Tops in Blue was a touring performance ensemble made up of active duty members of the United States Air Force formed in 1953. For 63 years, the Tops in Blue travelled to more than 20 countries to perform more than 120 times each year for airmen and families around the world.
They averaged 120 performances a year and performed to over 200,000 service men and their families annually in over 100 locations around the world.
The Tops were composed of roughly (depending on season) 35 vocalists, dancers, musicians and technicians. Every member of the Tops were completely responsible for the show, there were no crew or roadies to set up for them, they did it all themselves. It took them bewteween 4 and 8 hours every night to set up for the show. Unloading equipment, setting up the stage and sound equipment. It was not seen as an easy ride being a member, it was extremely hard work. Once the show was over they would have no time to congratulate themselves as they would immedirately begin packing up again to move to the next location. This resulted in members working 18-20 hour days with only 1-2 days off a month.
Their primary purpose was to entertain troops and their families stationed all over the world but as their fame grew they also made a few television appearances.
Candidates for Tops in Blue were required to submit a video performance to Headquarters Air Force Services Agency. If selected to audition they would be flown in to Lackland AFB for a ten-day talent show competition judged by former Tops in Blue members. This shows the level of professionalism and how seriously the Tops were. This was no sideshow act but a professional unit performing high class shows every day. The members had to be incredibly fit to be able to cope with the demands of the shows and travel but they also had to have the talent to perform. Many left disappointed. Those selected attended a 45-day training period at Lackland AFB.
Performed “America the Beautiful” with Lea Michele at Super Bowl XLV.
Halftime show at the Garden State Bowl.
Super Bowl XIX. 2002 – Daytona 500. 2005 NBA Finals
2009 at the Coca-Cola 600.