#TBT: Antlers Quartet

antlers quartetWell, I just can’t post old photos of the Greets… I have 50% of the genes around here!

This is a great photo of the Antlers Quartet, a singing group in Antlers, Oklahoma composed of my grandfather, Victor Underwood (on the left), Bill Sossamon, my grandmother, Lila Underwood, and Jimmie C. Sossamon.  The piano player was Jimmy Loman, a full blood Choctaw who could hear a song once and then play it on the piano.

Dad-dad had a great bass voice and was known to be able to sing the notes (do, ray, mi, fa, etc.) to the notes instead of the words.  He had just been elected president of the TriCounty Singing Convention just days before his death at age 42.  I never knew him.  He was 3/4 Choctaw.

Mam-ma sang soprano in the quartet, but alto when singing alone.  I remember her fondly, although living in Oklahoma, I didn’t get to see her very often!

They traveled around southern Oklahoma to gospel singings, cut some records (which, yes, I have on tape and CDs now), and, at one point, they even had a radio show on the Hugo, Oklahoma radio station called “The Antlers Hour”.  Each show began with “Give the World a Smile Each Day.”

I have copies of their hymnals as well.

My mom sang with them on occasion, and is on two of their records.  She had a wonderfully clear voice, but I never could get her to sing for my kids because her voice shook by that time, and she didn’t like it anymore.  Standing next to her in church was the only time I could hear her sing.

Their four part harmony isn’t quite what we expect these days… but I still have a love for old four part harmony gospel songs…


Comments

#TBT: Antlers Quartet — 10 Comments

  1. Carol –
    Love this! What a cool story. Like knowing more about you and yours, and had no clue of the DNA you carry. Wonderful! Great story, wonderful picture, and now we need to hear you sing! Did you get any of the talent? Thanks so much for posting this. And you are right….50% of the story is yours!

    • I’m very proud to have 3/16 Choctaw blood and be an enrolled member of a wise and productive tribe. I can sing, but it’s not a great voice… but to teach Girl Scout songs, it was more about fun than quality!

  2. Carol, I so enjoyed this. I met your grandmother once and of course I was very fond of your mother Jerry who was my favorite sister-in-law. I never knew about their singing!

    • I sure wish I could dig up more about the Antlers Quartet, but the few times I’ve tried on the internet, I’ve had no luck. My grandmother had a trunk full of stuff, but it disappeared. Too bad you didn’t ever hear Mom sing… she was very good.

  3. This is wonderful to see and hear about your ancestors and their Antlers quartet group. I’ll bet you must have inherited some good singing genes! My husband used to sing in a gospel quartet, and we so see any gospel quartets that come through town. We love that music and the feelings it shares! His favorite group is the Melody Boys, who we have seen a couple of times when they performed here. He also has most all of their CD’s! Great music. It was so interesting to see your photos and hear about the Antlers group. Thanks.

  4. A wonderful family memory Carol. What special gifts they were blessed with, especially the piano player: to hear a song once and then play it. You must treasure the recordings you have of them. Two of my Uncles played in bands in the late 40s/50s. I was too young to ever see them play but loved to hear family stories.

  5. What wonderful heritage and memories. Yes, you and your children are blessed. I, too, have music and musicians in my background, and that adds a whole new dimension to life.

  6. I know– your mom would tell me about this. I couldn’t get her to sing in my choir either in the later years. Voice, like playing an instrument, has to be kept up with some practice once in a while I’m finding out! Your mom was my very best friend for years! Sure miss her!

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