The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.
By Virginia Ross, For The Quill
Everything about the Tuesday night Civic Music concert, The Girl Singers of the Hit Parade, sparkled.
The slowly drifting snowflakes touching the windshields of cars pulling into the parking lot set the mood which characterized the entire evening.
The laughter of the warmly bundled crowd as they greeted each other in anticipation of an enjoyable couple of hours filled the entryway and bounded off the walls of the auditorium.
The stage glimmered with a lighted wreath and sparkly red snowflakes that were mirrored in the red strapless 50's type gowns of the three singers, Deb O'Keefe, Colleen Raye and her daughter, Jennifer Grimm.
Norton Lawelin on keyboard, Bob Galonbeck on bass and Reed Grimm keeping the beat on the drums rounded out the ensemble.
From the first opening rousing rendition of "Jing Jing A Ling" to the encore of "Let There Be Peace on Earth" this group captivated the audience with their peppy presentation.
Popular Christmas songs were sung in the styles of Andrews Sisters, Patty Paige, The McGuire Sisters, Eartha Kitt, Patsy Kline and others. "Winter Wonderland," "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas" and a hilarious version of the "12 Daze of Christmas" assisted by 14 members of the audience singing such as "a Partridge with the bad leg, two stinking lute fish, three Canadian geese honking, four stalling cars", etc. repeated all the way through the song.
That portion of the program ended with a medley of carols in which the audience enthusiastically joined in.
The second half of the show struck a livelier note. Everything from "Boogie Woogie Santa Claus" to a "Merry Christmas Polka" singled that this portion would be so much fun.
Colleen Raye's "Eartha Kitt" style version of "Santa Baby" was sung to 90 year old Russell Arms of Hamilton, Il., one of the original TV Hit Parade singers. Soon all three girls were surrounding him in this romp about what they wanted for Christmas.
No Christmas program would be complete without the traditional melodies of "Adeste Fideles," "Joy to the World", and "Silent Night"-the audience was not disappointed; a blending of the three singers' voices soared through the air. An enthusiastic audience joined in the rendition of "Silver Bells" and "White Christmas" and truly felt that the holiday season had begun.
All in all the evening was fantastic and here's hoping that Civic Music brings back the group when they present "Siren Singers of the Sixties."