The voice of hope in a very dark and very uncertain time
Gordon Kearns | St. Louis,, MO USA | 06/22/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Hey, you boomers and x'ers, your parents and grandparents weren't born gray. Like you they were once young and vital. And in high school they went steady and necked in cars and made bright-eyed plans for the future. Plans, yes, but within the cold reality that the future might be years away, or maybe cut off before they stopped being young. An eighteen year old boy could kiss his girl good-bye, board the train, and eight weeks later be a frozen corpse on a Belgium street with an unpronounceable name. The forties were an uncertain time for lovers, for parents, and for children. Houses up and down every street displayed blue stars in the front windows, and too many displayed gold stars. In this time of terrible uncertainty the music of the big bands was a nice diversion. But you should know that the music of hope came from an English girl with a beautiful and expressive voice. Ironically, while Americans loved that music, and bought that music from the record stores, and requested that music from the dj's of the day, many never did make special note of the name that belonged to that voice, Vera Lynn. Her unique voice and styling was immediately recognizable though. Her records sold in the millions and millions. Her songs were played over and over on the radio here and abroad, including those many broadcasts she made which were sent directly to the European fighting fronts. And she was the background music to dozens of movies. In sum, Vera Lynn was one of the biggest stars ever to hit the music business.This album, "The Golden Hits", will soon be a collector's item. It contains most of her best known songs, including those great renditions that brought hope to a generation that had little reason for hope. If you've never head Vera Lynn's beautiful and touching "White Cliffs of Dover", this disc will give you a chance to hear a song that reached the hearts of your parents and grandparents and made them feel there was something ahead to look forward to. No, not all the numbers on this disc are great ... but most are. This lady knew how to sing a song. Aside from the wonderful songs of hope - "The London I Love", "White Cliffs of Dover", "We'll Meet Again", and "When the Lights Go on Again", there are some fantastic ballads -"Yours", "Only Forever", "Wishing Will Make It So", "Harbour Lights", and my favorite, the classic "A Nightingale Sang in Berkley Square". There's a real gem at the end of the disc, "Goodnight Wherever You Are", which was Vera Lynn's theme song in her wartime broadcasts.So this is a recommendation is from an old guy (who thinks he's still sort of young) to all you young guys and girls(who think old doesn't know what love and uncertainty and hope are). If you really want to hear music that deeply affected many many hurting hearts, get this disc. The reproduction of Vera Lynn's voice is almost as if the music was recorded yesterday."