Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Underneath the lantern, by the barrack gate





Today is Remembrance Day (Armistice Day) - and yesterday (coincidentally) it would have been the birthday of one of WW2's greatest (and possibly less remembered) singers, Miss Anne Shelton.

By the tender age of twelve, in the early days of pre-war mass-entertainment, Miss Shelton's admirable (and remarkably mature) vocals had already landed her a slot on the BBC Home Service radio show Monday Night at Eight - and by age 15 she had a recording contract. She was a top entertainer all through WW2, performing with the likes of Ambrose and his Orchestra, Glenn Miller and Bing Crosby, and was the very first person to sing the English translation of the now-legendary wartime classic Lili Marlene. Her star was somewhat eclipsed by the likes of Vera Lynn, unfortunately, as well as by the influx of "Americana" that came during and just after the war. However, to us here at Dolores Delargo Towers, hers is the voice of that era - that should never be forgotten...

I think, as a mark of respect on all counts, we should revisit some of that lady's classics from all those years ago.

First up, her most rousing of wartime numbers, Coming In On A Wing And A Prayer:



That aforementioned première of Lili Marlene:



Accompanied by a typically weird'n'wonderful clip from Dennis Potter's Lipstick On Your Collar (the series during which I, and so many others, first fell in love with Mr Ewan McGregor), Miss Shelton's biggest commercial hit Lay Down Your Arms (And Surrender To Mine):



And finally, my particular favourite, Kiss The Boys Goodbye. Can't imagine why.



Daddy, let me stay out late
For tomorrow is our wedding date
Let the Baby kinda celebrate
Kiss the boys goodbye

Daddy, let me wear the mink
What's the difference what the neighbours think
Let the Baby linger on the brink
Oh, kiss the boys goodbye

And while I'm kissing them sentiment'ly
Keep the liberal point of view
Because I'm breaking it to them gently
That my heart belongs to you

So, Daddy, please remember this
That tomorrow starts a life of bliss
Let me show them what they're gonna miss
Kiss the boys goodbye!


Anne Shelton OBE (born Patricia Sibley, 10th November 1923 – 31st July 1994)

Armistice Day

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