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Singer Dame Vera Lynn Passes Away Aged 103 Years

Memories of my grandmothers brown Bakelite ‘Wet & Dry Battery’ valve radio of the 1950’s, were vividly revived again today, on learning that singer Dame Vera Lynn had passes away this morning, aged 103 years.

Her family confirmed today that the inspirational and iconic singer Dame Vera Lynn had sadly passed away, surrounded by her close family.

Video shown above contains just one of Dame Vera Lynn’s most famous songs, “We’ll Meet Again” was released in 1939 and as war progressed it increasingly resonated with the British public. In Vera’s own words; “It’s a good song as it goes with anyone anywhere saying goodbye to someone.”

Fondly known as “the forces’ sweetheart” due to her down-to-earth style, quickly established her as the public’s favourite antidote to both the misery of the blackouts and her often morale-boosting visits to front line troops during World War II.

Born in London’s East Ham in 1917, daughter of plumber Bertram Samuel Welch (1883–1955) and dressmaker Annie Martin (1889–1975), who had married in 1913, she left school at age 11. She made her first solo recordings, which included “Up the Wooden Hill to Bedfordshire” and “The little boy that Santa Clause forgot” at the age of 19 years, and just some of her better known and much loved hits include; “A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square” and “There’ll Be Bluebirds Over The White Cliffs Of Dover”. By the age of 22 years she had sold more than one million records.

A huge part of her appeal during wartime came from her BBC radio programme “Sincerely Yours”, which ran during 1941 and 42 taking the form of “A letter to the men of the Forces, in words and music”.

In 1941, Dame Vera married Harry Lewis, a clarinettist and saxophonist whom she had had met two years previous. They had a child in March of 1946, Virginia Penelope Anne Lewis, (now Lewis-Jones). Her husband sadly passed away in 1998.

In 1976, Dame Vera received an honorary Doctorate of Laws from the Memorial University of Newfoundland. She received the Freedom of the City of London in 1978 and in 2000, she received a “Spirit of the 20th Century” Award in a nationwide poll in which she won 21% of the vote.

Requiescat in Pace.


Be Thou My Vision.

A collaborative effort between various Christian communities, to protect frontline workers battling Covid-19 here in Ireland and across the world.

“Be Thou my Vision, O Lord of my heart
Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art
Thou my best thought, by day or by night
Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light.

A hymn of Irish origin, “Be Thou My Vision” (Irish: Rob tú mo bhoile), which can be traced back to a tradition of a prayer for protection known as ‘lorica’ (Latin for battle-shield & sword or breastplate) was launched yesterday; recorded by some 300 Christian groups to protect frontline workers battling Covid-19.

The organiser, Mr Philip McKinley, a Dublin-based Church of Ireland Ordinand, [latter a person who is training to be ordained as a priest or minister] stated that this hymn and the production of this YouTube video illustrates Ireland’s rich tapestry of Christianity through the ages.

“High King of Heaven, my victory won
May I reach Heaven’s joys, O bright Heav’n’s Sun
Heart of my own heart, whate’er befall
Still be my Vision, O Ruler of all.”


Ireland’s Answer To Elvis Presley Dies Aged 81 Years

Ireland’s answer to Elvis Presley, singer Brendan Bowyer, has died aged 81 years while residing in Las Vegas.

Showband legend and Waterford native Brendan Bowyer has passed away aged 81, while residing in the entertainment capital of the world, Las Vegas, Clark County, Nevada, surrounded by his family.

News of his passing was confirmed in a statement some five hours ago, [as we go to press] on his Facebook page, it reads:

“It is with deep sadness and regret that we announce the passing of Brendan Bowyer.
Ireland’s most beloved International entertainer for 62 years.
Brendan passed away peacefully in Las Vegas on the late evening of May 28th, 2020. He was surrounded by the unending love of his wife of 53 years, Stella; his three children, Brendan Jr., Aisling, Clodagh, and his two grandchildren, Liam & Nora Stella.
Brendan was hoping to get back to his homeland, Ireland, one last time. He was 81 years old.”

Mr Bowyer first came to prominence in 1959 as a member of “The Royal Showband”.

A regular visitor to Thurles and Co. Tipperary; the band are probably best known for their International hit “The Hucklebuck” released back in 1964 and still today regarded as the greatest pop record ever produced by an Irish group.

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis.


Quick Access To World Radio Stations

Have you ever wished to tune into every radio station from around the world?

Well you can with Radio Garden; allowing you to choose your favourite music being played in real time on the numerous radio stations worldwide, while you continue to either listen and/or use your PC or Laptop.

To tune in, simply visit HERE then highlight; drag and drop the link shown (i.e. http://radio.garden/listen/tipp-fm/34UE11wI ) into your Bookmarks, thus granting immediate and quick access, whenever you go online in the future.

On this Radio Garden world map, then simply click on any of the bright green lights indicated; each identifying one of a myriad of Radio Stations located right around our planet, from our own Radio TippFm here in Co. Tipperary, Ireland to Radio Garden Kiev (or Kyiv) in north-central Ukraine, Russia.



Top Three Websites Supporting Music Appreciation & Learning At Home

“Music has healing power. It has the ability to take people out of themselves for a few hours.” – Elton John.

Be sure to share these top three recommendations for music appreciation and learning at home.

Teach RockView HERE.

Music lovers and music teachers, if you are not already familiar with www.teachrock.org then you are about to spend many happy hours sifting through its catalogue of lessons. Although it’s called Teach Rock, lessons cover every conceivable music genre. From big band to folk, jazz to pop, lessons for all ages explore the power of music to influence society, history and culture. Cross curricular links are made with The Beatles used to teach Maths and Pink Floyd used to teach art. To support learning at home during this period of school closures, a number of PDF packs have been prepared and are available to access HERE.
Pupils can learn about expressing gratitude and care with music through the Bill Withers hit ‘Lean on Me’ or even learn about the history behind one of the greatest guitar makers of all time – Leo Fender.

The Dallas Symphony OrchestraView HERE.

The kids section of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra’s website is well worth a visit for anybody looking for resources relating to classical music and instruments of the orchestra. By clicking HERE you can learn about all the instruments played by the orchestra and sample sounds.
By clicking HERE you can learn about composers throughout history from the Renaissance period right through to modern day.
This site even includes a section that shows children how to make their own instruments using everyday items including a homemade xylophone made from different lengths of PVC piping. Click HERE.

London Symphony Orchestra

The closest thing to actually going to see an orchestra perform is available to experience via the London Symphony Orchestra’s website. Click HERE. Not only are visitors treated to incredible performances, they are also able to change camera views and explore the different sections of the orchestra from multiple angles. An additional sidebar option to the left enables visitors to learn more about the conductors, musicians and their instruments.

Continue To Stay Safe