It was sometime around 1971 when Tom Ewald, then the Musical Director of the Bryn Mawr, PA chapter (1968-76), who had just
voluntarily left the quartet Chord-O-Matics, who had placed second at the MAD District Quartet contest,
began to search around to find another quartet. Tom was a recent newcomer to MAD, having moved from Ohio to Doylestown, PA,
where he had joined the Abington, PA chapter and was serving as its Assistant Director (1967-68).
Tom had been the bass of the 1964 Johnny Appleseed District quartet champion, The Wayfarers.
He contacted Carl Snyder, the great lead singer of the 1957 MAD champion quartet, The Yorkaires, and the
1969 MAD champion quartet, The Classics; and Jack Malone, the baritone of The Classics,
regarding their availability and desire to form another group. Tom also contacted Ralph Childs, a long time stalwart
of the Delco, PA chapter and outstanding tenor singer who expressed interest. And so was born the
Fifth Edition, so named because each of the four men discovered that this was to be their fifth registered quartet!
Ralph, Jack and Tom would travel from their respective homes in Philadelphia, Abington, and Doylestown every
Wednesday evening to Columbia, PA to a lawnmower shop owned and operated by Charles "Chuck" Williams and his family.
Chuck was the longtime Musical Director of the Lancaster, PA chaper.
The quartet qualified at the Division contest in the Spring of 1972 and went on to win the District Championship in
Richmond, VA in the fall of 1972, thereby becoming the MAD District Champion quartet of 1973,
while singing two arrangements of an icon of the Society, Val Hicks:
Irving Berlins' "When I Lost You" and "Bye, Bye Blues".
The quartet competed at the 1973 International Convention and Contest in Portland, Oregon, achieving Quarter Finalists status.
Among the many shows on which the quartet performed during their short lifetime, were other memorable performances,
such as performing for the Music Educators National Conference in Atlantic City, NJ, and the installation of the
then-new President of the American Medical Association at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City.
During the quartets tenure, it was coached exclusively by the one and only Fred King, baritone of the 1970 International Champion quartet,
The Oriole Four, and director of the 1971 International Chorus Champion,
The Chorus of the Chesapeake from Dundalk, MD.
The quartet retired in 1974 as the bass, Tom Ewald, was forced to leave for family reasons.
It is of interest that Tom went on to become a Sound Judge in the Society"s Contest and
Judging system in 1975, then later became a member of the Pros 'N' Cons along with
Carl Snyder, Fred King and Harry Williamson, the tenor of the 1974 International Champion quartet,
The Regents, in 1976, who was replaced in that quartet by Ralph Childs.