On 20th March 2014 the original “Forces' Sweetheart”, Dame Vera Lynn, celebrates her 97th birthday by announcing the forthcoming release of a new album, 'Vera Lynn: National Treasure – The Ultimate Collection'.
The new album will be released on 2nd June to mark the 70th anniversary of the World War II D-Day Landings (6th June) and will feature not only her most memorable and morale-boosting hits that sustained Britons through the wartime years, but some previously unreleased tracks, recently discovered by her daughter Virginia.
Dame Vera commented “I think it’s wonderful that my songs are still enjoyed, especially if it encourages people to commemorate what happened seventy years ago. It’s moving for me to relive those days, and humbling to know that people still think of me – after all, it was simply my duty to keep singing”
The inspiration behind this collection is the recently published 'British Hit Singles – The Missing Charts' from 1940 to 1952, which reveals that Vera Lynn had the first UK No.1 record, in 1940 with 'We'll Meet Again' on Decca Records. The official UK record charts have only been printed from 1952. Before this, there had been American charts, but none covering the British scene. Sales figures have since been obtained from all the major wholesalers, backtracking to 1940. It has taken years to analyse and only now this information is available giving, for the first time, an accurate picture of what the British public was buying during those years.
This year, Dame Vera also becomes the first person in music history to celebrate 90 years of showbusiness, her stage debut being at the age of seven.
On ‘Vera Lynn: National Treasure’ over 40 top 25 chart hits from 1940 to 1945 are brought together for the first time, including five No.1 hits, two of which went on to become alternative national anthems: We'll Meet Again (No.1 in 1940), Yours (No.1 in 1941), The White Cliffs Of Dover (No.1 in 1942), You'll Never Know (No.1 in 1943) and It Can't Be Wrong (No.1 in 1944).
All of the recordings have been completely re-mastered for this release, using special state of the art audio transfer techniques, many of which being taken from the original un-played source, and several tracks have only ever been available on the original 78rpm.