In the past few years, Cherry Poppin’ Daddies have become the kind of band that you would want to book if you were throwing a soiree at the Gatsby mansion. Penning elegant, lush, pitch-perfect arrangements of much of the great American songbook, from Cole Porter to Frank Sinatra, the Daddies have surprised many–likely familiar with them from the early '90s–whose limited exposure to the band undoubtedly consists of an image of spray-painted vans careening across the U.S. as an iconoclastic, misfit part of an already marginalized punk/ska scene.
For the December shows at Blue Note Hawaii, the band has put together a holiday show! “The Daddies WWII Christmas Canteen” was inspired by the big band music of Benny Goodman, Glenn Miller and Tommy Dorsey, as well as two famous WWII era clubs: The Hollywood Canteen in LA and its New York counterpart “The Stage Door Canteen.” These were USO clubs, open to allied servicemen who were usually headed overseas. The only ticket for admission was a uniform.
The Hollywood Canteen was staffed almost exclusively with motion picture stars who volunteered their time to show appreciation to the men and women headed off to the front. Participants included Bette Davis, The Marx Brothers, Marlene Dietrich, John Garfield, Frank Sinatra, Betty Grable and Abbott and Costello, all waited on tables, cooked in the kitchen as well as cleaned up for partying GI’s.
A note from the band:
“Imagine that it is 1943 and you are a young GI stationed in the South Pacific and its Christmas time. The Daddies Christmas Canteen is a recreation of what we believe a show like that would've looked and sounded like. We dress like vintage GI’s from WW2 after Pearl Harbor. So it’s kind of got a Tiki meets Christmas in Guadalcanal vibe. The stage is one third tiki idols, one-third military accouterments and one-third Xmas.
We won’t be just doing Christmas songs or Big Band Era songs exclusively. We will mix in appropriate stuff from our repertoire of swing too. A good percentage of our original music is inspired by the war years.
At the very least this show will be a really fun night of frivolity and remembrance. For us, it’s a chance to do what we do but, in a way, that’s a little different.”
Put on your dancin’ shoes and join us!