strongest voice of the crew was tenor Pat.
Nakornping Community Production, a non profit ensemble of
‘merry music makers’, showed us last Friday what amateurs with
dedication and enthusiasm can come up with.
Their production, Hats Off, marched in with the
“Colonel Bogey March”, performed by flautist Ajarn Xavier and pianist
The two wonderful narrators made the occasion
multi-cultural, with Frank Weicks and Becky Lomax giving the audience an
inside look on how we all should feel on the eleventh hour of the eleventh
day of the eleventh month, when Armistice Day, (Remembrance Day), is
celebrated. A day the world stops to pay respect to all brave men and women
in uniform who served their country in times of war – no matter the
country, and to all the brave people who kept the families together at home.
Hardcastle gave us Waltzing Matilda.
The evening, however, was not a sad happening, but a
salute to the joy of the human spirit – the only true winner in any war.
This was done with music and song in a sentimental journey through the war
The first soloist was Richard Dixon who in his usual
charming, professional way interpreted Bob Hope’s standard, “Thanks for
Next on the bill were the outstanding Andrews sisters,
Patty, Maxene and LaVerne (a.k.a. Sharon, Becky and Lindy), who invoked
memories with the well known “Rum and Coca Cola” lyrics which had the
audience humming throughout the filled auditorium of Gong Dee Studio.
knew how to share “Now is the Hour” with her audience.
To show that war touched many countries, the ensemble
went Down-Under with the well known “Waltzing Matilda”, performed by
But what a surprise when Sharon entered the stage again
and gave us “Now is the Hour”, a hauntingly beautiful song, evoking
images of loved ones separated by great distances. Beautiful, trembling
Maori gestures accompanied this song, showing part of its origins which
include the “Swiss Cradle Song”, the Maori “Po Atarau” and the
UK’s Gracie Fields English version.
Argentina came Tangerine, humorously and vocally perfectly interpreted by
It would be too much to list all the wonderful songs
which brought back memories of childhood in some and memories of sitting
with grandma and grandpa at home for others. But watching and listening to
the cast sent the listeners through a plethora of feelings, from highs to
lows from sad to cheerful and back to the end of the memory lane.
The unbeatable Andrews Sisters were one of the
audiences’ favorites and their Yiddish jingle “Bei Mir Bist du Schoen”
could only be topped by the most popular war song of all times, “Lilli
Marlene”, written by Hans Leip and set to music by Norbert Schultze in
1938, and sung by Lale Andersen before Marlene Dietrich. This was a song
that had certainly crossed all borders, and was sung on this evening by
Xavier played tirelessly all evening.
Something which many were not aware off, was, that down
south in America the war years were filled with a Latin beat, and a great
medley “South of the Border” left everybody at the intermission, wanting
to know how the first part could be topped.
But it was possible. After Tenor Pat’s “As Time Goes
By”, Frank and Becky started reminiscing on the simple facts of life – a
kiss is still a kiss, a song is still a song, and a great movie is still a
great movie, which led them to Casablanca. From there it became natural to
think of the impact of the Glen Miller Orchestra, and “Moonlight
Serenade”, once again brought the trio Sharon, Becky, Lindy who gave it
Andrews Sisters, Patty, Maxene and LaVerne (Sharon, Becky and Lindy).
Part two went from the big band era of the forties to
standards in the field of popular music with its popularity continuing
undiminished through the years. Billie Holliday’s “I’ll Be Seeing
You” (Richard), Doris Day’s “Sentimental Journey” (Frank and Becky)
and “Yours” (Sharon) were living proof.
But the sentimental journey was not yet over and it
brought us to Argentina to meet a very special lady (?) called Tangerine
sung by Mark, and on to some most refreshing history lessons in regard to
Rudyard Kipling, the English short-story writer, novelist and poet,
remembered for his celebration of British imperialism and heroism in India
and Burma. One of his most famous works “On The Road To Mandalay” was
the last song of the night and a perfect ending as this ballad is so near
our hearts as everybody present had chosen to live here in ‘the jungles of
one of the few people who heard most of these songs when they first came out
was pianist Sid Richardson.
Finally, we must say thank you to everyone including pianist Sid, Khun
Xavier and Khun Yo, the inspirational John Smith, the dedicated director and
detail specialist John Cooley and every one of the committed singers and
actors who showed us the joy of the human spirit which conquers every border
and every nationality.
Weicks and Becky Lomax during their “Sentimental Journey”.
Up Your Troubles” by David and Richard who both looked like they would be
there to help you do exactly that.
Lindy, and Becky were an unbeatable trio who really looked like the women of
musicians and singers who moved the audience included (left to right) David,
Linda, Frank, Mark, Becky, Richard, Pat, Sharon and Sid.