Racing City Chorus offers sweetheart serenade

Gold lockets and romantic dinners are nice, but what could be a better public proclamation of your love this Valentine's Day than saying it with a song? As an added bonus, you don't even need to carry a tune - The Racing City Chorus (RCC) of Saratoga Springs will do all the work for you.

The RCC is offering singing Valentines you can send to your sweetie Monday, Feb. 12 through Wednesday, Feb. 14. Four tuxedo-clad troubadours will arrive at your chosen destination and sing two songs in four-part barbershop harmony between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. They'll also deliver homemade chocolates from Saratoga Sweets in Clifton Park, a personalized Valentine card with your message (perhaps the only thing to stay a secret), and a long-stemmed rose from The Posie Peddler. The melodious minstrels then break into songs including Love me Tender, "Wild Irish Rose," and "I Love You Truly."

Ordered in advance, you can send the songs and sweets to your lovebird at their office, in a restaurant, or any other embarrassing place of your choice. Organizer and RCC member Jerry Crouth attests that men actually enjoy receiving the singing Valentines, even when their faces turn as red as roses.

"The guys act all embarrassed and flustered, but inside, they're swelling up with pride," said Crouth. "All the women who receive them weep. Even as a singer, I get a lump in my throat."

Five different quartets are out on Valentine's Day, taking care of the rush of orders throughout the Capital District. The crooners have made their sweet deliveries to recipients in school classrooms and cafeterias, the aisles of grocery stores, bank lobbies, and even conservative law firm offices.

"We frequently show up at the last place anyone ever expects us to be," said Crouth. "People gather all around and take pictures or videotape the performance. Often the person sending us will show up to watch."

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