Events

June 1, 2012

Tops in Blue comes to Luke

by Senior Airman C.J. Hatch
56th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

Coming to Phoenix for one night only, filled with music, dancing and fun. It’s not “American Idol” or “Dancing With the Stars,” it’s the Tops in Blue 2012 show.

Tops in Blue is the Air Force premier performing group made up of 35 to 40 of the Air Forces’ most talented vocalists, musicians, dancers and technicians.

Luke is hosting Tops in Blue June 5. Doors open at 6:30 p.m., and the show begins at 7 p.m., at the Grand Canyon University Arena. It’s free for everyone.

According to the Tops in Blue website, www.topsinblue.com, the group started in 1953 by Maj. Al Reilly, who created the Air Force Worldwide Talent Contest to recognize talented Airmen in various categories ranging from comedy, drama, vocals, gospel, vocal and instrumental groups, country and several others.”

The talent contest produced a small team that would become the Tops in Blue.

“The debut tour traveled a grueling trek, performing 230 shows in 235 days,” according to the website. “That breakneck pace continues today. What made that so amazing then is still true today: most shows are not performed at the same location twice. The cast must unpack, setup, do the show, tear down, pack it up and drive or fly to the next destination each time.”

Throughout the decades, Tops in Blue has continued to entertain audiences around the world. The 60s brought a new spin to the Tops in Blue when they took a break from the tour and moved into a movie studio, producing films and records for distribution in the Air Force. The studio Tops in Blue was short-lived when in 1972 the team made a tour comeback.

“The group literally hitch-hiked from one base to the next,” according to the web site. “They would catch available aircraft to bases that wanted the show. An overwhelming response poured in from bases throughout the world to the Morale, Welfare and Recreation headquarters, admiring the professionalism of the outstanding Air Force talent.”

In the first year back, the team entertained more than 42,000 military members. The show has continued to grow into the Tops in Blue we have today.

The 2012 tour called, “Listen!” invites the audience to listen to the music of life through the sounds we hear every day.

It features music from The Doobie Brothers, Earth, Wind & Fire, Whitney Houston, and Maroon 5. This year they will also perform the country music of Darius Rucker, Carrie Underwood, Lady Antebellum and The Zac Brown Band.

Those who have been to a show before will hear many of their favorites from the great patriotic music that honors our nation and its heroes.

“It’s absolutely a phenomenal show and extremely entertaining,” said Jeanette Mijokovich, 56th Force Support Squadron marketing director. “They are a very talented group and they work very hard. You have to see it to believe it.”




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