WAYLAND — The Lowell Club had some special guests during their banquet meeting.


On June 7 at 7 p.m. The Rusty Pickups came to entertain the ladies of the Lowell Club at Simply Autumn’s.


“I grew up in a family that loved music. In fact that was about the only form of entertainment we really had back in the day,” Marian Crawford, secretary said. “ … and we made it ourselves.”


Crawford said this is the reason she chose to bring The Rusty Pickups to the club meeting.


“That is one big reason that I have such a strong appreciation for Barber Shop Music … their sound is the harmony of voices created by the individuals that perform it and it is a beautiful thing to watch,” she said. “That is also the reason why I have been so anxious to share with you the story of the Maple City Chorus … especially The Rusty Pickups.”


One of the main fundraisers of Maple City Chorus is to help children get to Harmony Camp in Geneva. They also benefit local food banks, perform for nursing homes on Valentine’s Day, and perform multiple concerts in our area.


“We are so fortunate to have The Rusty Pickups with us tonight,” Crawford said. “Together they have chalked up over 100 years of singing experience. They are out of Hornell, but acknowledge they are just four friends who get a lot of enjoyment out of singing together. The proof of that is in the music you hear.”


The Rusty Pickups are Frank Newton (tenor), Steve Spencer (lead), Carl Leatherrich (bass), and (baritone) Ward Votava.


Votava mentioned the Barbershop Harmony Society has been around since 1971, and is an international society. They sing folk songs anywhere in the world and harmonize.


“It gives barber shoppers something to do,” he said. “We call these songs the Barber Shop Pole Cats.”


About five years ago the society decided to send children to camp, Votava said.


“We had about 500 kids go to the festival and sing all over the country,” he said. “We had to get some new Barber Shop Pole Cat songs for them to be interested in. We have a list of about 50 songs they like to sing too. It satisfies the requirements.”


The Rusty Pickups sang songs like Irish Blessings, When I’m Blue, No Time Sorrow, and a few more.


The Lowell Club was founded in February of 1890 as a literary, social club for women. Crawford mentioned men were part of the club back in the day, but not anymore.


The founders named the club after the poet James Russell Lowell. Lowell attended Harvard University to study law, but was drawn to literature. He was the first editor of the Atlantic Monthly in 1857, and co-edited the North American review from 1863 until 1868.


In keeping with this tradition the club encourages anyone to share poems, reviews, quotes, short stories, books, movies, or anything else of literature nature with the group at the start of every meeting.


Interested in the Lowell Club? Contact the Lowell Club officers Diane Wolcott, Diane Peck-Barnette, Sandy Shaffer and Marian Crawford for more information.