The answer is several ……… and they all start with David Harrop who bought all 100 from an auction house in Heaton Mersey.
The records come from an estate in Oldham, and while I haven’t the full list, the ones I have seen include, “Goodnight Children Everywhere”, “More and More”, “Jealousy”, “There’s A New World Over the Skyline”, "Nearest Thing to Heaven”, and my favourite “C’est La Vie”.
None of which are her famous ones.
That said I bet "We'll Meet Again", “The White Cliffs of Dover", "A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square" and "There'll Always Be an England", are there, and David will find them.
In the meantime, it’s just the six, all of which he photographed and sent over in an email. I don’t have a date for any of them and despite finding versions of them on You Tube sung by Dame Vera, neither these or the site devoted to the lyrics of each song have offered up a year.
All that is except for Jealousy which she recorded in 1942.
Of course, someone will know, and will direct me to the place where the songs and their dates are listed, so that at present isn’t the story.
Instead it’s the sleeve covers which have caught my interest, because each of the six comes from a different record shop.
This I know because the names and addresses of the shops are printed on the sleeve cover.
And so I have been going on a Cook’s Tour across Manchester, from the Talkeries at 213 Deansgate, to The Elite Gramophone Depot, at 115 Manchester Road in Chorlton-cum-Hardy, and out to 653 Oldham Road in Newton Heath, where Manson’s claimed to be “The House of Music”.
There was also A Frank’s Ltd, the Gramophone Salon, with premises at 95-97 Deansgate and 46 Market Street, and E, Pennington Gramophone Specialist who sold his records from 1164-1168 Chester Road., Stretford.
Leaving me just Mazel Record Library on London Road which some will remember, and may well have visited to peruse the “40,000 records in stock”.
And when David has compiled the full list of stockists from the 100 78s, we will have a priceless record of shops from the 1940s into the following decade.
Added to which as some of them proudly display the date they were established we can begin to track the history of the gramophone shop across Manchester
All of which can be matched against the directories which contain the names of all such businesses from the late 19th century up to 1969.
What strikes me above all, are the descriptions, running from Gramophone Depot to the Gramophone Salon and the name the Talkeries, which hint at beginnings in the early 20th century and must even by the 1940s seemed outdated.
So that for now is the story …….. not Dame Vera, or the powerful songs, which evoke the war years, but the humble record shop of which there will be more stories to follow.
Pictures; sleeve notes from the records of Vera Lynn, 2020, from the collection of David Harrop