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AmericanQuartet,The

quartet john bieling hits

American Quartet, The, second only to The Peerless Quartet as the most popular vocal quartet of the second decade of the 20th century, its specialties were ragtime and comic numbers; formed 1910. M EMBERSHIP: Billy Murray (the group’s leader, who sometimes was billed before its name), John Bieling, Steve Porter, and William F. Hooley. Bieling and Hooley were also members of the Haydn Quartet. The quartet recorded primarily for Victor; when they appeared on Edison Records, they were called the Premier Quartet or the Premier Four.

The American Quartet’s first major hit was the gold-selling “Casey Jones” (1910); other early hits were “Call Me Up Some Rainy Afternoon” (1910) (with Ada Jones), “Come, Josephine, in My Flying Machine” (1911) (with Jones), “Oh, You Beautiful Doll” (1912), “Moonlight Bay” (1912), and “Everybody Two-Step” (1912). With the addition of Will Oakland, they also recorded as the Heidelberg Quintet, their hits including “Waiting for the Robert E. Lee” (1912) and “By the Beautiful Sea” (1914). Bieling left the group in 1914 and was replaced by John Young. Subsequent hits included “Rebecca of Sunny- brook Farm” (1914) and “Oh Johnny, Oh Johnny, Oh!” (1917). They had particular success singing topical songs of World War I, recording the British standard “It’s a Long, Long Way to Tipperary” at the start of the war in 1914 and, after the U.S. entry in 1917, “Good-Bye Broadway, Hello France” and George M. Cohan’s “Over There.”

Hooley died in 1918 and was replaced by Donald Chalmers. Murray introduced a new quartet in 1920 that featured Albert Campbell, John Meyer, and Frank Croxton, but this lineup was not as successful as the earlier ones. The American Quartet broke up in 1925.

Amfitheatrof,Daniele(Alexandrovich) [next] [back] American Negro Academy - EARLY MEMBERSHIP, OCCASIONAL PAPERS, INTERNAL PROBLEMS, THE NATURE OF THE MEMBERSHIP, THE FINAL YEARS

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