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The 1970's

The ISU Shop of Barbers got its start in the fall of 1975 by members of the ISU Chamber Singers.   During rehearsals for the Music Department production of "The Merry Widow" (in which the Chamber Singers served as the chorus), some of the men began harmonizing some simple tunes ("I've Been Working on the Railroad", etc.) for fun during rehearsal breaks.   Sam Wormley organized the first rehearsal meetings and contributed old barbershop song collections.   Randy Compton accompanied at the piano.   The group numbered anywhere from 6 to 13 people and memorized around 20 songs within a few months (we practiced twice a week on Wednesday and Sunday nights at old Music Hall at ISU).   Randy Compton came up with the group name "Shop of Barbers" to reflect the repertoire and gain publicity by using "ISU SOB's" for advertising.   Our first official performance was at Shakey's Pizza in Ames in the early spring of 1976.   Other short performances followed including impromptu noon-hour shows on central campus when the weather was nice.   We also sang at the receptions following the ISU Chamber Singers' spring concerts.   With graduations and other group changes, the number in the group hovered around 6 or 7 people and settled as a quartet by 1980.