any bbs members riding ragbrai?

9 Replies

knees36, July 17, 2012 at 11:04 pm

I just have to ask, is this the barbershop singing group of America?


gfluitt, July 17, 2012 at 11:16 pm

But of course it is!!!

Bunm bun bun bun!!!!!


“Bicycle Bill”, July 18, 2012 at 1:30 am

Yes, it is the group now known as the “Barbershop Harmony Society” and was formerly known as the “Society fot the Preservation and Encouragement of BarberShop Quartet Singing in America” (SPEBSQSA).

Although it has also been said that SPEBSQSA really stands for “Some People, Especially Baritones, Should Quit Singing Altogether”.



gas gas, July 18, 2012 at 4:50 am

SPEBSQSA members get all the hot chicks . just saying .


Michael Hoenig, December 5, 2012 at 4:46 pm

The old songs!

The old songs!


NathanPralle, June 2, 2014 at 3:00 pm

I should be on Wednesday and Thursday, so if you need to borrow a baritone…. ;) After all, Music Man Square is in Mason City.

River City Chorus CSD
Mason City, IA


T. Gap Woo, June 7, 2014 at 10:52 pm

NathanPralle: After all, Music Man Square is in Mason City.

On the way into River City (I mean Mason City), I’ll be bellowing out songs from “The Music Man” even though I’ve been told I can’t carry a tune in a basket. “Lida Rose, I’m home again Rose to get the sun back in the sky. . . .”

Can we get “The Buffalo Bills” to appear?


“Bicycle Bill”, June 8, 2014 at 2:38 pm

The “Buffalo Bills” were originally founded in Buffalo, NY in 1947; they stayed together for 20 years, disbanding in 1967.  Over the 20 years they had a total of seven members, starting with the original four — Vern Reed (tenor), Al Shea (lead), Herschel Smith (baritone), and Bill Spangenberg (bass).  Smith was transferred to Madison WI in 1950 and was replaced by Dick Grapes.

Meredith Willson had heard of the quartet and suggested they audition for the part of the quartet in his musical. After successfully auditioning for Meredith Willson for the part of the Iowa quartet in his Broadway musical “The Music Man”, it became necessary for them to move to quit their jobs in Buffalo and move to NYC in 1957 to take part in the Broadway musical version of “The Music Man”.  Grapes declined to relocate and ‘Scotty’ Ward was tapped to take his place.  This configuration of the Bills (Reed, Shea, Ward, and Spangenberg) is also the one that appeared in the 1962 movie.

Later on in 1962 original member Bill Spangenberg became ill and was forced to leave the group (he died the following year); his replacement was Jim Jones.

Jones (who lives in Orlando, FL) and Grapes (who still lives in Buffalo) are the only remaining members of the group alive today.



T. Gap Woo, June 8, 2014 at 9:26 pm


Thanks for the additional information on the BBs (no relation to you, I presume?). I previously read a Wikipedia article (for whatever that source is worth) that said pretty much the same thing.

We’ll just have to muddle through somehow, but I have a hunch that after some time in the beer gardens we’ll all sound like The Buffalo Bills, for better or for worse if we try to sing.

By the way, did you know that June 15th marks the 30th anniversary of Meredith Willson’s passing? In the meantime, we’ll have to quaff some brews in honor and memory of The Buffalo Bills and Meredith Willson.

See you on the road in a few short weeks!


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