Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Sharon Rogers, leader of the Sharon Rogers Band
Sharon (known in the book as Sherry) planned to come but had to bow out because of health issues. Last week Sherry left this world but will live forever in the memories of those who loved her and in her music.
I met her one time while working on the book. In October of 2007, Joyce Faulkner and I attended the Military Writers Society of America conference in San Diego. Sherry lived nearby. We made plans to meet her and interview her. I had heard so much about her from band members Florence Kuhn and Laura Daniels.
In a way, I felt like I already knew her. She was beautiful, talented, and according to the members, a great choice to lead the band. She not only led the band on stage, but also handled the managerial duties while the band performed in the Pacific as USO Camp Show #687 in 1945 and 1946.
Joyce and I talked about the guts she and the other ladies possessed to pursue a life on the road as musicians in the 1940s. Whether women worked in factories, joined the service, toured with the USO, or kept families together back home, they had to be strong. We saw this strength in Sherry, and all the band members.
Like others of their generation, they answered their country's call. When asked to join the USO, they said yes. When asked to tour overseas and play for the troops, they said yes.
Sherry, I wish you Godspeed and the chance to make music in heaven forever.