(l to r) Coburn, Wickstrom, Seeman, Mudgett
TenorBill WickstromLeadJoe Coburn
BariJohn SeemanBassMike Mudgett
Formed in January of 1967, the Sharplifters entered the spring contest and qualified for International in Los Angeles where they placed 27th. While in Los Angeles, they had appearances on the Joey Bishop Show, ABC News Special, and several TV sitcoms at Universal City.
In 1968 they qualified for International and almost made the Top Ten in Cincinnati placing 11th just 3 points out of 10th. In 1969 they did not compete due to the transfer of both Joe Coburn to Chicago and Mike Mudgett to St. Louis. Lowell Thomas replaced Mike at bass. The USO and International asked them to go to the far East for 21 days to entertain the troops and they accepted.
In 1970 the Sharplifters searched for a lead and found Bill Shannon. They qualified for Atlantic City finishing 30th. In 1971 they replaced Bill with a newcomer to Barbershop, Clay Shumard. In 1972, 1973, and 1974 they qualified for International and placed 22nd, 16th, and 32nd.
The Sharplifters sang their last show in the spring of 1975. Bill Wickstrom kept a log of all their activities over the 8 years and 4 months they were together: 184 Chapter Shows in 31 States, 521 paid commercial appearances, close to 1000 rehearsals and 1.2 million miles traveled in 10 different countries. The Sharplifters were best known for their showmanship and clever routines, and not too bad of a singing group either. John Seemann and Bill Wickstrom were the only 2 original members to survive the 8 plus years.
Mike Mudgett and Bill Wickstrom passed to that chorus in the sky in 1995 and 1998 respectfully.
Joe Coburn went on to sing lead with Sound Tracks placing 5th at International. Clay Shumard went to the Vagabonds placing as high as 2nd Place and later sang with The Ritz.