School or Affiliation: Columbia
4682 Lerner Hall
Columbia University
New York, NY


Founded in 1949 for the Homecoming Ceremony at Baker Field, the King's Men of Columbia College is one of the most famous a cappella groups in the United States. From day one, the group was a national sensation. With the advent of television, the King's Men achieved nation-wide fame on such shows as Two for the Money, The Steve Allen Program, and The Ed Sullivan Show. Appearing in venues like Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center, the King's Men entertained the likes of Jayne Mansfield and President Dwight D. Eisenhower. General Eisenhower showered the group with high praise, claiming at a football game in 1951: “If you men can get 2,000 others singing with that spirit, I’ll personally pin a medal on each one of you.” Before long, the group produced its own celebrities; in 1962, (before his legendary career with Paul Simon) Arthur Garfunkel joined the ranks of the 'smen. Then in 1969, the group split away from the University to debut at Woodstock as the 50's Doo Wop revival band, Sha Na Na and went on to star in the popular 70's program of the same name. After a thirteen-year hiatus, the group resurfaced in 1982 as The Kingsmen. Today, the Kingsmen are considered to be Columbia's premier a cappella group. Consisting of no more than 10 highly talented, highly motivated young men, their repertoire encompasses barbershop, gospel, traditional school songs, Christmas tunes, contemporary selections, and some witty songs that they wrote themselves. The Kingsmen regularly perform at alumni functions, corporate affairs, holiday parties, athletic events, department stores, and colleges throughout the East. Perhaps the Kingsmen are best known for their widely attended campus shows performed in Alfred Lerner Hall at the end of each semester. Recently, the 'smen have performed at Macy's, Bergdorf Goodman, a New York Yankees Championship celebration party, for Gregory Hines and Rod Stewart on a Transatlantic crossing of the QE2, and most recently were featured at both the US Open 2003 and the US Open 2004 in Queens, NY. The Kingsmen have recorded several compact discs including Lunchbox and Laydownloner, and are heading back into the studio this fall. Their fifth full length album is due out sometime this spring.


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