East Texas Men in Harmony live up to their name - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

East Texas Men in Harmony live up to their name

East Texas Men in Harmony live up to their name

East Texas Men in Harmony East Texas Men in Harmony
TYLER, TX (KLTV) -

It started in the 1800’s while waiting for a haircut. Bored men would harmonize with each other and the barbershop singing was born.

Well, every Thursday night in Tyler at Green Acres Baptist church, about 60 fans of barbershop gather to practice harmonizing.

We dropped in on The East Texas Men In Harmony for the last practice before their big show.

Usually when you hear barbershop you immediately think “quartet.” Well, the East Texas Men in Harmony will have none of that. The more the merrier; they all agree to that each and every:

“One one one one one,” they sang as a warm up.

“Hey, could you guys do: seven seven seven seven?” I asked them.

They declined; too many syllables. Dianne Bottoms has been directing the group since September of 2013. She says they take:

“Anybody from twelve to ninety, all ages,” Bottoms revealed.

Buster Barlow is a charter member of the group and has been barber-shopping since 1961. The group is not that old though.

“Camaraderie. It’s like a brotherhood, it’s something I look forward to every week, and most all of us do. These guys come from all over East Texas. I just come from two blocks away,” Barlow said.

“Have you been doing this since 1961 like Buster?” I asked Jared.

“No, I started like three months ago I think,” he replied.

Jared Richmond joined on his thirteenth birthday, but Buster was a little older when he joined.

“At ninety years old I feel like a sixty-year-old, and I think singing keeps you young,” Barlow added.

“Taking a pitch off of a pipe and singing with our heart and our soul and everything in us. I think that’s what barbershop is. I think that’s what music is, but I think that’s what barbershop is,” Bottoms said.

Some of the Men in Harmony could be a great-grandfather to others, but they are all brothers here.

The East Texas Men in Harmony have a performance called Barbershop Through The Years on May 10, 2014, at Grace Community High School at 2:30 and 7 PM. Admission is $15 for adults and $5 for kids.

If you would like to hear an entire song performed by Men in Harmony, we have posted three of them at kltv.com. Just go to the Big Red Box on the homepage and there you will find a link.

Copyright KLTV 2014. All rights reserved.

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