Dame Vera Lynn to take on X Factor winner in chart battle
Friday 06 November 2009
Dame Vera Lynn is to take on this year's X Factor winner in a bid to grab the Christmas number one, it was announced today.
The "Forces' Sweetheart" is to release a revamped version of her wartime song We'll Meet Again, along with a recording of White Christmas, to take on the reality show victor head-to-head.
The 92-year-old star, who kept up the nation's spirits during the Second World War, has already made an incredible chart comeback this year.
She recently became the oldest artist to reach the top of the album chart with her greatest hits collection, We'll Meet Again: The Very Best Of Vera Lynn.
Her new version of We'll Meet Again sees her backed by label-mates, the 60-piece Fron Male Voice Choir who perform along with her original vocal. She was just 22 when she recorded the original in 1939, but cutting-edge studio techniques - previously used in movies - allow her voice to be isolated to perform with the choir.
Dame Vera said: "I'm amazed this is possible. It's wonderful."
The double-A single will also feature her wartime version of Irving Berlin's White Christmas, which was originally released in 1942. Her version was the very first UK recording, appearing on a Decca 78rpm release, which came out the same month as Bing Crosby's famous performance.
The X Factor winner will release their single on the same day as Dame Vera's, on December 14, and will form formidable competition.
X Factor stars have dominated the festive chart for several years and often become the year's biggest seller with only one week's sales.
The reality show winner has topped the charts for the past four years at Christmas with Shayne Ward, Leona Lewis, Leon Jackson and Alexandra Burke each taking their turn.
Dame Vera will soon be seen as guest of honour at this year's Festival of Remembrance at the Royal Albert Hall. We'll Meet Again will be sung in her presence by Hayley Westenra who will also be backed by the Fron Male Voice Choir.
The choir will include their recording with Dame Vera on new album Memory Lane, which will be released on 23 November on Decca Records.
Fron Choir founder Dennis Williams said: "Vera was my sweetheart during the war, I was a young boy suffering from all the emotions of such a conflict. They dropped bombs in our lovely Vale of Llangollen.
"As kids we were scared running home from school with our gasmasks. To have someone sing beautiful songs of better times to come was just what we all wanted."
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