Although singer Anne Shelton issued several recordings throughout her career, she is best-known for generously touring Army, Navy, and Air Force bases. Born in Dulwich, London, England, on November 10, 1923, Shelton began singing at the age of 13, and by 15 had her own recording contract as a solo artist. In 1942, Shelton began playing military bases across England and as her popularity grew, was offered her own radio program, Calling Malta, which remained on the air for five years. In 1944, Shelton was invited to sing with the Glenn Miller Orchestra, and although some of these shows were recorded, none have ever surfaced in their entirety. Miller invited Shelton to stay on with the band and travel to Versailles for a series of shows; she had to turn him down due to prior commitments in Britain, which turned out to be a blessing in disguise as Miller's plane crashed shortly after the shows. But Shelton soon performed with another American who had come over to England: Bing Crosby. Crosby and Shelton appeared on the Variety Bandbox radio show together and afterwards played a show together, duetting on the songs "Easter Parade" and "I'll Get By." In 1949, Shelton began to make headway stateside, scoring a pair of hits with "Be Mine" and "Galway Bay," which resulted in her inaugural U.S. tour two years later (all the while continuing to entertain the troops). But it was in her native land where Shelton's popularity was the greatest, as she scored a number one hit with "Lay Down Your Arms" in September of 1956, remaining atop the U.K. singles charts for a solid four weeks. Shelton was never able to follow up her big hit, but remained a popular concert attraction nonetheless, performing shows straight up to her death on July 31, 1994. Following her death, numerous compilations saw the light of day, including such titles as Early Years: Lili Marlene and At Last: The Very Best. ~ Greg Prato
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