News Community Obits Sports & Rec Opinion Religion Special Sections Photos
story.lead_photo.caption Photo submitted Four members of the Greater Ozarks Barbershop Harmony Chapter perform as a quartet on Valentine's day, serenading lovers all over Northwest Arkansas. They are Jim Nugent, Ed Barlow, Dick Francis and Bryce Hopkins.

Four Bella Vista men are prepared to share some love on Valentine's Day. A quartet from the Greater Ozarks Barbershop Harmony Chapter will serenade a loved one for a small fee.

It's a service they have provided for years, member Jim Nugent said. They travel all over the region to surprise all kinds of people with two love songs, a card and a rose.

One of their most memorable clients didn't react to the music. Some years ago, a woman hired the quartet to sing to her dead husband. They followed her to the cemetery and sang at his grave while the women and her two dogs listened. Although the husband didn't react, the dogs did, Nugent said. They howled along with the music.

Most clients have one of two reactions, he said. They either burst into tears or they threaten to harm the person who sent the quartet. The serenade often takes place in an office or another workplace.

They serenaded a Fayetteville teacher one time and, as they were leaving the school, the school secretary asked them if they could come to her home the next evening. She had 50 people coming over to celebrate her father's upcoming marriage. Since they had another gig nearby the next night, the quartet agreed to the last-minute appearance. When Nugent arrived, he recognized the groom as his pastor.

People almost always recognize the songs, Nugent said. They sing a lot of old favorites like "Let Me Call You Sweetheart" and "Love Me Tender."

"The hay day for Barbershop was about 1890 to 1950," he said. So many of the songs are from that era.

The fee for an appearance is $50 and the money goes to buy songbooks for elementary students. Nugent estimated that the group has given out 7,000 songbooks over the years to schools all over the region.

This year, the books will go to Bentonville Schools where the books have been used since 1999. The school district has an annual event before spring break each year. The third graders meet at Arend Arts Center and sing from the songbook

Only quartets perform on Valentine's Day, Nugent said, but the entire chorus meets once a month at Innisfree in Rogers. The group is open to new members. For more information or to book an appearance on Valentine's Day, call Nugent at 479-621-3372.

General News on 02/07/2018

Print Headline: 'Let Me Call You Sweetheart'

Sponsor Content