Victory Belles play nightly at the Stage Door Canteen
for veterans at the World War II Museum.
By Stacey Plaisance of The Asssociated Press, from New Orleans
Decked out in 1940s throwback tailored dresses and perfectly coiffed curls, the Victory Belles seem delightfully out of place in the age of hip-hop. They sing big-band classics at the National World War II Museum and flirt playfully with the audience, leaving bright red lipstick kisses on the smiling faces of America’s aging war heroes. But these sexy, glam 20-some-things are not just singers in the tradition of wartime entertainers. They are a living museum exhibit about love songs in an era before texting and Skype, when saying goodbye mearit you might not see a loved one for years – or maybe ever again. With the World War II generation rapidly dying out, their performances have taken on new meaning.
“This music still makes me happy,” said Forrest Villarrubia, who served as a Marine in the Philippines in 1944 and was celebrating his 88th birthday at the museum on Nov. 20. After the show, Villarrubia posed for photos with the Victory Belles. As they serenaded him with a soft rendition of “Happy Birthday” and applied red lipstick kisses to his cheeks, his face broke into a wide smile.