The Thoroughbreds are a seven-time international champion chorus that is part of the Cardinal District of the Barbershop Harmony Society. The Thoroughbreds won the international championship in 1962, 1966, 1969, 1974, 1978, 1981, and in 1984. The chapter has also produced several championship quartets including the Bluegrass Student Union, Interstate Rivals, Second Edition and The Barons.
The Louisville #1 Chapter had its beginning in 1945 after local businessman Fritz W. Drybrough invited a number of friends to his home on July 11 to listen to a once-popular style of music, barbershop harmony. The four-part close harmony, a cappella style of singing, had been in vogue from the turn of the century through the 1920s, but with the advancement of the electronic media, the "barbershop style", along with vaudeville, was steadily replaced by the crooners and big band of the swing era.
From that original gathering, and with the help of friend Ed Mall and then Society International President Jerry Beeler from Evansville, the Louisville Barbershop Chorus was conceived with a membership of 33 men under the direction of Burt Harmon and then Bob Ising. Drybrough served as the first president of the chapter. Society co-founder O.C. Cash presented the Louisville #1 Chapter with its charter on June 10, 1946.
The Thoroughbreds entered and won their first Cardinal District contest in 1958. After finishing eighth in 1959, sixth in 1960, and second in 1961, the chorus won the Society's International Chorus Championship in 1962. That was the beginning of a remarkable run of success. Following the championship in 1962, during the decades of the 60s, 70s and 80s, the Thoroughbreds competed on the International stage 13 times winning six more championships, finishing second five times and third twice.
Ineligible for two years after each gold medal.
- 1958: 1st (first time competing)
|Barbershop Harmony Society - International Chorus Champions|