‘Ladies For Liberty’ to bring
patriotic flair to Oldham County Day
Their performance recreates the era of World War II
LA GRANGE, Ky. (July 2018) – From the first notes that escape their lips, one is mesmerized by the Ladies For Liberty. Their patriotic homage to World War II brings tears to the eyes of many.
Ladies For Liberty are a singing troop dedicated to performing the Andrews Sisters style of music. Everything about them – vocals, costumes, hairstyles and a spirit of patriotism – is reminiscent of the 1940s.
Wanda Martin started the troupe in 2009 and “we’ve been singing ever since,” said the Prospect, Ky., resident. It is made up of three working trio groups, two of whom are local.
Their performance recreates an era of World War II, a time when the spirit of patriotism was at an all-time high. Their harmonious voices set the stage of a bygone era when World War II was just beginning and every American felt deeply compelled to do their duty.
The Ladies For Liberty singers in this photo are (from left) Jeanette Kays, Wanda Martin and Angie Glotzbach.
Martin got the idea for the troupe while volunteering at an air show with her husband, Hardy, both of whom are licensed pilots. While at the show, Martin had done a voice over, and organizers loved it. She was encouraged to start a group.
Oldham County Day is hosted annually by The Project Guild of La Grange. It is designed to celebrate community pride and to create fun for all ages, set the stage as a reunion for classmates and neighbors, and provide an opportunity to meet the friendly faces behind local charities and service organizations.
Recently retired from a marketing job, she decided to just “do it.” She and her husband owned a recording studio at the time, so everything fell into place. The troupe has become well known for its precision-timed a cappella style performances of the National Anthem used at air shows across the country.
“We do a lot of air shows. I’ve booked 50 gigs this year,” she said. Although many of the women work full-time jobs, “I do this as my full time job now.”
It is the music of the World War II era that reflects the spirit of the people who lived through it. The Ladies For Liberty make the audience feel this era through their lyrics and melodies.
Their repertoire includes “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy,” “Shoo Shoo Baby,” “Don’t Sit Under The Apple Tree,” “Ragtime Band,” “Beat Me Daddy” and “Lullaby of Broadway.”
Ladies For Liberty are scheduled to perform from noon to 1:30 p.m. Saturday, July 21, at Oldham County Day in front of the Oldham County Courthouse, where a statue of Oldham County’s namesake, Col. William Oldham, will be unveiled that day. They are just one of many acts scheduled to entertain the estimated 10,000 people who will attend Oldham County Day.
The Ladies of Liberty singers may even ride in the 10 a.m. parade. Martin said she is a member of the Commemorative Air Force, which restores and preserves World War II-era combat aircraft. “We have 167 vintage airplanes,” she said.
The love of planes mixed in with her desire to sing, and that is how the troupe came to perform mostly World War II-era songs. “I fell in love with the Andrew Sisters.” The troupe has added some more modern tunes based around modern conflicts.
“We travel quite a bit,” she said. The Ladies For Liberty recently flew to Normandy, France, for D-Day. They will return next year for the 75th anniversary, Martin said.
“They are a fantastic group of ladies who have performed for many veterans events,” said Chuck Scott, a member of the Gov. Isaac Shelby Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution, based in Louisville.
The troop performed for the 2015 SAR Congress that Scott chaired. “I asked them if they would sing to open our National Congress. Sing they did! There were a couple of veterans dancing in the isles, showing the jitterbug is still alive. Over 300 veterans faces gleamed with pride remembering their tunes of yesteryear.”
Scott said, “You can find them at most veterans’ events. They have multiple ladies that perform as a trio. They are terrific.”
This will be the first time the trio has performed for Oldham County Day, said entertainment chairperson Victoria Motyka. “They are fabulous. They are very popular with the veterans and so positive in their performance.”
Motyka said this year’s lineup for Oldham County Day is very different in that the programming revolves around the unveiling of the Col. Oldham statue. Scheduled performers and times are tentative, based on this event.
Entertainment begins at 8 a.m. with the James Puckett Band. They will perform praise and patriotic music until 9:30 a.m. on the gazebo near the Oldham County History Center on Second Street. This performance will be followed by the annual parade down Jefferson and Main streets in La Grange.
The parade features marching bands and athletes from local high schools as well as youth representing the Oldham County Public Library, Oldham County Youth Football League, All About Kids, North Oldham Little League, Oldham County Fair pageants and much more.
From 11 a.m. to noon, the County Kickers Line Dancers will perform in front of the gazebo on Second Street. Ladies For Liberty will follow. Following the parade, Living Statues will portray Thomas Jefferson and Betsy Ross in the shade of the courthouse lawn.
Also around noon, Oldham County Judge-Executive Voegele will unveil the statue of Col. William Oldham. A dedication program will accompany the unveiling.
From 2-3 p.m., the Oldham County Community Band, always a crowd pleaser, will perform on the courthouse lawn.
A first-time event, “Pie in the Eye,” will be held at 3 p.m. at a location TBA near the courthouse. This is a La Grange Christian Church-sponsored fundraiser to benefit La Grange Elementary School’s Blessings in a Backpack program, said church member and organizer of the event, Diane Berry. The program provides weekend food for children in need.
“Jars will be set out to vote in,” she said. Cost to vote will be $1. The candidates with the most money in the top two or three jars will participate by getting a “Pie in the Eye.” The candidates will be prominent county officials.
La Grange Christian Church, located behind the Fiscal Court Building, will also sponsor children’s activities.
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