This is a compilation of some of the places and people they entertained as well as a glimpse of some of the other entertainers who were there from Australia and the US. They were some of the unsung (pardon the pun) heroes of the war, enduring extreme weather conditions, poor pay and often hazardous conditions to bring some joy into the lives of the US servicemen. Some of them died over there and all of their lives were changed forever by the experience.
An Australian movie called “The Sapphires” was chosen to be shown at the 2012 Cannes Festival. It is directed by the acclaimed Aboriginal actor and theatre director who was responsible for the film “Samson and Delilah” starring two unknown Aboriginal actors.
“The Sapphires” is a music biopic about an all girl singing group plucked from a remote Aboriginal community to play for US troops serving in Vietnam in 1968. It is based on a true story and features some well known local Aboriginal actresses, including Deborah Mailman and is creating a buzz around the film world. It is supposedly a really uplifting film, unlike Samson and Delilah, which although a groundbreaking film with superb performances from raw young first time actors dealt with the harsh and heartbreaking side of modern Aboriginal life, complete with drugs and violence and the breakdown of Aboriginal community life.
Hopefully this film will bring this era and the performers who were part of it back into focus for the generations who came after it. This was the pre-IPad, mobile phone, computer and internet era, when film was reel to reel, and bands performed live rather than in studios.
I hope this video gives you a feel for the time, the rawness and makeshift stages and the power and passion in the performances.