I have always loved playing the “In the Mood” show that I am currently touring with. It is excellent, well written, and a real crowd-pleaser. It is so rewarding to perform because it touches so many people on so many different levels.
As a woman on the bandstand playing 1940s music, it is particularly moving to me when an elderly woman comes up afterwards and tells me how she and some of her friends played in a band during WWII because of the vacancies created by all of the boys going to war, and how she really missed it after they came back, and that it was so special for her to see me up there on the bandstand playing “her” music.
That always brings tears to my eyes. And it has happened at least five times during the past three years of this tour. I know that these women probably weren’t playing with the “big boys” in the major bands during WWII, and neither am I now, but it is still thrilling to realize that my presence on the bandstand is appreciated by certain members of the audience in such a special way.
I met a woman during the Victory Day celebration this past July at the “White Cliffs of Dover” My ship just happened to be in docked in Dover on that particular holiday and I went up to the castle to check out the festivities. This woman had worked there in the secret tunnels under the castle during WWII and also played drums in a military band, but she said she was only allowed to do that during the war.
It is a such a shame that all of these women basically stopped playing after the war ended. I told her about my gig playing bass for “In the Mood” and that I always enjoy meeting women who had actually been musicians during WWII. They are the real deal. So here she is: