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Hometown Harmony


Members of Taking It Easy, a barbershop style off shoot of the chorus The Chordlighters, listen to Dick Wood as he explains changes in the song the group is rehearsing before an upcoming event. Mike Wolanin / The Daily Journal

The lanyard around Allen Distler's neck shows his position in the Chordlighters as well as buttons showing his passion for chorus singing. Distler along with 10 others are part of Taking It Easy, a barbershop quartet, style singing group based in Franklin, In. Taking It Easy in an off-shoot of the larger chorus The Chordlighters also based in Franklin, In. Mike Wolanin / The Daily Journal

The members of the Chordlighters Barbershop Chorus consider themselves true American originals.

Along with jazz and spiritual music, barbershop four-part harmonies are the only type of music to originate in the U.S. The lead, tenor, baritone and bass come together to form a unique sound that’s a throwback to the all-vocal songs of the early 20th century.

“Every other musical art form evolved from another country, and was brought over here. But the four-part harmony was all from America,” said Tom Fricke, a Greenwood resident in the choir.

The Chordlighters have come together to preserve the art of four-part harmony. With more than 40 vocalists, they sing barbershop classics as well as more modern tunes. They perform at holiday events and private concerts, appearing at random to sing on the streets with the hope that their voices attract new members.


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