Let Them Call You Sweetheart Local Barbershop Quartets Deliver Singing Valentines

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Byline: Kathryn Grondin Daily Herald Staff Writer

If you've always wanted to serenade your sweetie but you don't have the voice, the West Towns Chorus can deliver a singing valentine for you.

The men's singing group is offering the musical treats Feb. 14 to 16 throughout DuPage and Cook counties, including downtown Chicago, for a fee.

Quartets from the chorus will sing one of four selected songs, deliver a rose and provide a photo of the recipient. The cost starts at $40 but goes up depending on the flexibility of the delivery time.

"It's one of those activities that the guys really enjoy, and we can spread a little love around," said Bob Babcock of Downers Grove. "We basically have a lot of fun making grown women cry."

The a cappella barbershop quartets will visit homes, schools, offices - wherever they can find the recipient - to deliver the musical message.

Sometimes it's a grandmother getting a song from her son, or a man surprising his wife at work, or a teacher who is surprised by her sister.

"At first it is great embarrassment," said Bob Wahl of Wood Dale. "That lasts about 10 to 12 seconds. Then there is a weepy period ... The real glow is after we leave."

Once the quartets start singing, people start appearing from everywhere.

"It's one of the most gratifying things we do," said Dick Allen of West Chicago, who sings in the Pitch Pipe Packing Papas. "We walk away feeling really good and we leave people feeling happy. I don't think there is anything more enjoyable than seeing the smiles you get."

You can pick one of four songs: "The Story of the Rose," better known as "Heart of My Heart"; "Let Me Call You Sweetheart"; "I Love you Truly"; or "You are My Sunshine. …