The National World War II Museum’s “Victory Belles,” along with “Ken Goodman Entertainment,” delighted a crowd at Woodlands Auditorium last week as part of the Memorial Day activities.
“Victory Belles” Mandi, Hannah and Jessica stole the show with their patriotic 1940s look and the singing of many old classics from the war years. Also on stage at times was a three-man band: Ray Liebau on piano, Don Jones on guitar and Marvin Butler on trumpet. Also performing was the group “Voices Rising.”
Goodman opened with a greeting, saying, “We do gather and celebrate the freedoms we enjoy,” adding that Memorial Day is all about remembering the fallen, not holiday, party-like festivities. He showed a video of two men, now civilians, but who had obviously once served together in battle, walking through a cemetery, remembering fallen brothers.
Goodman introduced a friend, Dr. Darrin Praetzel, an Iraqi veteran, who worked on wounded American and Iraqi fighters because, “we were there to save lives,” Praetzel said. “Voices Rising” was next with a beautiful patriotic medley.
The “Victory Belles” then took the stage and immediately got the crowd “In the Mood” (pun intended) with that classic hit as well as the Andrews Sisters’ “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy,” “Chattanooga Choo Choo,” Nat King Cole’s “Straighten Up and Fly Right,” and several others.
After intermission Goodman sang “The GI Jive,” praised the band, and acknowledged his family members’ many contributions to the U.S. Armed Services. Then he touched everyone’s heart by singing Les Miserables’ “Bring Him Home,” before turning the stage over again to “Voices Rising” who sang “Heal Our Land.”
Goodman then got the crowd into it with several songs, followed by the Belles who sang other favorites from back in the day. Goodman closed the show with Lee Greenwood’s “God Bless the USA.”