Post by DavidRitchieWilson on Jun 18, 2020 9:21:28 GMT -8
Dame Vera Lynn was the British "Forces' Sweetheart" during World Warr II and referred to her military fans as "my boys". She cultivated an image of the "girl next door" that British troops would return home to marry. She had her critics in high places, who argued that her sentimental songs might make soldiers homesick. She was made of sterner stuff, though, choosing to perform in Burma because there was a forgotten war going on there. This is perhaps her most famous song:
DRW, I knew I could get you to post this way--my evil plot!
When I compared Dame Vera... (Oh geeze, they're playing that very song as I write this) to Jo Stafford it wasn't in their vocal stylings, it was because they were the "soldiers sweetheart". Did you know they were both born in 1917? Miss Stafford, just like her British counterpart, visited "the boys" in the military theater: they called her G.I. Jo. There are storys about her holding the hand of soldiers while they died of their wounds while in the military hospital.
I have a lot of respect for celebrities who chose to serve their country. The one I always think of is Gene Autry the cowboy actor. When he joined the USAAF Republic Films producer Nat Levine threatened that if he went into the military he'd give Roy Rogers his career, so he did, and he did as well... I never liked Rogers, but that made me like him even less...
Post by DavidRitchieWilson on Jun 18, 2020 11:24:54 GMT -8
Vera Lynn was something of a "classless" singer, despite her ordinary origins while Gracie Fields was considered "a bit common", particularly as she never hid her Lancashire roots and spoke in a northern dialect at a time when "received pronunciation" was considered the social aspirant norm. Here are several of Gracie's famous numbers:
I think "Aspidistra" had something to do with a British "black propaganda" transmitter during WWII.
I too admire showbusiness people who put themselves in harm's way to entertain the troops in foreign wars. Bob Hope, who was born in England, comes to mind. Some went further and joined up, Like James Stewart, who ended up as an air force brigadier-general. Then there's Captaim Glenn Miller, whose body was never found during World War II.