From The Vault:

Volume 1 Number 1 – Spring 2021


Greetings to all members of the Illinois District!   Since our fall convention was cancelled, I did not get a chance to share some of the “gems” from our district archives with you.  And why wait until just once a year to view some of these?   This is the first of what I hope to be a regular feature that connects you, the barbershopper, with some of the interesting stories and artifacts from our shared past. In this inaugural issue, I would like to showcase two legendary district quartets who shared anniversaries in 2020 as well as the two surviving members from those groups – Bob Park and Jim Stahly.  Enjoy and Keep the Whole World Singing!

Rich Hansen

Jim Stahly

Tenor of the 1970 District Champs – The Ideals

Jim Stahly is a Bloomington, IL native, born in 1940. His father, long-time district secretary Forrest Stahly, joined the Bloomington Chapter during its first year in 1942. He is retired from State Farm and lives in Normal with his wife Kathy. Jim has a son, Kathy has a daughter. They have two grandchildren. Jim joined the Society while still in school in 1957, right after the chorus’ third-place international finish at Los Angeles. He sang with The HappyTimers, The Ideals, The Harmonic Plague, Sound Design and Two Young, Too Old (Bloomington quartets) and Fifth Avenue and (Naples, FL quartets). He directed the Bloomington Chapter 1982-1993, served as Illinois District VP-PR & Communications 1998-2000 (started the district’s first electronic newsletter), and was an arrangement judge 1982-1989.

QCA Spotlight


Bob Park - Lead of the 1960 District Champs – The Four Barons

Robert D. Park was born in 1928 in Chestnut, IL. He married Marjorie Asbury Sept. 19, 1948. They have four children (Cheryl, Larry, Dave, and Susan), four grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren. He retired from his garage door business in 1990 after working for Beer Nuts,Inc., in the early years of the company. Bob began singing barbershop in 1954, joining the Bloomington chorus. He sang lead in several quartets, including 1960 district champs The Four Barons. He sang with The Boot-N-Aires, which competed in international in 1962, and later with Phase IV. Bob was the original lead of The Ideals, a Bloomington quartet that went on to win the district title in 1970. Bass Chuck Lewis was also bass of The Four Barons.

Bill Hanna (from the popular animated production team Hanna/Barbera, whose work included “The Flintstones” , “The Yogi Bear Show”, and “The Jetsons” series) was actually a barbershopper who recorded The Ideals singing for animated State Farm safety commercials in the early 1970s.

State Farm animated Christmas tree safety commercial.

Flashback 1971

Back in 1971, a quartet from Centennial High School joined the Illini Statesmen Chapter in Champaign Illinois. Rob Campbell and John Muir (the two on the right) are now 50-year members.

Next Issue: Coming Summer 2021

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