by Jim Bagby, faithful reporter
It would be a tough call to know whether the audience or the quartet had more fun when the Cincinnati Kids took the stage at our Saturday night show in San Antonio.
Except for a brief 2016 encounter at the BHS convention in Nashville, the Kids' last formal appearance was at the Johnny Appleseed District Convention 10 years ago. The 1984 and '86 international medalists had pretty much gone their own way since then.
So standing in the hallway outside the big room before they were introduced at SATX II, baritone George Gipp says “The emotions run the full gambit and are very deep...realizing we're together again is a joy only fellow quartetters can truly relate to and understand.”
When the Kids took the stage, Gipp recalled later that looking out over the crowd of “incredibly talented and experienced barbershoppers and heroes we have come to call friends was overwhelming – almost an out-of-body experience.”
George really talks that way. He is an internationally prominent training specialist, management consultant, performance coach and motivational speaker. He has been heavily involved in the BHS contest and judging program for more than 25 years.
What about the rest of the Kids? All but tenor Randy Graham have remained active in barbershopping. Randy still enjoys singing and is active with his church choir in Westlake, Ohio, but his focus first has been on his family. He and Laurie are parents and grandparents. And he is a sought-after business consultant.
Lead Scott Brannon went on to direct the Big Apple Chorus to multiple international appearances, including a sixth-place finish at Calgary in 1993. He is now arm-waver for SAI Region 15 champs Harmony Celebration. He will be remembered for singing with Boston Common members Terry Clarke and Larry Tulley in the NED champs and popular show quartet Our Town.
Bass Steve Thacker was an administrative leader of Cincinnati's championship Southern Gateway Chorus during the Jim Miller years. And he has seldom been without a quartet since the Kids retired, from Revolution, Showboat, Midnight Express, Hotshots to the Other Guy in three different districts.
Would the Kids come back to Santone next year? For a change, George responded “In a word: ABSOLUTELY!”