Shave and a Haircut – Two Bits

By Steve Hansen, aka “Ole Blue Eyes”

Say what? Surely not! Of course, we all remember the jingle “shave and a haircut, two bits,” but where can you find that today? Only in your dreams, or if you return to the 1890’s and the roots of our great American singing style and tradition, barbershop close harmony. In a way, Preferred Blend had the opportunity to return to our roots when we performed for the opening day of an old fashion barbershop in Chino Hills this October.

V’s Barbershop, est. 1999, is a franchise establishment with now over 20 “old fashion” barbershops in southern California. One of newest ones just opened in The Shoppes of Chino Hills to the great interest and delight of many patrons. Preferred Blend was fortunate to be able to take part in the opening day activities and we had a great time. We sang for customers in the shop, helped with the ribbon cutting ceremony and sang outside the shop to passersby to encourage them to come on in for a look see and some refreshments.

This V’s barbershop, complete with barber-poles and classic décor, has six beautiful maroon barber chairs with skilled barbers, some with old fashion handlebar mustaches. The barber chairs can also completely fold flat for anyone who wants to get that old fashion shave with the hot towel, hot mug shaving soap and the barber with a straight razor. Just hope he has a steady hand!! It’s definitely “a guy thing.”

Of course, while the experience is unique and reminiscent of days gone by, the prices are definitely not “old fashion.” A full “shave and a haircut – two bits” is only in your dreams. Today that experience will cost you over 220 bits. Remember, in those days, two bits equaled 25 cents. Amazing how expressions change over the years. Ask a young person today what are “two bits” and they probably wouldn’t say “25 cents.” They might tell you that a “bit” is part of a computer software “byte” as in an “eight bit byte” in the CPU memory of a computer or mobile phone. Think kilobytes, megabytes, or gigabytes. Or a savvy young investor would tell you about his “bitcoin” account and how he does trading in bitcoins. Now isn’t that an interesting tidbit! Yes how times, expressions, and prices have changed.

But one thing has not changed, and that’s the pleasure in people’s eyes when they enjoy your quartet standing close by, singing the classic melodies. Their faces light up with smiles as they share the wonderful close harmony of the barbershop style. And that’s what it’s all about! Indeed, we had a great time at V’s Barbershop singing “the ole songs!”

Where Were You In 1916 ?

By Buddy

Well , I don't remember much of that year as it was 20 years before I was born . From my High School History , Sid Miller AKA Donald O'Conner was born , top hats were the fashion statement for men ,World WAR 1 was well underway , Victrolas were very popular ( What no I- Tunes , CD's and MP3s ? ) Model T's were in their 19th year of production and Woodrow Wilson .was President ( Potus ) .. But I digress -------------------

Preferred Blend was asked to entertain at the 100th re-opening of a lovely , two story Craftsman home in the North Park District of San Diego..

Wow , what an affair ! All the San Diego Movers and Shakers were there !

The Owners had a 1931 Durant brought in for occasion and we got to have our picture taken inside the Durant -- This is now on the Preferred Blend website (preferred blend .com ).Check it out . This amazing home was completely furnished in the style of 1916 EXCEPT no pull chain toilets were to be found .

The current owners went ALL OUT for this affair ; Professional Photographer using period camera equipment , catered with yummy desserts AND and an OPEN BAR ! We entertained for over three hours ; probably one our most memorial quartet gigs we've ever done !

When PB finished , we were asked to take home some goodies ; for our Wives of course . Yea , right .

Of the numerous gigs we've done , this one will not soon be forgotten !

By the way , in case you're wondering Preferred Blend is not a coffee featured at Starbucks !

A young lady at the affair , asked us : how many guys are in your Quartet ? I answered, Seven of course . We get that a lot from our younger fans .