Adelphian Seal Adelphian Academy Alumni Scrapbook
1905 - 1987 "Where Education is Life"       

Webmaster Note:

The recordings of the old Voice of Prophecy, including music from the King's Heralds and sermons by H.M.S. Richards are available online.

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The Privilege of Singing in a Male Quartet at Adelphian Academy

--Bud Racine

Marlene Murphy, Adelphian Academy's webmaster, invited me to share my thoughts to be published on the Adelphian Academy website. Hopefully, others who have sung in a male quartet at the academy will also submit there thoughts on singing in a quartet at the academy. http://www.adelphianacademy.com/ I'll start at the beginning.

When I was nine years old, my brother in-law, Sam Aldea, knowing how much I enjoyed every aspect of farm life, would often invite me to go with him to his folk's farm near Farmington, Michigan. I would jump at the chance, knowing how much fun it would be, "helping" Sam with his tasks, knowing, too, that we'd be served a wonderful Romanian lunch by his mom. Typically, the lunch would be topped off with a piece or two of Mrs. Aldea's homemade apple strudel, which was wonderful.

Quartet
The 1949 Pontiac

On those Sunday mornings, we rode to the farm in Sam's new 1949 Pontiac. It was a beauty; white, two door, beautiful interior, straight-eight with white-sidewall tires. Sam always had the radio on and we would listen to the Voice of Prophecy (VOP), on WJR a station in Detroit.

That was my first introduction to the sound of men singing four part harmony. They were called the King's Heralds. I remember being patient while HMS Richards spoke, taking in the passing scenery, hoping the King's Heralds would sing again and soon.

I was much older before I learned to appreciate HMS Richards' masterful ability to preach a sermon. To this day, I am thankful, when I think about Richards' and the King's Heralds' and their united, professional effort, at proclaiming the truth about our loving heavenly Father. Their commitment to excellence was so uniquely representative of the highest Ideal in Christian broadcasting. They were Adventists and someday, I'd be baptized and join the church that my folks and siblings had done previously.

The only time we could see the King's Heralds in person, was when they would come to the Michigan Conference Campgrounds located then in Grand Ledge. When I was a boy, it was a long and arduous, trek from Pontiac to Grand Ledge; no freeways, no ideal family car. No problem 'cause we would be seeing and hearing the King's Heralds, plus mom packed a wonderful lunch that we would quickly devour at noon in a near by park; getting back in plenty of time to hear the King's Heralds sing!

Quartet
Bob Edwards, front and center in the photo,
sang first tenor. Bob Seamount,
directly behind him at the top of the photo,
sang second tenor.
Wayne Hooper sang baritone,
he's there on the left.
Jerry Dill sang bass. He's on the right.

Robert Elden Edwards 1924 - 2004

Bob Edwards was born in Kokomo, Indiana. (I wonder if the citizens of Kokomo have any idea that one of its sons would possess one of the most outstanding tenor voices ever to inhabit the earth.) Bob's voice was known for its exceptional tone quality, clear as a bell, effortless range, masterful enunciation with equally winsome inflection. In a word; perfect!

Bob graduated from Andrews University in 1947. (17 years later, I would graduate from the same university.)

http://www.iamaonline.com

Quartet
Robert Edwin Seamount
1919 - 1976

Robert Edwin Seamount 1919 - 1976

Bob Seamount was born in Green River, Utah. Bob attended Gem State Academy in Caldwell, Idaho, where he became acquainted with Wayne Hooper, who shared his interests in music and sang with him in the choir and in a male quartet. Bob's second tenor tone quality equaled that of Edwards' in everyway; perhaps the only difference being range. Seamount's high notes were every bit as clear and unstrained as Edwards'; angelic.

I always thought my second tenor tone quality was similar to Seamount's. Down deep within me, I knew the only thing we had in common was the name "Edwin"; it was his middle and my first. I admired Seamount in my youth as another would admire a professional baseball player. I listened carefully to Seamount whenever I had the chance. I, more than anything else, wanted to sound like Seamount. I have most of the Kings Herald's recordings from this era on CD's. Sometimes, I attempt to sing along with them. Usually, I sit and carefully critique their renditions. They were so good! A few of the songs they recorded are the songs we sung in male quartet at Adelphian Academy.

http://www.iamaonline.com

Wayne H. Hooper 1920 - 2007

Wayne was born in Little Rock, Arkansas. He attended Gem State Academy, La Sierra University and Union College in Lincoln, Nebraska. As Hooper was completing his music degree in 1949, he was invited by the VOP to form a new quartet and choose the music they would sing. The quartet he assembled, with its unique blend of voices, sang together for the next twelve years. The group's singing of his arrangements would define the King's Heralds sound for millions of listeners. Bob Edwards, in a 1991 article in Adventist Heritage wrote, "Hooper set the style of the VOP music with his unique and spirited male voice arrangements . Budding male quartets around the world wrote for copies of Hooper's arrangements. No matter where I travel…I still hear male quartets singing Hooper's arrangements." (Many of Hooper's arrangements are available on the Internet: [http://www.vop.com/article.php?id=189]

("Wayne Hooper's Final Life Sketch and Eulogy" is excellent, a must read.)

(A fact few know: "In 1947, officials of the General Conference, insisted, over H.M.S. Richard's objections, that Wayne be fired so the style of music on the broadcast could move in a different direction. Neither Hooper nor Richards ever complained publicly, but for both it was a painful blow.") Thank God, Wayne, at the appropriate time, would return!)

http://www.iamaonline.com

While living in California, I had the privilege of personally becoming acquainted with Wane Hooper. His Adventist musicianship is a monumental legacy that will not soon be forgotten.

