Host Garrison Keillor answers your questions about life, love, writing, authors, and of course, A Prairie Home Companion.
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Shave and a Haircut...
October 29, 2009 |
To the host:
I listen to your show almost every single week, but I cannot recall having EVER heard a barbershop quartet on your show. Since barbershop quartet singing is a uniquely American art form, and since you seem to enjoy harmonizing, I cannot imagine why you don't schedule them regularly.
Robbie Brunger (a tenor)
Good question, Robbie. We've had a couple of quartets on, but haven't had one for a long time. Maybe I got tired of hearing "Hard-hearted Hannah the Vamp of Savanna, G-A" and "Where is the fair in farewell, where is the good in goodbye." Or maybe it's that the music has sort of calcified and is more about technique and showiness and scoring points than it is about true feeling it's more of an athletic event than esthetic...
I love gospel quartets but barbershop is another league, the sound is sharper, even shrill, and there isn't the range of expression that one wants to hear. They all drill toward that big finish with the high money note and I'm sorry but the big finish leaves me cold. But maybe somebody at the SPEBSQSA will get in touch and tell me about some fine quartet that proves me wrong on all counts. I'd rather be wrong.