A non-instrumental part of quartet's appeal

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.
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 sings baritone...
   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 Mary Lou."
    Those songs strike a chord with baby boomers, Mr. Smith says, and that generation is the key to a cappella's staying power.
   "There's 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...

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