The English singer, songwriter and actress Vera Lynn (born Vera Margaret Welch) turns 100 today. She made her debut public appearance at the age of seven, while her first broadcast was in 1935 performing with the Joe Loss Orchestra, and she started to make commercial recordings at about the same time.
During World War Two, Vera Lynn became popularly known as “The Forces’ Sweetheart” – representing ENSA (Entertainments National Service Association) she travelled far and wide overseas to entertain the troops – and during this period she also recorded patriotic and enduring hits, such as The White Cliffs of Dover, We'll Meet Again, A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square, and There’ll Always be an England. Much later, in 2009, she was heading the UK Albums Chart, and Decca is currently issuing a centenary release.
Vera Lynn is also recognised for her extensive work on behalf of various charities, including those supporting ex-servicemen, disabled children and cancer. She was conferred a Dame in 1975, and, among other honours, a steam locomotive is named after her.
Classical Source sends warmest congratulations and very best wishes to Dame Vera on this auspicious day.