Happiness Emporium Quartet

1975 International Champions

Clockwise, from left:
Rod Johnson, Lead
Bob Dowma, Tenor
Jim Foy, Bass
Rick Anderson, Baritone

NEWS FLASH -- check out the Happiness Emporium's brand-spankin' new web site on their very own INTERNET DOMAIN!!


Happiness Emporium is a barbershop quartet from Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota. They are part of the Land O' Lakes District of SPEBSQSA, and in fact they are the only quartet from this district in the past 45 years to win the coveted International Quartet Championship. (The Schmitt Brothers were the previous winners from LOL, winning in 1951.) Both quartets have since been inducted into the prestigious Land O' Lakes District Hall of Fame.

Some background on the Happiness Emporium

Every now and then, in Quartet singing, four guys who have been singing in other groups for years find their musical paths crossing -- and something special happens! The Happiness Emporium was formed in December, 1972, and right away they sounded like a winner. In their first year and a half they won four contests and placed in the Top 10 in International Competition. Then, a year later, in June, 1975, the Happiness Emporium was proclaimed the International Champions of Barbershop Quartet singing.

The members of the quartet have a combined total of over 100 years of quartet experience. They have sung with seven District Champion quartets, toured Pacific military hospitals on USO tours, and have sung for Barbershop Chapters all over America, Canada, England and Sweden.

The Emporium is a remarkably versatile singing group, equally proficient with "pure" barbershop arrangements, modern harmonies, spirituals, show tunes, country, nostalgic medleys and comedy. One reason for the success of the Happiness Emporium is the matched unit sound of four excellent voices. Each of the four is often featured in solo numbers backed up by the other three.

Word has gotten around that the H.E. is no ordinary quartet. They have sung for countless conventions, coast-to-coast Barbershop shows, variety shows, radio and T.V., the Grand Ole Opry, on New York's Broadway, and London's Barbican Centre.

They have preserved their special sound on seven audio recordings and a video since winning the International Championship. Their recordings and video may be purchased at performances or ordered from from Emporium Recordings, 9151 Glen Edin Lane, Minneapolis, MN 55443. Performance bookings may be arranged by calling 612/493-2317.

NEWS FLASH -- They're back!

The Happiness Emporium officially retired as an active quartet in July of 1993, after 21 years of performing. Each of the quartet members returned to singing in other quartets, attempting to fill the gap left by not actively doing Happiness Emporium shows. Their return to an active show performing status was made easier by reverting to the concept of "have pitch pipe, will travel." A repertoire formerly consisting of scores of songs has been pared down to include the most requested all-time crowd favorites.

They've worked out a new show package, and are once again taking show bookings. You'll also be hearing more about some exciting new recording offerings very soon. Last July, at the 1997 International Barbershop Convention, they returned to the site of their 1975 big win at Indianapolis. They had a featured spot with the other active past champs on the AIC (Association of International Champions) Show.

Meet the Members of the Happiness Emporium

Bob Dowma, tenor, arranges much of the quartet's music and has served as a Certified Arrangement Judge. Bob is the Controller for a welding supplies distribution company. He is an assistant director and sings with the Great Northern Union Chorus, plays golf, sings in his church choir and another barbershop quartet, and is married with two children and a grandson.
(email: HETENOR@msn.com)
Rod Johnson sings the lead and is the quartet's contact man. He also fills in on bass or baritone when the other voices are being featured. Rod is employed by the armored car service company, Brink's, Inc., as an Account Executive, with responsibility for sales in Minnesota and Iowa. He sings with the Great Northern Union Chorus, where he is an assistant director. He enjoys travel, and is married with two daughters, a grandson and a granddaughter.
(email: JJJobFit@aol.com)
Jim Foy, the bass man, handles the quartet's travel logistics. His other hobby is tinkering with cars, especially his 1950 Oldsmobile. Jim is a Mechanical Designer for an agricultural equipment manufacturer, sings in several groups; his church choir, a gospel quartet, another barbershop quartet, and is married with four children. A small bunch of kids know him as "Grampa."
(email: HEQbass@Compuserve.com)
Rick Anderson, baritone, joined the Emporium in 1987 after singing in two District Champion quartets. Rick is a Programmer/Analyst for a health maintenance organization (HMO), sings in the Great Northern Union Chorus, is married with two children, and he likes to play golf. As a bari, he loves caulking and filling chords, but the H.E. also features him on solos and hero notes.
(email: Rick.W.Anderson@healthpartners.com)

How to contact the quartet:

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