Original ‘Forces’ Sweetheart’ and Ditchling resident Dame Vera Lynn is set to break all records as she becomes the first singer in history to release an album aged 100.
Dame Vera announces her forthcoming album, ‘Vera Lynn 100’, to be released on March 17 in celebration of her 100th birthday just days later, on March 20.
‘Vera Lynn 100’ will be released on Decca Records, the label the singer originally recorded with nearly 80 years ago, at the age of 22.
The newly recorded album features Vera Lynn’s distinctive original vocals set to completely new re-orchestrated versions of her most beloved songs.
This technical wizardry has allowed full orchestral accompaniments to transform her most memorable and morale-boosting hits that sustained Britons through the wartime years as well as some recently unearthed, rare recordings.
Dame Vera Lynn CH said: “It’s truly humbling that people still enjoy these songs from so many years ago, reliving the emotions of that time – I was after all just doing my ‘job’ as a singer – and it’s so wonderful for me to hear ‘my songs’ again so beautifully presented in a completely new way.”
Vera is joined by an all-star line-up of chart-topping British singers to perform newly-composed duet parts alongside the star – the nation’s most popular tenor, Alfie Boe, on the poignant ‘We’ll Meet Again’ (the first ever UK No.1 record, in 1940*), Alexander Armstrong on ‘White Cliffs of Dover’ (No.1 in 1942), and Aled Jones on the immortal song ‘As Time Goes By’. Also featured on the record is the million-seller ‘Auf Wiederseh’n, Sweetheart’, the track that in 1952 crowned Vera Lynn the first British performer to top the US Official Charts. To close the album, the revered RAF Squadronaires feature on the moving ‘Yours’ (No.1 in 1941) – the perfect tribute to Dame Vera Lynn’s late husband, Harry Lewis, who was a founder member.
In her early 90s, Dame Vera became the oldest living artist to land a UK No.1 album, setting a new record in the history of music and making the performer the only recording artist in the world to have spanned the pop charts from the 1940s to the 21st century. Dame Vera famously boosted the nation’s morale during the darkest days of World War II, and has been honoured countless times for her services to entertainment and charity.
Her latest accolade came in the Queen’s 2016 birthday honours when she was made a Member of the Order of the Companions of Honour – the first person from the field of popular entertainment to do so. Over the decades, the singer’s popularity has never waned and she remains perhaps the most beloved of all British female vocalists.