Reporter Spencer, Iowa
4000 Attend Air rACaravan Play!
Jrowd Accommodated at Fairgrounds After Decision Yesterday Afternoon to Move Show
Thanks go to th& sponsors of the appearance of ihe WACaravan show in Spencer for changing the presentation from the high school auditorium to the Clay county fair grounds. With the change, a crowd estimated at more than 4,000 people was permitted to enjoy an evening of music and entertainment Wednesday. All could not have been admitted to the high school auditorium.
The huge crowd was glued to the seats from the opening notes of the Air Corps song until the finale when the spectators reluctantly left the stadium after the entertainers began packing up their instruments and props.
An eleven piece orchestra, under
the direction of Sgt. George Peterson, opened the program with the song of the Air Corps, followed by the playing of the Star Spangled Banner, at which time the audience arose in unison and faced Old Glory. Stan Greenspan, master of4> ceremonies, announced the firsy solo, a trumpet selection by Jerry Ziering which was an indication of what was to come later in the way of super modern entertainment from the musical world. Ziering was billed as the 'Harry James of the AAF' and lived up to his moniker.
Frederick Way, with his self-styled dancing partner 'Veronica/ gave an idea of what the men in service could do for themselves in the way of providing dancing partners in the South Pacific. 'Veronica' followed every minute detail of her dancing partner to the amusement of the crowd.
Tony Costello, "the Sinatra of the Army Air Force," swooned the crowd with his soft, sweet music and answered several encores much to the delight of the crowd. He was accompanied at the piano by Bobby Stephenson. Glena Sheeley, WAC, shared the spotlight with Costello in a vocal duet, "I Love You," from the "Mexican Hayride."
Stan Greenspan, who handled the microphone, stepped in for his share of the laurels with impersonations of leading radio and screen stars. He provoked mirth and laughter with his mimicking Major Bowes, Henry Aldrich, Ned Sparks and others.
The slap-stick comedy of Fred Way, Lew Slavin and Dickie Coehn depicting the life of a rookie rollicked the audience, after which Whit Henry revived the Gay Nineties with his barbershop baritone presentation of the "Bird in a Gilded Cage." Lew Slavin and his violin was a standout but was over- i shadowed by his wisecracks which! provoked so much laughter that his instrumentation was hard to hear.
Dickie Coehn and his stooge,! "S-Sgt. Willie Gladstone/' was pos- I sibly the most applauded feature. The ventriloquist, a mild manner entertainer, gave way to the insults of "Willie Gladstone," who delighted in insulting everyone from the top sergeant down to the lowly private.
Corporal Alberto Gutierrez, a veteran of the movies, was a favorite among the large crowd and he was applauded time and again for more Spanish and South American numbers. Ernie Felice, accordion player, and Bobby Stephenson, pianist, accompanied Gutierrez's vocal talents. Gutierrez has appeared on programs with Jeannette McDonald and Nelson Eddy.
The recounting of the early days of the air war in the South Pacific by Lieutenant Hixon gave a graphic word picture of the trials of the air force immediately following Pearl Harbor. His descriptions of the force's actions over Rabaul and a revisitation on Lae by the Japanese brought realization to the j audience that all was not easy with the Japanese.
WAC Doris Nelson, the 'Kate Smith of the AAF,' delighted the crowd with her vocal numbers, accompanied at the piano by Bobby Stephenson. The rhumba numbers, the announcements of Stan Greenspan and the complete orchestra ensemble rounded out one of the finest musical programs that will be heard in Spencer in many moons.
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