Richard E. "Dick" Grapes, 1925 - 2015

On February 15, 2015, The Society lost barbershop icon Dick Grapes, the baritone of the monumentally famous and influential quartet and 1950 International Champion, The Buffalo Bills.

Dick's Obituary reads as follows: Richard E. Grapes age 90 of North Tonawanda passed away unexpectedly on Sunday February 15, 2015 at his residence. Born in North Tonawanda he was the son of the late Fred C. Grapes and Elizabeth Curtis Compton.

Dick was the youngest of nine children and grew up in a warm and loving home. He attended Colonel Payne Elementary, Felton Grammar School and graduated from North Tonawanda High School in 1943.He served in the US Navy in the South Pacific during World War II. While stationed in Philadelphia, he met a pretty girl named Doris Adams. They corresponded during his time in service. After his discharge, he returned to Philadelphia and furthered his courtship. Dick and Doris were married November 30, 1946. They moved back to North Tonawanda and made it their lifelong home.

Dick worked in the paper and packaging industry for over 50 years with the Hubbs & Howe Co. and with Chudy Paper. He sang baritone with the Buffalo Bills Barbershop Quartet winning the International Championship of SPEBQSA in 1950. He fulfilled his lifelong dream to participate in football by becoming a high school official. He was also a swimming official. He was a charter member of the North Tonawanda Football Hall of Fame. He was the voice of the North Tonawanda High School Football Team for 51 years. He was honored to have the press box named the Dick Grapes Press Box in 2008. He was also a member of the “chain gang” on the sidelines of his favorite team the Buffalo Bills.

He was a past president and life member of the Kiwanis Club of the Tonawandas with 57 years of perfect attendance. He was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Beloved husband of the late Doris (Adams) Grapes for 64 years; Dear father of Evelyn (Jerry) Perkins of Orem, Utah, and Richard E. Grapes Jr. of Provo, Utah; Grandfather of Jared (Anne) Perkins, Elissabeth (David) Rees, Beth (Questin) Francis, Adam (Catherine) Perkins and McKay Perkins all of Utah; Rebekah (Cory) Crawford of Germany and Rachel Perkins of New York City Great grandfather of Grant, Hyrum, Jack, Hunter, Abby, Questin, Clare, Eden, Elliana, Isaac, Charlotte, Bryant, Caitlyn, Brynna, Brimley, Chase, Richard, Lily, Easton and Jane. Brother of the late Norman, Vernia, Donald, Olive, Edward, Suzette, Stanley and James. Also survived by many nieces and nephews.

Friends may call at the Fretthold Funeral Home Inc. 1241 Oliver St. at Ward Rd. in North Tonawanda on Thursday and Friday from 2-4 & 7-9 P.M. Funeral services will be held on Saturday at 10 A.M. from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1424 Maple Rd. Williamsville. Interment in Elmlawn Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the charity of your choice.

Click here to visit the funeral home website and leave condolences

Last Updated ( Thursday, 19 February 2015 16:45 )

Ragtime Gals Serenade Billy Joel

Originally posted at

Sing Us a Song, You’re the Story Man

When you think about it, Jimmy Fallon is kind of old-fashioned. He writes thank you notes. He’s a gracious host. He sings in a barbershop quartet. In fact, he and his three other songsters recently serenaded Billy Joel at Madison Square Garden, singing Happy Birthday to the piano man with an audience of 20,000. What does a barbershop singer during their off hours? Well, if you’re Tom Shillue, when you’re not singing four-part harmony on The Tonight Show you tour with Jim Gaffigan and you host Funny Story at the Brooklyn Brewery. Come to think of it, storytelling is also sort of old-fashioned, though these stories are anything but stodgy. This month’s line-up is an all-comedian sweep with Baron Vaughn, Ann Carr, Adam Newman, Jamie Greenberg and Dave Juskow. If you like to laugh, you’d be nuts not to come to this show. Your $10 ticket gets you a night of storytelling and a beer.
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 14 May 2014 17:51 )

Minnesota Twins Jump On the Barbershop Bandwagon


Once again, filed in the "OF COURSE" category, here comes a story about a pitching crew for a Major League Baseball team jumping on the Barbershop bandwagon to light a fire of support from their fan base.

Try to find some bigger mustaches next time, guys.
Last Updated ( Friday, 25 April 2014 15:50 )

Paul Teska's Story


Is it the joy derived from singing tags late into the night? Is it the satisfaction of delivering a well-executed competition set? Or is there something more? Is it actually about those who sit on the other side of the footlights?

For Paul Teska, this perspective became a dying man's passion, a mission to share the gift of singing with as many people as possible in what little time he has left. The Harmony Foundation hopes this story of life, legacy, mortality, and the enduring gift of music will both uplift and inspire you.

This video was captured and edited by Shawn York for Harmony Foundation.

Last Updated ( Thursday, 24 April 2014 20:27 )
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