Thisbe and the Barkettes: An Appreciation
From this vantage point, it seems impossible that there ever was a time in history when there was no such group as The Barkettes. Their groundbreaking efforts in the field of Canine music, as well as their longevity, seem to belie the fact that thirty years ago such things could not even be imagined. Yet, wasn’t it only twenty years ago that Canines were banned from performing live in Human eating establishments?
North America, particularly, has had a black history with regard to Canine rights. Often viewed as chattel and, even worse, as unclean, Canines were prevented from partaking of many of the privileges and opportunities that other species took for granted. There were signs in The Park that read “No Dogs or Bicycles Allowed.” Restaurants and stores forbade the entrance of Dogs, either on their own or with their Human companions. Arts organizations shunned their participation.
Indeed, it was not until Thisbe and the Barkettes formed their singing group that things began to roll over for Dogs both inside and outside The Park. Without the courage, determination and downright stubbornness of all five of these Golden Retrievers, there might still not be Canine music available to the general public.
Now they have turned their attention to fighting for interspecies harmony and world peace and we should all follow them in this noble quest. For, what they have accomplished in the musical world and in the world of Canine relations with other species, they may yet be able to accomplish for the whole of Animalkind.
So, on this, the tenth anniversary of their first performance together, we at The Mammalian Daily congratulate Thisbe and the Barkettes on their ten great years of exceptional musical performances. We wish them many more years of success in music and in fighting for the rights of Animals everywhere.
Long Live the Barkettes!
Reprinted with permission from The Mammalian Daily
Thisbe and the Barkettes Commemorative Issue
Summer 20 AZ (2002)
Thisbe and the Barkettes: A Career Chronology
Bright Star born
Bright Star moves to the city and becomes companion to 2 Humans
Bright Star becomes “Thisbe”
Thisbe forms band with four other Golden Retrievers (Estelle, Lorraine, Carmen and Mercedes)
Golden Retrievers perform under the name of “Band of Gold”
Band of Gold performs in Park grooming houses
“Band of Gold” hires manager and becomes “Thisbe and the Barkettes”
Barkettes cut first record
Barkettes give first performance in The Park
Barkettes banned from performing at stadiums in North America
Barkettes tour Paris
Barkettes’ second recording goes gold
Sales of Barkettes’ recordings double in one year
Barkettes contemplate movie career
Barkettes embark on first world tour
Thisbe contemplates retirement
Barkettes perform series of benefit concerts in support of world peace and interspecies harmony
Canine Music Association names Thisbe and the Barkettes most popular and influential Canine singing group in history
Thisbe and the Barkettes embark on Farewell Tour
As Winter begins, Thisbe and the Barkettes cancel all live performances amid rumours that Thisbe is suffering from ill health
Canine Music Association announces the establishment of the Thisbe and the Barkettes Honorary Award for Excellence in Music and Musical Citizenship in honour of the pioneering efforts of the band in the field of Canine music and Canine music awareness
All dates appear in the Varrian Calendar