TMI - The Matinee Idols
Dan Trakas, Tenor
Kirk Roose, Lead
Rod Nixon, Bari
Al Downey, Bass
Before The Matinee Idols formed their final configuration, Dan Trakas, Terry
Trakas (Dan's brother) Steve Pence and Al Downey put together a quartet from the
Elyria Chapter to compete at the Lakewood Corn Roast's Novice Quartet Contest.
Terry decided he could not commit to singing in a quartet since he was starting
college in the fall. Rod Nixon agreed to fill in as lead and we competed as
"Lambie and His Chops.". Dan had large lamb chop sideburns at the time and with
Rod's warped sense of humor, he came up with this name. We performed How's
Every Little Thing In Dixie and Honey Bun and won the contest.
Rod must have thought we had something special and made us an offer. He said he
was interested in singing with us full time and if we agreed to do everything he
told us to do, we would be District Champs. We all jumped at the opportunity
and Rod resigned from his current quartet, The Re-Arrangement, to sing with us!
Rod also came up with the name The Matinee Idols.
We competed in our first District Contest in October of 1975 and came in second
place silver medalists. We really got serious at that point and coached with
Darryl Flynn often. The very next year, we won District Gold in Dayton. We
competed once at International in Philadelphia-1977, and came in 26th.
We performed about twice per month as District Champs at many chapter shows
around the district. We performed on shows with Grandma's Boys, The Boston
Common and The Schmidt Brothers. We also enjoyed going to the barbershop
weekend events on Middle Bass and South Bass Islands every year.
The Matinee Idols quartet was a fantastic barbershop starting point for Dan,
Steve and Al. Rod was already a District Champion in The Sound Advice. Dan and
Rod went on to win gold in Yesteryear. Steve sings with the Masters of Harmony
in Southern California and has five chorus gold medals. Steve's two sons also
sing with The Masters and have gold medals of their own. Al is an associate
director of the Elyria Chapter and has sung in several quartets since the Idols.
Al's son Joe, is also a JAD quartet champion.
In 1982, we revived TMI with Kirk Roose singing lead and Rod singing baritone.
That configuration was the start of Yesteryear, our 1997 International Champs.
Kirk also started out in the Elyria Chapter when he was in high school and is an
accomplished arranger, coach and director in addition to being a quartet
champion from his Mid-Atlantic District days. The recent revival of TMI started
in late 2010 when The Matinee Idols quartet was asked to sing in celebration of
the 35th anniversary of their district championship. With Steve still in
California, we rehearsed via recordings with Steve, and in person with Kirk. We
had so much fun we decided to keep singing. In 2012 we will hit another
milestone by qualifying to compete as a Seniors quartet (guess who just turned
55!). TMI won the 2012 JAD Seniors District Championship held at the JAD International Quartet Prelims and Chorus District Convention held in Olmsted Falls Ohio, singing "Alamo Rag" and "Let Me Call You Sweetheart". The quartet made the top ten in the regular contest singing "You're a Dangerous Girl" and "Auld Lang Syne" and had a ball. We plan to keep singing and entertaining for many years to come.