Tenor: Turk Evans
Lead: Pres Evans
Bass: Jack Evans
Bari: Gene Smith
Trivia question: What quartet sang Lindy, Lucky Lindy for Charles A. Lindbergh in 1927 and, with a couple of personnel changes, was still singing as an International champion 50 years later? Answer: the Evans Quartet of Salt Lake City, the 1960 gold medal winners.
The song was delivered to Lindberg as he was making a triumphal tour of the country flying his “Spirit of St. Louis.” During the parade in Salt Lake City, when his motorcade passed by, four young brothers, ages 7, 9, 11, and 13, stepped out from the curb to sing, in full barbershop harmony, the popular song. Lindbergh ordered the car stopped, listened to the song, thanked them and shook their hands.
The brothers were Turk, Pres, George, and Clarence Evans. Thirty-three years later, when the Evans Quartet won the gold in Dallas, the quartet was composed of Turk, tenor; Pres, lead; younger brother Jack, bass; and Gene “Smitty” Smith, baritone.
Jack at age nine had ousted big brother Clarence, and Turk, Pres, George and Jack continued to sing as a quartet until 1940. Then Al Nielsen stepped in for George to sing bass through the 1957 International contest in Los Angeles. When he left, the brothers switched voice parts (Jack from lead to bass and Pres from bari to lead) and brought in Smitty as bari.
With a couple interruptions, the quartet continued active for the next ten years. Bob Evans (a cousin) replaced Smitty in 1971. The same combination (Turk, Pres, Bob and Jack) got together again later for a production of The Music Man in Salt Lake City. That was in 1980 – just 53 years after Turk and Pres had sung for “Lucky Lindy”