The Gentlefolk

The Gentle Folks

In 2003 Arlene and Rex Raudenbush sat down with Grace and Fred Holmes to a dinner of roast salmon with fresh asparagus, Caesar salad, and mango dessert.
Being musical they wondered if they could sing together. To their great surprise their four voices were nicely matched in tone and quality, just like the fresh asparagus, roasted salmon, Caesar salad, and mango dessert. After a month of experimentation they discovered they could sing classic barbershop harmonies in the male range. Rex, a rare natural tenor, found the lead part to his liking and Arlene naturally gravitated to the tenor part, the harmony above the lead. Fred rumbled along down in the bass range and Grace, to the surprise of all, found that she could sing the male baritone part, bouncing along between the lead and the bass. They have been singing barbershop arrangements of popular songs of a bygone era and of gospel music ever since. Their repertoire included old favorites, such as songs from Meredith Willson’s The Music Man, as well as gospel favorites like Amazing Grace.
When the spirit moved them, they'd even find time for a little comedy with their music.

As fate would have it, in April of 2017, our lead singer, Rex Raudenbush, died suddenly and thus ended the two couple barbershop quartet that had been singing in the Kansas City area for fifteen years. There was no way to replace Rex, and his widow, Arlene, did not feel she could continue. Grace, the baritone (the rare woman singing in the male baritone range) and Fred, now in their mid eighties, to start all over again seemed beyond them.

It is tragic in another sense because, at the time of Rex’s death, they had just completed two years’ work mastering a very nice First World War songs repertoire.

In that regard, though unrelated to music, you might find interest in Fred's website “Medicine in the First World War” It is the oldest, largest, and best on this subject in the world.

Gentlefolk would like to thank for fifteen years of hosting.

With best regards,

Frederick Holmes, MA, MD, FACP