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The Gift of Music | CDs | Music of the War Years | Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy
Bless 'em All
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1 Don't Sit Under the Apple Tree Glenn Miller 2 We'll Meet Again Vera Lynn 3 Run Rabbit Run Flanagan & Allen 4 Lili Marlene Lale Anderson 5 The Hut-Sut Song Freddy Martin 6 Der Fuehrer's Face Spike Jones 7 Whispering Grass The Ink Spots 8 Pennsylvania 6-5000 Glenn Miller 9 On the Siegfried Line Flanagan & Allen 10 When They Sound the Last All Clear Donald Peers 11 Juke Box Saturday Night Glenn Miller 12 Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy Andrews Sisters 13 Comin' in on a Wing and a Prayer Anne Shelton 14 I'll Never Smile Again Frank Sinatra 15 I'm Going to Get Lit Up Billy Cotton 16 Don't Fence Me In Bing Crosby/Andrews Sisters 17 Mairzy Doats & Doazy Doats The Merry Macs 18 London Pride Noel Coward 19 The Sailor with the Navy Blue Eyes Ambrose 20 This Is the Army, Mr Jones Irving Berlin 21 It's Been a Long, Long Time Bing Crosby 22 The Homecoming Waltz Ivy Benson and Her Girls Band23 The White Cliffs of Dover Vera Lynn CCL CDG1124P & C 2005 Classical Communications LtdCover image: Dancing the Jitterbug Magazine 1940s USA The Advertising ArchivesMade in Great Britain'It was the best of times, it was the worst of times' - Charles Dickens' famous opening lines to his 'Tale of Two Cities' aptly define the years of World War II. Each of us that lived through those days has his or her own personal memories. One overriding memory will surely be the strong sense of community spirit which bound us all so tightly together. It was a period when emotions ran high and music played its own very important and vital role. We had songs to fit every circumstance that would arise: patriotic, poignant songs of farewell and, equally, optimistic songs marking return, comic and novelty numbers to gladden our hearts whilst our loved ones were away and those deeply sentimental ballads recalling romantic liaisons that had turned sour. Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy - our fond nostalgic tribute, has familiar examples of each.Aside from the ever-present air-raid warning sirens, interspersed with the cacophony of war, the soundtrack to our lives then was provided Glenn Miller, Vera Lynn, Flanagan and Allen, The Andrews Sisters, Bing Crosby and the Young Pretender to his throne, Frank Sinatra. In tandem with the times, as well as reflecting the predominating mood of the country, popular music went through radical change in those war years. The spirited optimism at the outset with its jingoistic and patriotic repertoire gave way to sentimental and reflective ballads when the Blitz engulfed us and ominous telegrams contained tragic news. American popular music was to become very significant during the war. There was always a heavy diet of films from the USA, as there were musicals which provided many great songs. But we heard them 'second hand', as it were, in 'cover versions' brought to us by our own artists. As the popularity of American wartime films and musicals, featuring the latest hits, escalated, the original American 78 rpm recordings were being broadcast on our radios. The airwaves would resound to the effervescent sounds of the emerging Swing bands as well as the aforementioned stars. From these names, it is Glenn Miller and Vera Lynn who have become most synonymous with those dark days. With what would become his 'trademark' sound, a smooth clarinet sailing over a woodwind chorale, he and his orchestra achieved phenomenal success with more than one hundred and twenty US chart entries between 1939 and 1944!Vera Lynn epitomized England, both here and abroad. She was dubbed the 'Forces' Sweetheart' and her warm voice, sincere and heart-felt, provided comfort and hope for millions. She regularly visited war-zones and her contribution to the war effort was immeasurable. It was Bing Crosby who turned crooning into something respectable and he was the first singer who sang directly to us through his individual and pioneering microphone technique. He was an internationally famous star at the outbreak of the war and was as comfortable with soft, romantic ballads as he was - usually accompanied by the bouncy Andrews Sisters - in those happy-go-lucky comic and novelty songs that brightened our lives.
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