Honourable sentiments

When Patrick Hinchy walked past The Record Album recently and spotted our window display of wartime film soundtracks to mark Remembrance, he was suddenly reminded of a limited edition vinyl release produced for a special event to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Allies’ successful liberation of Europe and the Far East in World War II.

“Sentimental Journey Just For You” featuring Anne Shelton was produced and distributed by Lieutenant Colonel Hal Ryder of Pennsylvania as part of his “Operation Friendly Invasion 1944-1984”, which saw 1,200 US World War II veterans return to the UK.

Most of the 19 songs will be immediately recognisable as outstanding wartime hits and beautifully sung – a pleasure for any lover of 1940s music.

Copies of “Sentimental Journey Just For You” in mint condition are rare and particularly relevant given that 2019 and 2020 are the 75th anniversary years of the Allied Victory in Europe and the Pacific, starting with the Normandy beaches on D-Day, June 6, 1944.

“75th Anniversary nostalgia is historically and emotionally very important to militarily interested people in the UK and especially the USA,” says Patrick. “There are lots of them – WW2 veterans’ families, serving and former armed forces personnel, professional and amateur military historians, collectors, battle reenactors, etc.”

The historic album honours important but ignored or forgotten World War II battles and their veterans with the cover adorned with ‘stars’ marking significant action.

“Look at all those record sleeve ‘stars’,” says Patrick. “For 1944, the general public and popular media automatically just think of famous/glamorous June 6 D-Day and the Battle of Normandy … one thinks of films like “Saving Private Ryan”, etc. But the ‘star’ “Ardennes” nicknamed ‘Battle of the Bulge’ (Dec 16, 1944 to Jan 25, 1945), was in fact the USA’s greatest ever land battle. It involved 600,000 Americans and dwarfed Normandy (240,000) in size, military importance and success.

“The CBI Theater ‘stars’ “China”, “Burma” and “India” involved 250,000 Americans. The Pacific Theater (e.g. the ‘stars’ “Guam”, “Saipan”, “New Guinea”, “Solomons”, “The Philippines”, “Kwajalein”), involved at least 400,000 Americans. “The Carolines” were US airbases indispensable for essential anti-submarine warfare in the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico, flight training and transporting supplies.

“These ‘stars’ make it a genuine historical commemoration of US veterans, whose WW2 military achievements seem otherwise to be forgotten or ignored by the popular media and general public.”

Anne Shelton was a popular English singer who provided inspirational songs on radio broadcasts and in person at British military bases during the Second World War. The track listing of “Sentimental Journey Just For You” includes ‘After All’, specially composed by Danny Scott, Hal Ryder’s son-in-law, and comprises:

Side One: 1 Sentimental Journey, 2 Tangerine, 3 A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square, 4 Don’t Fence Me In, 5 I’ll Walk Alone, 6 Run Rabbit Run, 7 When The Lights Go On Again All Over the World, 8 Bluebirds Over The White Cliffs of Dover, 9 You’ll Never Know, 10 After All.

Side Two: 1 Don’t Sit Under the Apple Tree (with anyone else but me), 2 I Left My Heart at the Stage Door Canteen, 3 Roll Out The Barrel, 4 I’ll Get By, 5 Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy (from Company B), 6 I’ll Be Seeing You, 7 Chattanooga Choo Choo, 8 Lilli Marlene, 9 Just Look Around.

We have several mint copies of the album in the shop and are proud to offer for them for sale.