Musical Valentines have nothing on these foursomes
What: Barbershop Quartet sings two songs in four-part harmony, plus a rose (silk or real).
Info: (530) 823-0339
Sweet Adeline Quartet
What: Two songs, a card with original verse, silk rose, chocolate truffles
Info: (916) 420-1662, www.sacramentovalleychorus.com/specialevents
Whatever 4 Quartet
What: One song and a personalized card
Cost: $40. $10 for an additional song or one song over the phone.
Info: (530) 887-8534, (530) 392-0922
Roses are red, chocolates are sweet, but a quartet of crooners still can’t be beat.
That’s right, if you’re tired of giving the same old Valentine’s Day gift year in, year out, now you can give your sweetheart something a little more personal, which is what the day’s all about anyway, right?
“We see a lot of tears,” said Roger Perkins, chorus director for the Sierranaders. “Could be somebody’s wife who is not expecting it. There was a man who was injured and home off work, we sang for him and he cried.”
The Sierranaders are comprised of men from the Auburn, Lincoln and Grass Valley area. They have two quartets that deliver singing Valentine’s. Their standard songs are “Let Me Call You Sweetheart” and “Heart of My Heart.” Perkins said he has been doing this for more than 20 years.
“We did one at the Ford dealership,” he said. “It was for one of the mechanics from his wife and a bunch of the other mechanics came out to listen. He was embarrassed, they all razzed him.”
But chances are they didn’t capture it for YouTube, unlike one particular class full of students.
“Last year we sang to a teacher in his classroom and you should have seen those kids with their phones,” said Pattie Bauer, from the Whatever 4 Quartet. “They sure got a kick out of it, ‘let’s embarrass our teacher.’”
Bauer sings bass for the all-ladies group. They have been singing Valentines for about four years. They will even do them over the phone. In addition to the standards previously mentioned, they will also do “Keeping Out of Mischief,” “Crazy About You Baby” or “Java Jive,” depending upon the recipient.
“We were at a senior facility in Auburn, singing to someone in their break room,” Bauer said, “and another person in the room got all emotional. To older folks, these songs bring back really good memories. It happened another time when we were singing, and it turns out it was her husband’s favorite song. It’s really fun. You never know how somebody is going to react.”
For Carrie Falk, of the Sacramento Valley Sweet Adeline Quartet, the most memorable time wasn’t one of their paying gigs.
“We had some spare time so we stopped by the cancer ward at Sutter General,” Falk said. “We were singing in the nurse’s lounge and people started poking their heads out of doors so we started going from room to room, singing for the patients.”
Falk has been doing it for eight years, but the local Sweet Adeline chapter, which encompasses the entire Sacramento valley, will send out at least 10 quartets this Valentine’s Day, with songs such as “Cuddle Up a Little Closer” and “There I’ve Said it Again” rounding out the choices.
So if you want to send your spouse something a little “out of the heart-shaped box” this year, consider the song slingers for hire. Some four-part harmony for your one true love.