The Ideals

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The Ideals

IdealsI.jpg The Ideals quartet formed in 1966 with four members of the Bloomington,Ill., Chapter (known now as Sound of Illinois) of the Barbershop Harmony Society. They were Jim Stahly, tenor; Bob Park, lead; Jack Aldridge, baritone; Chuck Lewis, bass. Both Park and Lewis were members of The Four Barons, 1960 Illinois District quartet champions.

A shift in personnel the in 1967 moved Jack Aldridge to lead and brought in Al Draper on baritone. The tenor and bass remained the same.

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The quartet won the Illinois District quartet title in 1970 and competed in the 1972 international quartet contest in Atlanta, Ga. Active as a show quartet in the Midwest, the quartet retired in 1973, It reunited for a 20th anniversary performance at a district convention and decided to become active once again. They continued singing until the death of Jack Aldridge in 1994. Both Al Draper and Chuck Lewis have sinced died.

All members of the second version of the quartet were employees at State Farm Insurance Companies' Corporate Headquarters in Bloomington, Ill. They performed for many company functions, including employee events and company groundbreaking ceremonies at five regional office locations across the United States. In the early Seventies, the quartet recorded soundtracks for several State Farm Public Service Announcements that aired on television stations across the country. The PSAs promoted Christmas tree fire safety and safe boating. Animation for the spots was created by Hanna-Barbera, popular cartoon producer of the era, including Yogi Bear.

The quartet also recorded the Corny Belters theme song, created by Stahly, for Don Munson and his WJBC slow-pitch softball team in the 1970s. Now retired, Munson was host of a long-running morning radio show on WJBC and developed a lasting relationship with the quartet, which performed on his show many times.

The quartet produced one album, The Ideals of Barbershopping," in 1971.

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