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Album Review

One may legitimately argue that "The Forces Sweetheart," Vera Lynn, was just as important to the morale of the British people as Winston Churchill during those darkest times during the Battle of Britain at the beginning of World War II. She sang songs that mixed patriotism with optimism, all designed to maintain that traditional British state of a stiff upper lip, no matter what. The songs on this reissued CD were compiled from Lynn's very popular radio show, Sincerely Yours, which reached both the civilian population and the armed forces. Singing with that slight hitch of pathos in her voice accented by a keen use of slight vibrato, Lynn sang such songs as "I Will Be With You in Apple Blossom Time," "When the Lights Go on Again," and perhaps her most heart-wrenching, "The White Cliffs of Dover." All of these and more are included on this compilation. It's sad to realize 60 years later that no matter the significant role Lynn and her singing played during those tumultuous times, the music, the arrangements, and Lynn's vocalizing sound quite dated. But when it comes to reviving nostalgic memories, there is nothing that quite matches these songs and this singer. Lynn went on to enjoy a very successful career well into the 1970s, but it is her memorable wartime efforts she will be always be remembered for.


Born: 20 March 1917 in London, England

Genre: Vocal

Years Active: '30s, '40s, '50s, '00s

The mere mention of Vera Lynn's name evokes images of London skies filled with barrage balloons, and Britons riding out the German blitz in shelters and underground stations. England's sweetheart during the trying times of World War II, Lynn was still in her twenties when she took on that role. She was born Vera Margaret Welch in London's East Ham, to Bertram and Annie Welch, one year before the close of the First World War. She began singing as a girl of seven, also studying dance as a child. She...
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Sincerely Yours: 22 Great Songs, Vera Lynn
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