Polecats and Tags
Started by Ralph Ribble in 1971 when he was the SPEBSQSA president. Officially the program is called "The Barber Pole Cat Program" and the purpose is to encourage as many barber shoppers as possible to get involved in quartet singing. The current list of 12 songs was selected by a vote of Society members in 1987. The Barberpole Cat song book is available from the Harmony Marketplace ($3.50 for members and $6.00 for non-members), and the chances are high that there are members in your chapter that already have copies you could learn from for free. There are even part separated learning tapes to help shorten the learning curve. One great feature is that most barber shoppers who have been around for a while already know these songs, and forming quartets with others at Convention is made simple.
If barbershop singing were an ice cream sundae, tags would be the cherry on top. Tags are short (usually only one or two staffs) pieces that would normally go at the end of a song. The tags we sing are written specifically to produce the most enlivening chords of the barbershop tradition. Tags are specifically written to make music ring and when sung well, create a vibrational quality that produces overtones both above and below the range that is being sung by the performers.
To begin learning tags, either click on the links below to access two pdf files containing sheet music for over 160 tags. Or download the online app 'Tag Master' on your smartphone, or you can visit www.barbershoptags.com as an additional resource to learn more tags. Have fun!!