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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 1-4 of 4 items.

Happiness Emporium : Golden Gospel : 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 | 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 | 1 CD | $14.98 | A Cappella Mens Barbershop Quartets CDs

Happiness Emporium : That's Life : 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 | 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

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