Dame Vera Lynn’s “National Treasure — Ultimate Collection” (Decca/Universal) debuted at No. 13 on the Official Charts Company’s new album chart yesterday (June 8), making the “Forces’ Sweetheart” the oldest artist ever to appear in the U.K. album top 20, at 97 years and nearly three months.
The new compilation features all-time classics by Dame Vera such as “We’ll Meet Again,” “The White Cliffs of Dover” and “How Green Was My Valley” as well as three newly-discovered tracks. The album’s release coincided with the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings, and Dame Vera celebrates an astounding 90 years in show business this year.
It’s 52 years since “Auf Wiedersehen Sweetheart,” by the then Vera Lynn, became the first record by any foreign artist to top the Billboard chart, staying there for nine weeks. She’d first hit the U.S. charts with “You Can’t Be True, Dear,” with Bob Farndon’s Orchestra, in 1948. Many of her most popular recordings pre-date the launch of the British singles chart in 1952, but she spent two weeks at No. 1 in 1954 with “My Son, My Son,” accompanied by Frank Weir, his saxophone, his orchestra and chorus.