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Poppy Classics. Inspiring Music By England’s Finest Composers
William WALTON (1902-1983)

"Spitfire" Prelude and Fugue (1942)
March and Siegfried Music from the Battle of Britain (arranged Watson) (1969)
Crown Imperial – Coronation March (arranged Wright) (1937)
Eric COATES (1886-1957)

Dam Busters March (1954)
Halcyon Days from the Three Elizabeths Suite (1940-44)
London Suite (1932) – Covent Garden, Westminster, Knightsbridge
Edward ELGAR (1857-1934)

Pomp and Circumstance March No.1 in D Op. 39 (1901)
Nimrod from Enigma Variations Op.36 (1899)
Gustav HOLST (1874-1934)

Jupiter from The Planets – Suite Op.32 (1916)
Henry WALFORD DAVIES (1869-1941)

RAF March Past (1919)
Cedric Thorpe DAVIE (1913-1983)

Royal Mile – Coronation March Op.106 (1952)
No orchestras or conductors given. No recording details
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Poppy Melodies. A Collection of Favourite Wartime Songs
Skyliner (1944)
Charlie Barnet and His Orchestra
A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square (1940)
Vera Lynn
Coming In On A Wing And A Prayer (1943)
Anne Shelton
You’ll Never Know
Dick Haymes with the Song Spinners
The Anniversary Waltz (1942)
Vera Lynn with Mantovani and his Orchestra
There’ll Always Be An England
Monte Rey with Joe Loss and His Band
Wings Over The Navy
Allan Breeze and Billy Cotton and His Band
Run Rabbit Run
Flanagan and Allen with Harry Bidgood’s Orchestra
We’re Gonna Hang Out The Washing On The Siegfried Line (1939)
Arthur Askey with orchestra conducted by Ronnie Munro
Lili Marlene (1939)
Lale Andersen
It’s A Lovely Day Tomorrow (1940)
Vera Lynn with Arthur Young (novachord) and members of Ambrose’s Orchestra
You’d Be So Nice To Come Home To (1943)
American Patrol (1942)
Glenn Miller and his Orchestra
When The Lights Go On Again (1942)
Vaughn Monroe and his Orchestra
Auf Wiederseh’n Sweetheart
Vera Lynn with Roland Shaw and his orchestra and soldiers, sailors and airmen of HM Forces
Till The Lights of London Shine Again (1943)
Chick Henderson
Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy (1941)
The Andrews Sisters with Vic Shoen and his Orchestra
I’ll Be Seeing You (1944)
Anne Shelton with Stanley Black and His Orchestra
Say A Little Prayer For The Boys Over There (1943)
Deanna Durbin with Victor Young and his Orchestra
There’s Something In The Air (1941)
The Squadronnaires with Jimmy Miller
Two Sleepy People (1938)
Vera Lynn and Denny Dennis with Ambrose and His Orchestra
I Don’t Want To Walk Without You (1941)
Helen Forrest with Harry James and his Orchestra
Wish Me Luck As You Wave Me "Goodbye" (1939)
Gracie Fields with piano and chorus of the B.E.F.
Goodnight, Wherever You Are (1944)
Mary Martin with Camerata and his Orchestra
We’ll Meet Again (1939)
Vera Lynn and Arthur Young
Recorded 1938-44

These two compilations, appearing under the aegis of Sanctuary Classics, serve up rousing nostalgia and jaw-hardening patriotism in reasonable measure. Poppy Melodies, is devoted to popular music of the wartime years – strictly slightly pre-War since Two Sleepy People (no, not Fats Waller but the much less well known recording with Vera Lynn and Denny Dennis) dates from 1938. Many of the old favourites are here, mainly from the Home Front but quite rightly there is a strong leavening of potent Americana, right from Charlie Barnet’s Skyliner through Dick Haymes, Glenn Miller et al. Good also that, resisting temptation to give the obvious, we get the original Lili Marlene, sung by Lale Andersen. All the tracks bar one sound in fine condition – the exception is a rather rough sounding Anniversary Waltz – and it’s splendid that in addition to Monte Rey’s Verdian There’ll Always Be An England we also get the wry, plangent comedians who were every bit as important on disc as their more celebrated singing counterparts – Flanagan and Allen, Arthur Askey – and the more sedate charms of supper club Hutch. A useful conspectus – and always a tonic to hear the Squads in action in There’s Something In The Air.

The second disc is a wee bit odder. This is a strictly anonymous Anglo-Classics Pops album. I assume that the recordings derive from the Sanctuary catalogue but I have to admit that discographic scrupulousness seems, if not unnecessary, then at least misplaced. This isn’t that kind of disc. I’m guessing that the Spitfire Prelude and Fugue and the Coates London Suite are the ECO/Bedford recordings – spruce but not really rousing, that the Black Dyke Mills Band turn in the other two Waltons and that Nimrod comes from the Hallé/Elder recording (slow, humane). Pomp and Circumstance No.1 is here but with a twist – it’s played on the organ (Harold Britton?) – but a high point is Cedric Thorpe Davie’s Royal Mile, finely evocative. Otherwise there are Imperial flagwavers to warm the heart.

Sanctuary is donating 50 pence – or ten bob in real money – to The Royal British Legion for every copy of these discs sold. That’s a worthy object – and the discs will give pleasure.

Jonathan Woolf

Sanctuary is donating 50 pence The Royal British Legion for every copy of these discs sold. That’s a worthy object – and the discs will give pleasure. ... see Full Review

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