Oriole Four

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Oriole Four
The Oriole Four is the Barbershop Harmony Society's 1970 International Quartet Champion.


Quartet Members

Winning Members:

  • Tenor: Bob Welzenbach
  • Lead: Jim Grant
  • Bari: Fred King
  • Bass: Don Stratton


Contest Placement

Internationals

1959 1960 1961 1962 1963 1964 1965 1966 1967 1968 1969 1970
8th 12th 11th 12th 7th 8th 7th 6th 4th 1st

District

Represented the Mid-Atlantic District.

  • 1958 1st

Recordings

  • 1970 International Champions[1]
  • Bourne Barbershop Blockbusters[2]

Extended History

Oriole Four

The real beginning of the Oriole Four, 1970 International champion quartet, was in 1951 outside a Baltimore high school - although no one, of course, knew it at the time. That's when students Fred King and Jim Grant first met, discovered they had a mutual fondness for harmony and sang an impromptu duet. They joined the Society a couple of years later, found two other students who liked to harmonize and formed the Deacon Four, with Jim on lead and Fred on baritone.

The quartet, with occasional personnel changes, was still getting together now and then after its members had graduated, and in 1956 the name was changed to the Oriole Four. Bass Don Stratton came along in 1957; tenor Bob Welzenbach joined the others in 1958, and a winning combination was solidified.

All were members of the Dundalk, Maryland chapter, and three weeks after their first rehearsal they won the Dundalk Open and later the Chesapeake Bay Open. It was in 1958 also that they met Bob Loose, who was to become their permanent coach and close friend. After working with him for only three months, they won the Mid-Atlantic District championship.

But then the hills got steeper. Although they placed eighth in their first international competition in 1959, it would be 1965 before they again reached the finals and '69, in St. Louis, before they won their first medal, a fourth-place bronze. But the next year, in Atlantic City, 12 years of work and dedication paid off, and the Oriole Four were the new champs.


External Links


Barbershop Harmony Society - International Quartet Champions
1939 1940 1941 1942 1943 1944 1945 1946 1947 1948 1949 1950 1951 1952 1953 1954 1955 1956 1957 1958
1959 1960 1961 1962 1963 1964 1965 1966 1967 1968 1969 1970 1971 1972 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978
1979 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998
1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
  1. http://www.discogs.com/Oriole-Four-1970-International-Champions/release/6293242
  2. http://www.discogs.com/Oriole-Four-Bourne-Barbershop-Blockbusters/release/6461676