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Last of the Original Merry MacsCopyright © 2001
Ted McMichael was one of the founders of the popular vocal quartet The Merry Macs. The group had big hits with songs like the nonsense song Mairzy Doats and Sentimental Journey; in the 1940s, and they worked with a number of well-known band leaders, including Joe Haymes, Glenn Miller, Ray Noble, and Paul Whiteman.
Ted began singing with his two brothers, Judd and Joe, as teenagers in their native Minneapolois, broadcasting locally as The Mystery Trio. Their break arrived when Joe Haymes hired them to tour with his band, as The Personality Boys.
They changed their name to The Merry Macs, and broke with tradition by hiring a girl as the fourth singer. Their four-part harmony style was inspired by big band instrumental harmonies rather than the popular barbershop quartet style.
Three different women filled that role prior to Marjory Garland (1923-1991), who joined the band in 1941 and remained with them until their retirement in 1964, and was married Judd McMichael (1906-1989).
Joe McMichael (1916-1944) was killed in the war, and his tenor role was later taken by a number of different singers. Ted was the baritone in the band.
The group had many hits, especially in the 1940s, and appeared in a number of films with the likes of Jack Benny, Abbott and Costello, and Bing Crosby. They were regularly featured in top radio shows in the 1940s. The band finally broke up in 1964.