Dame Vera Lynn inspires Vicki Lee tribute
A meeting with legendary artist Dame Vera Lynn in England has reinforced Manawatu musician Vicki Lee’s desire to keep her music alive.
Vicki, who’s been a singer/ accompanist for Dame Malvina Major and Sir Howard Morrison, was thrilled with the response to her two tribute concerts to Dame Vera on Anzac Day. From the audience reaction she realised the impact that the Force’s Sweetheart had on people throughout the world.
‘‘Dame Vera’s music brought back incredible memories to people and confirmed my wish to continue her musical legacy,’’ Vicki says.
While recently in England, Vicki travelled to Sussex to meet Dame Vera, now 98, and they discussed the enduring quality of her songs and what they meant then and now. Dame Vera thanked Vicki for being one of the musicians who kept her music alive both for people who remember her and a new generation discovering her life and repertoire for the first time.
‘‘Her music is so important. It was the soundtrack to many lives throughout the Second World War and the decades that followed,’’ Vicki says. ‘‘Her legacy is something I feel passionate about.’’
As a result she’s embarking on a 40-performance tour of the lower North Island early next year singing and playing Dame Vera’s music and talking about her life. Vicki, who’ll accompany herself on piano and keyboard, will perform the immortal songs forever associated with Dame Vera such as We’ll Meet Again, When The Lights Go On Again, Wish Me Luck, Auf Wiedersehen and A Nightingale Sang in Berkerley Square.
An intrinsic part of any concert is audience involvement and Vicki will engage people to join her in such numbers as Wish Me Luck and Roll Out the Barrel. She’ll encourage them to express their own personal anecdotes of Dame Vera.
Vicki’s tribute also possesses a strong Kiwi connection with the songs Blue Smoke and, in particular, Now Is the Hour. But before Vicki leaves on her Rotary New Zealand sponsored North Island tour she’s providing Manawatu audiences with a further treat.
Her concert entitled The Life and Music of Vera Lynn and Friends will be presented at Globe 2 on Sunday November 1 at 2.30 and 7pm. Tickets available from The Globe. Admission is $20 of which part proceeds will be made to Rotary’s Youth leadership Projects.
Vicki Lee meets the incomparable Dame Vera Lynn.