Through the vocals of soloist Catie Simpkins, her program revisits the music and songs from the World War II era that became anthems for this time in American history.
The program begins at noon Wednesday, Jan. 29 and is part of the library’s ongoing series “The Way it Used To Be,” sponsored by SouthFirst Bank.
The timing for an enjoyable afternoon out to recall some of the musical memories of the era couldn’t be better, said Dr. Shirley Spears, director for B.B. Comer Libray.
“The mood is right for music with the brown bag participants,” she said. “Last Wednesday, we had a packed house for the bluegrass music program given by members of The Johnson Grass Band. The weather was cold, but sunny, and people were ready to get out of the house for some food, fellowship and fun.” Spears said she’s a believer in the ability of music to chase the “wintertime blues” away.
“And it’s wonderful that people are learning while they are enjoying themselves and the programs,” she said.
“We are so excited about Catie Simpkins’ gracious return to Comer Library to sing the World War II songs,” Spears said. “A few years ago, she gave one of the best performances that we have had at the library, and we thought it was time to enjoy these songs again.”
Simpkins has a beautiful voice and she puts her heart and soul into her singing, Spears said.
“Those who were present for her first program will be back, and those weren’t here should be sure not to miss her program this time,” Spears said.
Simpkins’ program is titled “These Were Our Songs: Musical Memories of World War II.”
For the soldier during this era, music passed the time, entertained, comforted, and brought back memories of home and family.
“And back on the home front, music gave hope and reflected the mood of a country that was united and behind the war effort, and you can hear these messages in the music,” Spears said.
Simpkins has researched the music of the time period and has selected a sampling of World War II songs for taking this sentimental journey to “the way it used to be.”
She will sing songs that reflect the upbeat mood of “the good war” with the feeling in the country being one of optimism, Spears said. “Life was prosperous and the harmony is reflected in the whimsical selections, as well as the patriotic songs.”
But Simpkins will also sing songs that address loneliness and the heartbreak of separation.
“These are songs that tell what it was like to miss someone, whether it was a husband, a father or a son, and how good it was for them to finally come home,” Spears said. “Her selections offer something for everyone with her passionate vocals that really speak to the heart.”
Simpkins, a former Miss Sylacauga, is a gifted vocalist with extensive training and experience. She is married to David Simpkins, who is the band director at Sylacauga High School. The couple has two sons, William and Hayden.
The refreshment room at Comer Library opens at 11 a.m. for the occasion and participants are invited to bring along a sandwich and enjoy drinks and desserts provided by the library.
Working people are invited to come by on their lunch break to enjoy the programs, which will be held in the Harry I. Brown Auditorium.
Seating is limited, so groups must have approved reservations. You may call the library at 256-249-0961 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to check on availability of space.