The Easterners were a fine young vocal quintet that just happened to get together at the Kappa Sigma House at Eastern New Mexico University. The group first performed for a school musical called “Swanee.” They were an immediate sensation and were later invited by Richard Miller (WGP 1964) to sing for the National Conclave of Kappa Sigma*. As a group, they have traveled most of the western states and individuals from the quintet have been featured in the Santa Fe Opera Company and on a USO tour of the Far East.
*A minor conflict of history exists regarding which Grand Conclave the Easterners performed at, with the vinyl suggesting it was the 1963 Kansas City conclave, and the International Headquarters listing them as part of the 1965 Houston conclave.
At the time of recording, included are four Kappa Sigma Brothers and one pledge. They are Jim Culberson, 1st Tenor (ΘZ 1963); Manuel Melendez, 2nd Tenor (ΘZ 1963); Andy Cottle, Baritone (ΘZ 1962); Paul Scholfield, Bass (ΘZ 1962); Dave Cottle, Lead (ΘZ 196?). Andy and Dave are truly brothers. Three of the quintet majored in music.
One side of “Kappa Sigma Sing-A-Long” features songs of the fraternity. These songs can be heard on many college campuses especially in the spring semester when most colleges have a “Fraternity Sing” or a “Spring Sing.” Kappa Sigma is one of the largest and oldest fraternities, tracing its “traditional founding” back to Bologna in the fourteen hundreds. Several of the songs were written by Hoagy Carmichael (BΘ 1922), Kappa Sigma Song Commissioner and author of many great songs including the all-time great “Stardust.” The other side is comprised of several new songs plus standards with special Kappa Sigma lyrics.
This album was produced by Odis Echols, Jr. (ΕΦ 1954) who served as assistant to Hoagy as song commissioner. He was a radio station owner and operator and was active in the recording and talent management business. Odis heard “The Easterners” at a fraternity function at ENMU and set out to advance their cause. He also wrote the special fraternity lyrics used in the album.
Because of Brother Echols’ connections from his radio station, he was able to reach out to Glen Campbell, who at the time was a “studio musician.” Glen helped with the instrumentation on the album and played the guitar and banjo on the first side of the Kappa Sigma Sing Along Album.
In the song details below, you can see the brother’s initiation chapter and year following their name.
The Kappa Sigma Sing Along Album
Other songs of Kappa Sigma
Some of these are more modern renditions of the songs on the Easterners Album.