Tenor: George Evans
Lead: Dave LaBonte
Bass: Buzz Busby
Bari: Wally Singleton”Save your Confederate money, boys, the South shall rise again!” That song by the Confederates, 1956 International Champions, was to go down in history, and the quartet went on to become a true legend within the Society over the next 13 years.
Organized at a Memphis Chapter party in September 1953, the Confederates were a popular quartet even before they won the championship. Composed of George Evans, tenor; Dave LaBonte, lead; Bill “Buz” Busby, bari; and Wally Singleton, bass, the foursome appeared in authentic-looking Confederate officer uniforms, complete with dress swords, or as white-haired, frock-coated Southern “colonels.”
But it was the songs they sang, the arrangements they introduced, and the way they sang them that contributed even more to their fame. Chloe, Red Head, Down Where the South Begins, and A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square are only a few of the songs still identified with the Confederates. In their first International contest in 1954 they finished 31st.
But the next year, in Miami, they leaped to second place, and in 1956 in Minneapolis they won the gold. Buz was seriously injured in an auto accident in about 1960, and the quartet laid out of the show circuit for about a year. Except for that period, however, they continued entertaining audiences throughout the country until 1969