How would you celebrate your 100th birthday? A day trip somewhere scenic with friends and family? Perhaps treat yourself to an indulgent slab of cake? Maybe a glass of plonk if you’re feeling really festive… or if you are Vera Lynn, how about release a UK top 20 album?
This is how British songstress Dame Vera Lynn is celebrating her 100th year on earth, breaking her own record in the process of being the oldest living artist to get a top 20 UK album, which she previously set when she released “National Treasure – Ultimate Collection” on the 8th June, 2014, at the age of 97. Speaking about reaching the age of 100 to the BBC, Dame Vera described her life as being “an incredible adventure of song, dance and friendship”.
Dame Vera Lynn rose to fame during The Second World War, when her angelic tones would often entertain British forces in an effort to raise morale.
The centennial CD is aptly entitled “Vera Lynn 100”, and is released on the 17th March, just three days before the big day itself. A number of Dame Vera’s most loved songs have been re-orchestrated for Vera Lynn 100, and feature the singer’s original vocals.
Speaking to the BBC about the release of Vera Lynn 100, Dame Vera commented, “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 Lynn 100 features an array of acclaimed British voices, including musical theatre star and tenor singer Alfie Boe on “We’ll Meet Again”, Alexander Armstrong, host of Pointless on “White Cliffs of Dover”, and Aled Jones, singer of The Snowman’s haunting theme, “Walking in the Air.”
Vera Lynn 100 will also feature a previously unreleased, exclusive cover of “Sailing”, made famous by Rod Stewart. Not satisfied with just the release of an album, plans are in place to hold a commemorative concert at London Palladium on March 18th, the day after the release of Vera Lynn 100. Entitled “100: A Tribute to Vera Lynn”, this “spectacular stage show” as it’s been described, features over 25 of the United Kingdom’s most loved singers, dancers and actors, ranging from West End stars to television personalities. The Squadronaires, the Royal Air Force Dance Orchestra, will accompany the various performers on the night. This is in tribute to Harry Lewis, a founding member. 100: A Tribute to Vera Lynn aims to raise money for The Dame Vera Lynn’s Children’s Charity. Tickets are available here.
The Album can be pre-ordered off Amazon.co.uk here