This year we celebrate the centenary of Patricia Sibley (1923-1994) who, as “Anne Shelton”, was one of the iconic “Forces’ Sweethearts” of World War II. With her rich contralto voice and charismatic presence, the then-teenage sensation had an invaluable morale-boosting effect with her broadcasts, concerts and songs, not least her signature tune, Lili Marlene. That also provides the title to Retrospective’s 52-track tribute, 26 of them as lead singer with the famous Ambrose Orchestra (taking over from Vera Lynn in 1940), including such nostalgic classics as her debut, Begin The Beguine, I’ll Never Smile Again, A Nightingale Sang In Berkeley Square and Fools Rush In. Her popularity scarcely waned after the war, culminating in her huge 1956 hit, Lay Down Your Arms. In all, the collection contains 22 enduring ‘chart hits’ such as I’ll Be Seeing You (no.2), Silver Wings In The Moonlight (no.4) and At Last (no.5). In this, her centenary year, Anne Shelton remains an inspirational figure, still nostalgically beloved as a Forces’ Sweetheart – our “Lili of the lamplight” – and for the sheer warmth and authority of her creamy, melodious voice as captured on these timeless CDs.