Dame Vera Margaret Lynn CH DBE OStJ (née Welch; 20 March 1917 - 18 June 2020) was an English singer of traditional popular music, songwriter and actress, whose musical recordings and performances were enormously popular during the Second World War. She was widely known as "the Forces' Sweetheart" for giving outdoor concerts for the troops in Egypt, India, and Burma during the war as part of Entertainments National Service Association (ENSA). The songs most associated with her are "We'll Meet Again", "The White Cliffs of Dover", "A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square" and "There'll Always Be an England".
She remained popular after the war, appearing on radio and television in the UK and the US and recording such hits as "Auf Wiederseh'n Sweetheart" and her UK Number one single "My Son, My Son". Her last single, "I Love This Land", was released to mark the end of the Falklands War. In 2009, at age 92, she became the oldest living artist to top the UK Albums Chart, with compilation album We'll Meet Again: The Very Best of Vera Lynn. She released the compilation album of hits Vera Lynn 100 in 2017, to commemorate her centennial year, and it was a number-3 hit, making her the first centenarian performer to have an album in the charts.
Links to Peel
Peel had a copy of Vera Lynn's compilation album, The War Years, which he would sometimes play tracks from on his programmes, usually as the last song on the show. The DJ also played unexpected cover versions of Vera Lynn classics by Tony Blackburn, Barbara Cartland, Blue Jays and Checkers.
- 12 August 1985: When They Sound the Last "All Clear" (LP - The War Years) Decca
- 28 September 1987: There's A Land Of Begin Again (LP - The War Years) Decca
- 05 October 1996: My Dreams Are Getting Better All The Time
(The list below was compiled only from the Cover Versions page of this site. Please add more information if known.)
Artist | Track | First Known Play
- Tony Blackburn: The White Cliffs Of Dover 15 April 1981
- Blue Jays: White Cliffs of Dover 08 May 1980
- Barbara Cartland: A Nightingale Sang In Berkeley Square 05 February 1994 (BFBS)
- Checkers: White Cliffs of Dover 18 August 1980