I will always remember two stories I heard him tell. One involved a young Bob Edwards and his audition with the King's Heralds, and the other involving HMS Richards. Richards insisted that the quartet and he, while traveling across the Midwest on a hot summer day, towards a camp meeting engagement, divert travel to an out of the way place to see an elderly, bedridden woman. Richards had told her in writing that if he were ever in her area, he would stop to see her. (Consider contacting me for these stories: eracine1939@charter.net )

Jerry Page Dill 1927 - 2005

Jerry was born in Calico Rock, Arkansas. Jerry informed his mother at an early age that someday, he would be singing on the radio. After graduating from Auburn Adventist Academy he attended Southwestern University and Walla Walla College. During his sophomore year at Walla Walla, the VOP announced an opening in the King's Heralds. Dill immediately hitchhiked to Glendale, California, where he successfully auditioned for the position. For twelve years he was part of what would become known as the legendary "Hooper Quartet." It was a group that through its existence and numerous recordings defined the King's Heralds' sound; a sound that has resonated down through the years in the ears of every young man who was ever intent on reaching perfection while singing in an Adventist Academy quartet.

* * * *

As students at Pontiac Junior Academy, David Peterson, Loren Perry and I enjoyed getting together, occasionally, in out-of-the way places at the school to harmonize. David and I were tenth graders, Loren was a year behind us. I recall how the three of us were tickled by our own entertaining attempts at harmonizing and blending our voices. (Easily entertained.)

Harold Kuebler, was our church school teacher in '55. Harold truly was "a breath of fresh air"; young, recent graduate of Emanuel Missionary College, which eventually became Andrews University, studied to become a pastor, hadn't found a pulpit, landed on his feet in Pontiac, running.

Harold played the trumpet well and enjoyed singing hymns. Recognizing, as our seventh through tenth grade teacher, that there was a sufficient number that could sing four part harmony, he initiated the church school's first choir. He also noticed that David, Loren and I were singing three part harmony, and suggested that he join us. This foursome became Pontiac Junior Academy's first male quartet. Harold sang baritone, David sang bass, Loren sang second tenor and I sang first. The three of us, it seemed, felt we were on our way to becoming members the King's Heralds. (Insert here, "Many are called but few chosen.")

The following school year Peterson and I enrolled at Adelphian Academy. We sang in the Adelphian Academy Choir and Boy's Glee Club. Larry McKinsey came from Flint, Michigan and Clarence Brummett from Millington, Michigan. Our beloved choir director, Miss Carol Rhodes, formed the Junior Class Quartet; McKinsey sang first tenor, Peterson sang baritone, Brummett sang bass and I sang second tenor.

Our senior year, because Larry had volunteered for the Marine Corps, I sang first tenor, William Snyder, from Osseo, Michigan, sang second, Peterson sang baritone and Brummett, bass. We became the Senior Class Quartet. Carol Rhodes secured appointments for the quartet to sing for Sabbath morning worship services in several, rural churches throughout Michigan. Those were memorable trips; riding in Carol's new VW Beatle.

At 72, as I look back at those wonderful, carefree years, several thoughts come to mind:

  • Thoughts of my folks who went without so that their children would be educated in church affiliated schools. I thank God for their constant expressions of unconditional love. We'll have much to catch up on in the earth made new!
  • Thoughts of academy teachers and staff who gave so unreservedly, with very little remuneration. Each will occupy honored places at The Table in the earth made new.
  • Thoughts of each and every member of my family, and the academy friends that became family. Be assured, we'll gather around a piano again sometime to sing praises and to reminisce; leaving in plenty of time to the Great Pavilion; wanting front row seats for the King's Heralds' heavenly concert.

Photo Gallery:

Quartet
Marguerite & William '64
Quartet
Senior Quartet '57 Holly Kiwanis
Contest. My folks. We nailed it.
Quartet
Adelphian Academy Campus '57 or '58
Carol Rhodes in suit, David Peterson in sunglasses, with Clarence Brummett
Quartet
May 1957 Left to right: Clarence, David, Wilmer & Bud
Harold Kuebler, photo.
Quartet
Wilmer and Janet Snyder's Wedding Reception '59
L to R: Wilmer, Bud, David & Clarence
Quartet
Pontiac, Michigan December '66
Church Christmas Quartet
L to R: Bud Racine, Danny Wilson, Sid Dudney &
David Peterson
Quartet
Loma Linda, California '88
"The Generation Gap Quartet" (Sons & Dads)
L to R: Geoffrey Brummett, Bud Racine, Michael Racine & Clarence Brummett
Quartet
54th General Conference Session New Orleans '85
The Good News Quartet
L to R: Bud Racine, (filling in for Bill Brody), Clarence Brummett, Dave Mitchell,
and Eldon Dickenson

Personal note: If there ever was a masterful iconic representation of the Seventh-day Adventist institution, it was in bodied in the King's Heralds. It was an inexcusable, nefarious act to dismiss them with out cause. In a word; shameful.

Today the King's Heralds are alive and well. But before I "introduce" them to you. Consider going to the URL below and then to videos, and then find  Edwards, Thurber, Hooper and Dill singing: "Good News, Chariots A-Comin". Thurber sang second and joined the King's Heralds at Seamount's demise.

http://search.yahoo.com/search;_ylt=Ah436GxWxrWDe.UOhoj5mEObvZx4?fr=yfp-t-701-1-s&toggle=1&cop=mss&ei=UTF-8&p=the%20king's%20heralds%20quartet

The King's Heralds Website: http://www.theheralds.org/

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