"Experienced" - and proving it - might best describe the members of the 1962 International quartet champion, the Gala Lads from Alhambra, CA.
While a few gold medalists have been young and won while in their teens, the Gala Lads averaged 36 years of age when they won the championship. Tenor Dave Panther was 28, lead Tom Keehan 35, bari Gordon Lees 36, and bass Bill Cockrell 45.
What's more, collectively they had sung in 16 quartets before getting together as the Gala Lads, and could count a total of 35 years of barbershopping experience.
One of Bill's previous quartets was the West Coasters, 1957 International silver medalists and 1954 District Champs. For Dave, although the youngest of the group, the Gala Lads was his seventh quartet.
Although the foursome was organized in 1958, the winning combination did not get together until 1960. A year later, it placed sixth, then jumped to the top of the heap the following year in Kansas City.
In 1964 Tom was seriously injured in a motorcycle accident, and California barbershoppers staged a benefit to raise $1,200 to help with medical expenses. By 1968 the Gala Lads were back in business with all the original members except Dave, who had been replaced by Joe May.