The DQ of Amherst College


Glee Club (1940)

Amherst College Glee Club Recording (1940)

This is the oldest known recording of the DQ, from the days when it was still a part of the Glee Club. The vinyl records in this album comprise nine songs, two of which – Paige’s Horse and Cheer for Old Amherst – are sung by the DQ itself. The other seven college songs are performed by the entire Glee Club. The album was so popular with alumni that is was re-released some years later, with different album art but the same good ol’ music.

Amherst College Double Quartet (1948)

The first album of the independent DQ proclaims in its program notes that “The Double Quartet has long been a tradition at Amherst. It started out under the wing of the Glee Club, and through the years has become one of the outstanding features of The Singing College. Its songs are an unusual lot. The origins of many are not known. Some are traditional college songs, while others in a lighter vein have been acquired from a hundred and one odd corners. The songs on this album are from among those for which the DQ has become popular.”

Songs by the DQ and ZumbyesSongs by the D.Q. & Zumbyes (1952)

The only DQ joint album that we know of, the 1952 album brings together the DQ and Zumbyes for the traditional College Songs at the end of the record. Only three of the seven college songs recorded here have survived through today – perhaps their gender-specific lyrics didn’t make it through Coeducation. The DQ sings eight tracks on their own, including “Hello,” which still opens every Spring Show in Johnson Chapel.

Double Quartet (1956)

The 1956 album proudly proclaims that the group has “resisted the trend towards modern or ‘progressive jazz’,” and instead retained a more traditional sound. Yet it reflects the changing times, acknowledging that the group is indeed moving beyond its barbershop roots to incorporate a newer, jazzier sound. This album contains mostly “recent” arrangements, but of course some things never change – the album still concludes with the Senior Song, Paige’s Horse, and Lord Jeffrey Amherst, retained from way back in the group’s Glee Club days.


D.Q. Adrift (1962)

The DQ of the early 1960s produced this album “with two purposes in mind: 1. To make great quantities of money for the participants, and 2. To bring art to the masses. Realizing that both of these goals have been utterly missed, the listener will still enjoy the colorful cover.” The trend towards a jazzy sound begun in the ’56 album continues, and the group claims that they now “can be heard singing harmonies that were discords a few years ago.”

D.Q. (1965)

A 23-song album of classics, Dixieland, College songs, and more, with a modern, jazzy sound. Arrangements, as the record cover reads, “run from the dixieland to the ridiculous, drawing from such diverse traditions as French minstrels…and American political and social morality…”

The Amherst College D.Q. (1987)

The new DQ, re-formed in the early 1980s, released its first album on vinyl. “Button Up” opens the album, and the school’s traditional Drinking Song is recorded here for posterity as well. A copy of this landmark DQ release is held in the Amherst College Archives, a testament to the recording’s transformational role in the college’s nearly 200-year history.

Other Time (1989)Other Time (1989)

The DQ’s only foray into the short-lived but totally worth it world of the “audio cassette,” Other Time broke with long-established DQ tradition by choosing an album title that wasn’t just the name of the group. It also established its own tradition: the Chilly Wolf makes his debut on the album’s cover art, and he has reappeared in every album since.

The Monkey Man Flies at Midnight (1992)

The Chilly Wolf takes center stage in this album, which includes the DQ’s signature song of the ’90s, “Reflex,” as well as an update of “Button Up,” an intoxicating mix of Madonna and Beethoven, and lots of other great stuff. This was also the DQ’s first foray in to the world of the Compact Disc. I’m pretty sure Fusco had a lot to do with the comic-book theme of the cover, though we admit we never had the courage to ask him about it.

Bowlarama (1997)

The coed DQ’s first album, an experiment in blending and arranging that is pretty damned successful, if we do say so ourselves. It’s got a little bit of this and a little bit of that, with some live shizz included for good measure. It was recorded in a creepily soundproof basement in Western Mass., and the mics were very, very live, if you know what we mean.

Duck Viking Presents… (2000)

It was a time of great turmoil, in the DQ. With the excitement of going co-ed behind us, we were faced with a certain uncertainty that we had never known. Duck Viking Presents… was born in the midst of a DQ crisis of being. Were we a knitting group? Were we a baking group? Were we a farming group? With ahead-of-their-time hits like Big Yellow Taxi, Changes, and Superspy, Duck Viking Presents… decidedly presents us as mostly a singing group, with some skits thrown in on the side. If you were hoping to find some farming, this CD is sure to disappoint.


Noble Porpoise (2002)

With a title inspired by the 1966 Batman movie, Noble Porpoise packs all of the punch, pow, and kazaam you could want. Ranging from jazz classics to classic rock, this album has something for everyone. It may also be the only a cappella album in existence with an extensive solo in Portuguese. We’re not sure if this is a good or bad thing.

corner-deliCorner Deli (2005)

A two-year project, Corner Deli reaffirms the DQ’s commitment to a cappella excellence and brings some much needed R&B/Soul to the repertoire. This album is deli fresh and not for the faint of heart! Once it gets going it just doesn’t stop…well it does, but you won’t be happy when it does.

Mafia Room (2008)

Two years and five classes of singers went into Mafia Room, the newest album by the DQ. Named in honor of the group’s 2007-2008 tour to Southern California, the album showcases a cross-section of the DQ’s repertoire. Jazz standards, Disney songs, Mariah Carey, and even a little bit of Beyonce made it onto this CD. Liz’s solo on track 11 is not to be missed.