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Bebop Spoken There

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As we all know there are no live gigs taking place in the immediate future. However, any links to jazz streaming that are deemed suitable - i.e. with a professional approach - will be considered for posting.

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Dame Vera Lynn (1917 - 2020)

Vera Lynn seemed timeless, almost immortal, wars and pandemics may come and go but "Our Vera" would always be there to remind us that we'll meet again. Well we may or may not meet again, certainly not in the way the song she was so associated with would have wanted us to do, but her passing earlier today served as a reminder of the rich legacy she left behind. Not just as a singer but as a person.


True her jazz connections were at the best peripheral although she did sing with Ambrose when it was regarded as the number one British band in the pre-war years and her husband did play sax and clarinet in that band.

Her career needs no further elaboration here. I doubt if there is a person living who will say "Vera who?" And, if there is, the countless obituaries that are already springing up will soon rectify that lack of knowledge.

Dame Vera Lynn, died on June 18 aged 103

Sadly missed may you rest in peace dear legend.
Lance
PS: Photo by Alamy shows Dame Vera with Joe Loss and Glenn Miller.

9 comments :

Steve T said...

We really don't make enough of these people, and not just people like Dame Vera and Churchill, who were never really in harm's way, but people like the FEW, without who most of us wouldn't exist, yet I don't even know how many are still alive, but I think you can count them on one hand. I sometimes imagine what it would be like if you were working a door somewhere and one of them turned up and you were expected to ask them for money.
I'm embarrassed when when people of my generation and older claim they worked hard for their retirement, unlike our parents swanning around the airfields waiting for the Luftwaffe or sunbathing on the Normandy beaches; or their parents partying in the trenches.
We all could do with a little humility.

Roly said...

I was born in 1946. I think our generation have been so very fortunate, in so many ways.
Roly

Steve T said...

That must be a mistake Roly; surely it was 1956.

Roly said...

Ah very kind Steve. Next time take a closer look!
R

Lance said...

I don't think Vera was out of harm's way performing in India and North Africa - she didn't get there by tube - and I certainly wasn't out of harm's way as two streets near where I lived were bombed and over thirty were killed. This was in 1941 and, even though I was 3 year old I don't remember it. Jarrow bus station now occupies the site and there is a commemorative plaque on the wall of the nearby Home Bargains.

Liz said...

I agree Lance, she went to Burma to entertain the troops, when very few others did that. She was an ordinary East End girl who was just at the right age to fill in that "Forces Sweetheart " role. I was born in East Ham as was she. I also have been in her company some years ago, and am in possession of a lovely letter from her. I am familiar with Ditchling where she has lived for many years. She was a familiar face to the village, and contributed to charities there. I also once stayed in her former home in Clayton which, at the time I stayed there, had become a Guest House. RIP

Lance said...

Well said Liz, her passing obviously meant a lot to you as it has done to so many. Although vocally Anne Shelton was my favourite back then I've always loved how Vera kept in the limelight over the years without really trying to.

Can anyone think of another singer who made it to 103?

Steve T said...

I don't think we should compare civilians - including politicians - with soldiers, sailors and airmen. I've no doubt Vera didn't get many home comforts in Burma, but doubt she saw much action in the jungle, which isn't to minimise her contribution, but I get sick of hearing about Churchill being the greatest Briton ever for delivering speeches.

Liz said...

Well I saw a programme yesterday by one of the Burma soldiers who got home, and he said she was right in the danger zone, sorry I cannot be more explicit. She simply went there because no other entertainers wanted to. She asked the authorities which was the least visited , and Burma was the answer, so off she went. As regards Churchill , in my opinion he was great orator. However, to each his own.

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