By Rob Clark
Staff Writer of The Dallas Morning News
Bruce Smith is an a cappella
aficionado, and it shows. He's eager to talk about the popularity of
the old-school singing style in modern-day music, and is quick to point
out that it is here to stay.
Mr. Smith got his first taste of a cappella on the streets of
Brooklyn. Growing up in the '50s and '60s, it was hard to avoid.
The a cappella group 4 Ever Young, with (from left)
John Beiseigel, Joel Just, Lee Halvorsen and
Bruce Smith, favors oldies rock 'n' roll.
"I just loved it, the sound of it," he says. "You
couldn't walk three or four blocks without seeing a group singing on
the corner. And I saw all the girls around them, and that didn't hurt
the cause, either."
A veteran of several a cappella groups, Mr. Smith now leads
4 Ever Young, a quartet that specializes in oldies rock 'n'
roll. Mr. Smith, who moved to Dallas in 1979, serves as first tenor;
Lee Halvorsen is second tenor, John Beiseigel is bass and Joel Just
A typical 4 Ever Young show might include such
standards as the Coasters' "Charlie Brown," Dion & the Belmonts'
"Teenager in Love," the Marcels' "Blue Moon" and Ricky Nelson's "Hello
Those songs strike a chord with baby boomers, Mr. Smith says, and that generation is the key to a cappella's staying power.
a huge calling for our particular style," he says. "The baby boomers
grew up on this, so they are our market. We're also well received by
the children of
baby boomers, because their parents played that music when their kids were growing up."
Not that 4 Ever Young doesn't have modern inclinations. The group has an extensive Web site (www.4ey.com)...
And for the record, yes, Mr. Smith is a Rod Stewart fan, and called upon one of the pop star's hits for the quartet's name...