The Barbershop Harmony Society, a nonprofit organization of more than 30,000 men, has a chapter in Spartanburg called The Palmetto Statesmen. These men love to dress up in tuxedos and deliver roses to unexpected sweethearts on and around Valentine’s Day. One could say it is a specialty of theirs.
The Spartanburg local chapter has more than 50 men who perform singing Valentines this year. Singing Valentines is a tradition that has been around for close to 51 years now, according to the group. Singing Valentines will feature a barbershop quartet in tuxedos singing two love songs and handing out a card and a rose.
Richard Carey, one of the quartet's members, spoke of how this is “a lot cheaper than a dozen roses and it (the memory) lasts a lot longer.” Carey said one of the most memorable singing Valentines he has delivered was from a soldier overseas who called and bought one for his wife who worked at a local TV station. When Carey and other members of the quartet began to sing, she started to cry. At the end of their singing, the soldier called his wife. Things like this make Carey happy to be in a quartet, he said.
Along with presenting singing Valentines, the group also performs a yearly show, competes in competitions, and performs for several groups including veterans, assisted living centers and the general public. To learn more about The Palmetto Statesmen, visit: palmettostatesmen.org