Part of the attraction of major aviation events like SUN ‘n FUN, which ran from April 10-15, 2018, is the sensory smorgasbord of sights and sounds that can only be fully appreciated in person. Recordings just aren’t the same as the real deal.
If the harmonic purr of a P-38 Lightning warbird is music to your ears, then the melodic song stylings of Theresa Eaman, rendering classics from the American songbook, is the vocal equivalent of that aural experience.
Theresa worked her magic twice daily at 9 and 10:30 a.m. at the Victory’s Arsenal Theater grandstand in the Warbirds area at the fly-in. It was a show well worth seeing – and hearing.
Theresa has a stage presence at once polished and personal, and a wardrobe to match the songs of the era she is representing, from the 1940s to the 1960s.
Her vocal performances set the tone for each day’s presentations at Victory’s Arsenal Theater on the Warbird Ramp.
Theresa travels from North Carolina to practice her craft at several East Coast air shows, as well as the huge EAA AirVenture gathering in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, each summer.
With a sound system recording providing a rich big band to back her up, Theresa delivers songs with intonation and a bit of theatrics that conjure a wartime USO show or a vintage radio broadcast.
Over the years, Theresa has noticed three classic songs that rise to the top: “White Cliffs of Dover,” “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy,” and “I’ll Be Seeing You.”
“Those are the three that get the most reaction and the most requests,” she says.
Even to listeners who may not have heard them before, the lyrics to songs like “I’ll be Seeing You” can stir emotions when Theresa interprets them. It’s living history that complements the historic warbird backdrop behind Theresa at Victory’s Arsenal Theater.
Her costuming includes original vintage dresses plus the occasional reproduction piece.
“Hats were my addiction for a long time,” Theresa says, her eyes shaded by a large black fabric saucer that first made a fashion statement during World War II. Proper white gloves accent her hand movements as she playfully scolds with lyrics like: “Don’t sit under the apple tree with anyone else but me!”
You go to shows like SUN ‘n FUN and AirVenture to experience aviation live. So did Theresa Eaman, and she shares her classic interpretations with an ever-growing audience of fans. Go see her perform if you get a chance. She really is all that and a bag of chips!