The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Tops In Blue coming to Portales


USAF file photo Airmen 1st Class Tommie Crutcher, of the 81st Services Squadron and Alice Lewis, of the 61st Contingency Response Wing sing during the Tops in Blue 2008 "Deja Blue" World Tour performance at Greyhound Arena in Portales.

Tops In Blue, the entertainment showcase of U.S. Air Force talent, is coming to Greyhound Arena on Saturday for a free show.

Tops In Blue has been to Cannon Air Force Base every year since 1954 and often switches venues between Portales and Clovis to reach audiences in both communities.

Greg Allen with Cannon Public Affairs said Tops In Blue is open to the public as well as airmen.

“They’ve been coming here yearly,” Allen said. “They have been doing this for 56 years and they hit a whole bunch of places. They’ve performed at Marshall Junior High School in the auditorium in the past.”

Tops In Blue was founded in 1952 by retired Col. Al Reilly, who was then a major. He created the Air Force Worldwide Talent Contest recognizing airmen with musical, instrumental and comedic talents.

“It’s pretty entertaining,” Allen said about the show. “What you would see is a group of airmen who are singing, dancing and performing with musical instruments. It’s basically a song and dance show. It’s good entertainment and has pretty talented young individuals. Even their roadies are airmen.”

Bob Storck, operations manager for Air Force Entertainment, said Reilly’s wife, Dot, was the one who came up with the name Tops In Blue.

Storck said they are professionals in the quality of performance they put on. The variety show, with a live band and vocalist who does some choreographed dances, is a high energy show for families to see, said Storck.

Storck said the show is free because it is funded by the Air Force.

Tops In Blue has performed in films, produced albums, and been featured on television.

In 1981, they performed during the half-time show for the Garden State Bowl in New Jersey and in 1985, they were the entertainment for Super Bowl XIX “The World of Children’s Dreams” half-time show, according to the U.S. Air Force Web site.


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