HUMBOLDT — Jim Palmer got the band back together to celebrate his 50th wedding anniversary with wife, Sheryl. Palmer, along with Dave Robinson, Bob Horn and Gary Plumb, had performed together in a barbershop quartet for many years before work and family obligations led to the natural dissolution of the group.
The quartet began as the Southeast Shavers chorus about 35 years ago.
They sang in the barbershop style, which is an a capella type of music that was very popular at the turn of the 20th century. Palmer, who was the music director for Humboldt schools at the time, also directed the chorus.
“It was a fun type of music,” he said. “You can have a lot of fun and perform well.”
Palmer said that he wanted some sort of entertainment at his anniversary party at Humboldt Methodist Church and thought it would be a wonderful time for the quartet to reunite.
“We decided we couldn’t wait to get together,” he said. “You sing 35 years ago, it’s not hard to develop a relationship, particularly if it’s something you enjoy.”
The friendships that formed have been going strong for many years. Robinson’s daughter, Amy Hendrickson, fondly recalled listening to the group practice at her home, with many laughs in addition to the music.
“It’s different when you’re with guys like that,” Palmer said. “Back when we were singing regularly, we’d have three-hour practices for four or five songs because we were so busy having fun.”
There wasn’t time for such a practice before they performed for the party, as the group members now hail from several locations with one traveling from Olathe to sing. Palmer said that they had a quick 30-minute practice before the event.
“We changed what we were going to sing several times,” he said. “We couldn’t quite get it together with a couple songs, but we got everything handled in the end.”
The performance went off without a hitch, and was well received.
“We just had a ball,” he said. “I don’t know if other people enjoyed it as much as we did.”
Palmer didn’t know if they would get back together for a reprise, but he said he would certainly be open to it if they got the chance.
“We haven’t even talked about it,” he said, “but it sure was a lot of fun, so I wouldn’t be surprised.”