972, the Minneapolis/St. Paul-based Emporium won the championship after only three years in the running. These two performances were recorded with seven cameras by PBS in Charleston, North Carolina, and also at the World Theater, home of Minnesota's other famous export, the "Prairie Home Companion." Well, on with the show - aside from wonderful barbershop harmony, the four gents couldn't be more endearing, with corny jokes and schtick aplenty. Songs such as "I'd Like To Teach The World To Sing" and "Hard To Be Humble" - the latter an audience participation event - will have you smiling. "I Never Knew You" is the evening's tender moment. Running time over 60 minutes.

Songlist: Harmonizin' Medley, Give My Regards To Broadway, Durante Medley, You're a Grand Old Flag, Minnesnowta, Swanee, Brothers, Control Yourself, Easter Parade, That's Entertainment, I'd Like To Teach The World To Sing, Hard To Be Humble, I Never Knew You, And many more..

5304d | DVD | $24.98 | A Cappella Barbershop DVDs

Barbershop Music

Female Barbershop Groups | Female Barbershop CDs | Male Barbershop Groups | Male Chorus CDs | Male Quartet CDs | International Champions

Mixed Voice Groups | Barbershop DVDs | Christmas | Barbershop Instructional | Barbershop Parts CDs | Barbershop Arrangements | New

Groups Home