Barbershop quartet hopes to surprise a hundred valentines this year

Friday, February 14, 2014 | 6:00 a.m. CST; updated 1:07 p.m. CST, Wednesday, December 24, 2014
The Boonslick Chordbusters, a barbershop quartet, offer two songs and as many as a dozen roses.

COLUMBIA — Lonnie Thompson tapped the screen on his phone, and his three compatriots leaned in and started to hum. Bob Huseby found the tenor note. Kevin Begley came in on bass. Thompson, the baritone, and Jack Donovan joined in. 

The quartet harmonized for a moment. Then silence.

Contact Boonslick Chordbusters

Boonslick Chordbusters said it will continue to accept orders Friday. Call 529-6821, or visit their website,

"Let me call you sweetheart," they sang. "I'm in love with you."

The four are members of the barbershop chorus Boonslick Chordbusters, and their audience was Amber Huffman, a medical social worker at the Women's and Children's Hospital.

Huffman clutched her friend's hand and smiled hesitantly. Embarrassed at the idea of getting serenaded, she forced her friend to remain by her side.

"Keep the love light glowing, in your eyes so true," the group sang. "Let me call you sweetheart, I'm in love with you."

After a quick photo, the Chordbusters said goodbye and made their exit.

All day, the four crooners rushed around the streets of Columbia, shaking the slush from their polished dress shoes, dashing to their next appointment.

The group has been singing for hire on Valentine's Day since 1998. Last year, the group sang for 128 people, and this year they hope to reach 100. By midday Thursday, they had already hit 70, and Chuck Bay, who coordinates all the orders, said they'll continue to accept orders Friday.

At the MU Student Center, the group surprised Janna Basler. The quartet presented her a rose and performed two songs, courtesy of her two co-workers.

"It's very sweet," Basler said. "That's what Valentine's Day is all about."

The Chordbusters offers two songs and as many as a dozen roses, depending on the order. The money they earn helps fund the group's expenses, and they also donate some of their proceeds to Alzheimer's disease charities.

Supervising editor is Adam Aton.

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