|BENSON'S BAND SHOW TOPS AGAIN AT MALTA||(from Times of Malta - Friday June 25, 1954).|
Ivy and her 17-girl Band Show have just concluded a lightning three -night tour of some of the Garrison's theatres. Although some of the old personnel have left, mainly due to their getting married, the tip top standard of the Benson Band remains.
Penny Maxwell, an 18 year old from Cheshire, was the vocalist for this tour, and she proved highly popular with the troops. One of her songs "When you hear Big Ben", was sung specially for Corporal J. S. Parker, R.M. of Cambridge. Judging from the applause, some of the other lads appreciated it too.
Ella Godwin, an Eddie Calvert in skirts - he played at Australia Hall some years ago too - got the best out of her trumpet and delighted the house with Kenny Baker's "Trumpet Fantasy", although her "Carnival of Venice" could have braked a little to get all the notes into position. Even Harry James took it easy.
Band numbers which evoked roaring appreciation were brought out in such numbers as "Dragnet", "The Creep", and "The Sabre Dance" which echoed around Australia Hall last year during Ivy's last visit, if memory serves correctly.
Comedienne Terry Day, relying mainly on mime, was appreciated fully, especially during her screamingly funny rendering of a flapper doing the Charleston, echoing the Roaring Twenties.
Gloria Russell impersonated very well indeed, the "Records" number being one of her highspots. She combined with Terry, Penny and the girls in a quite a few mirth - provoking numbers which delighted the house and gave the band a rest.
Dorothy England, a Trombonist who can make the notes sleep, pleased with the Glenn Miller theme from his life's film.
Winifred Keary pleased everyone - including the Band onstage - with "Five Finger Boogie", and the house was genuinely sorry when Ivy announced the last band number, "Night Train". Night plane would have been appropriate, as the show left on the last night's midnight plane.
Nice to have seen you, Ivy. Come again when you can and give the troops another bubbling brew of the Benson Band. Everyone agreed that it was well worth the tickets to sit and hear one hour 40 minutes of Ivy and her girls. Bands like hers are few and far between on the C.S.E. Middle East and Malta circuits.