Happiness Emporium - International Champion Barbershop Quartet - Good News! Gospel Quartet

 
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Happiness Emporium - International Champion Barbershop Quartet - Good News! Gospel Quartet

 

About Us

Every now and then, in Quartet singing, four guys who have been singing in other groups for years find their musical paths crossing - and something special happens! The Happiness Emporium was formed in December, 1972, and right away they sounded like a winner. In their first year and a half they won 4 contests and placed in the Top 10 in International Competition. Then, a year later, in June, 1975, the Happiness Emporium was proclaimed the International Champions of Barbershop Quartet singing.

The members of the quartet have a combined total of over 150 years of quartet experience. They have sung with 7 District Champion quartets, and have sung for audiences all over the U.S., Canada, England, Sweden, Ireland and the countries of Central America while performing on an educational cruise, Semester at Seas. Two of the members have toured Pacific military hospitals on USO tours with their previous quartets. They have led two tours to Ireland, where the H.E. was the featured quartet of the Irish International Barbershop Convention.

The Emporium is a remarkably versatile singing group, equally proficient with "pure" barbershop arrangements, modern harmonies, gospel, show tunes, country, nostalgic medleys and comedy. One reason for the success of the Happiness Emporium is the matched unit sound of four excellent voices. Each of the four is often featured in solo numbers backed up by the other three. Word has gotten around that the H.E. is no ordinary quartet. They have performed for countless conventions, coast-to-coast barbershop shows, variety shows, radio and TV, the Grand Ole Opry, on New York's Broadway, and London's Barbican Centre.

On October 26, 2013, the Happiness Emporium performed on their final barbershop show at the Land O' Lakes District barbershop convention in LaCrosse, Wisconsin. From December, 1972 through October, 2013, it has been a fantastic run! Here's to 41 great years!

They formed in December of 1972 when three Land O Lakes quartets, the Hut Four, Gemini Crickets, and Red Barons retired. The Night Howls, a St. Paul quartet, contributed a tall tenor and the fun began!

During the past 41 years the Happiness Emporium performed on over 400 Barbershop Chapter Shows and 475 non-barbershop shows. They performed in 42 States, six Canadian Provinces, England, Ireland, and Sweden, and one Federal Prison in Washington State. All told, they have spread their brand of happiness in 18 countries on shows, tours and cruises.

The Happiness Emporium produced seven Barbershop albums, four Gospel albums, a DVD, and one-half of a Society album with the 1976 International Champs, The Innsiders. The H.E. also produced four Gospel learning albums as the Good News! Quartet, while leading the Good News! ministry for the past 13 years.

Three members (Bob Dowma, Rod Johnson and Jim Foy) are 41-year originals; the current and third baritone (Rick Anderson) has been with the Happiness Emporium for the past twenty-six years.

The quartet has preserved their special sound on twelve CD audio recordings and a DVD video since winning the International Championship. Sample cuts from each of the CDs are available to hear at the recordings section of the website. The latest H.E. recording, "Time Flies", was released on the quartet's 40th anniversary on 12/12/12. The new CD contains the ever-popular Old Guys Set in a cappella style, plus four new gospel songs with piano.

The Happiness Emporium has recorded four all-gospel albums, Beneath the Cross”, “Beneath the Cross II”, Golden Gospel, and Golden Gospel II. The last two gospel albums feature instrumental accompaniment in a crossover style combining both barbershop and southern gospel. Some call it GospelShop. Others call it Northern Gospel. Some just call it good!

The quartet took over the Good News! gospel quartet program following the retirement of three of the founders; Jerry Fairchild, Joe Mazzone and Dale Deiser. Good News! albums are offered in barbershop gospel style, including music arrangement folios and learning CD’s. Since taking on the Good News! ministry, the quartet has released four new gospel learning folios and the associated learning CD’s in the Good News! series. They are Volume VIII - "Tell the Story", Volume IX - "Faith of Our Fathers"”, Volume X - "The King and I", and Volume XI - "Northern Gospel".

New features of Volume VIII and IX included learning CDs with both part predominant tracks (for learning) and part missing tracks (for rehearsing and singing along with the Good News! Quartet). Another new feature included special package pricing for quartets, (the Quartet Special) including all necessary folios (four), four learning CDs (one for each part) and a bonus full mix CD to hear how the final product sounds as done by the Good News! (Happiness Emporium).

Volumes X & XI include more new features, including instrumental accompaniment. The rehearsal and performance tracks are available, along with the traditional arrangement folios and learning CDs.

Technology is now allowing another way to provide music to the Good News! customers. It is the intention of the quartet to continue expanding the learning tracks and printed arrangements one at a time. Requests for single song availability are welcomed! Several new songs have been recorded and are offered on a single-song basis only.

The Happiness Emporium now have over 50 gospel tunes available for individual downloading on iTunes. Click away!

You can request a catalog for Happiness Emporium and Good News! products from the address that follows. Their recordings and barbershop gospel arrangements may be purchased on the H.E. website, or from Happiness Emporium, 4110 Lorene Drive #303, Estero, FL 33928. General correspondence is best handled by email (rodlead@hotmail.com) or by calling 612-978-8237. The address of their internet website is www.HappinessEmporium.com.

 

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