An honour to sing for Dame Vera Lynn
CHARING singer Annie Riley continues to chase her dream of making the big time in the world of showbiz.
As half of the Swingtime Sweethearts, with partner Le’arna Ashleigh from Dover, she performed at the recent Goodwood Revival to a 40,000 crowd where the duo were invited to meet and sing for Dame Vera Lynn.
They explained that the White Cliffs of Dover had a special meaning as both the parents and grandparents of Le’arna were born and bred in the town.
Dame Vera, 92, told them “to keep singing the songs to keep them alive, as it is important, not just for the music, but for what the songs stood for, during the Second World War.”
Later, Dame Vera watched the girls sing, and stood at the front of the crowd singing along to her famous song.
Annie said: “It was an incredible honour, to see this remarkable lady, joining in and applauding our performance. We both struggled to contain ourselves, while singing such an emotional song in these special circumstances.”
She also asked for a copy of their CD, and signed and presented them with a book about the war in which she had written the foreword.
The girls were also thrilled to meet Nicholas Lyndhurst, who played Rodney Trotter in Only Fools and Horses who told them they took him
Annie Riley and Le’arna Ashleigh with Dame Vera Lynn back to his days filming Goodnight Sweetheart which was a time-travelling sitcom, set in the 1940s.
For the duo it has been a busy summer at events across the country.
They sang for the Mayor of London and met Defence Secretary Des Browne at Veteran’s Day in Trafalgar Square, performed at the Hellfire Corner 1940s Weekend in Dover and at many other prestige events.
A new album of songs is due to be released next month and shortly they will be performing at a special ceremony for another Forces’ favourite Anne Shelton OBE.
They have been invited by her family, to sing some of her famous songs for the blue plaque unveiling at her former home in Dulwich.