Printer Friendly - RIP Patty Andrews 1918-2013

RIP Patty Andrews 1918-2013
Posted by That Groovy Guy 2013-01-30 17:50:55

By Associated Press,
Jan 30, 2013 10:30 PM EST

AP Updated: Wednesday, January 30, 4:30 PM
LOS ANGELES — Patty Andrews, the last surviving member of the singing Andrews Sisters trio whose hits such as the rollicking “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy of Company B” and the poignant “I Can Dream, Can’t I?” captured the home-front spirit of World War II, died Wednesday. She was 94.

Andrews died of natural causes at her home in the Los Angeles suburb of Northridge, said family spokesman Alan Eichler in a statement.

Patty was the Andrews in the middle, the lead singer and chief clown, whose raucous jitterbugging delighted American servicemen abroad and audiences at home.

She could also deliver sentimental ballads like “I’ll Be with You in Apple Blossom Time” with a sincerity that caused hardened GIs far from home to weep.

From the late 1930s through the 1940s, the Andrews Sisters produced one hit record after another, beginning with “Bei Mir Bist Du Schoen” in 1937 and continuing with “Beat Me Daddy, Eight to the Bar,” ‘’Rum and Coca-Cola” and more. They recorded more than 400 songs and sold over 80 million records, several of them gold (over a million copies).

Other sisters, notably the Boswells, had become famous as singing acts, but mostly they huddled before a microphone in close harmony. The Andrews Sisters — LaVerne, Maxene and Patty — added a new dimension. During breaks in their singing, they cavorted about the stage in rhythm to the music.

Their voices combined with perfect synergy. As Patty remarked in 1971: “There were just three girls in the family. LaVerne had a very low voice. Maxene’s was kind of high, and I was between. It was like God had given us voices to fit our parts.”

The Andrews’s rise coincided with the advent of swing music, and their style fit perfectly into the new craze. They aimed at reproducing the sound of three harmonizing trumpets.

“I was listening to Benny Goodman and to all the bands,” Patty once remarked. “I was into the feel, so that would go into my own musical ability. I was into swing. I loved the brass section.”

Unlike other singing acts, the sisters recorded with popular bands of the ‘40s, fitting neatly into the styles of Benny Goodman, Glenn Miller, Jimmy Dorsey, Bob Crosby, Woody Herman, Guy Lombardo, Desi Arnaz and Russ Morgan. They sang dozens of songs on records with Bing Crosby, including the million-seller “Don’t Fence Me In.” They also recorded with Dick Haymes, Carmen Miranda, Danny Kaye, Al Jolson, Jimmy Durante and Red Foley.

The Andrews’ popularity led to a contract with Universal Pictures, where they made a dozen low-budget musical comedies between 1940 and 1944. In 1947, they appeared in “The Road to Rio” with Bing Crosby, Bob Hope and Dorothy Lamour.

The trio continued until LaVerne’s death in 1967. By that time the close harmony had turned to discord, and the sisters had been openly feuding.

Bette Midler’s 1973 cover of “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy” revived interest in the trio. The two survivors joined in 1974 for a Broadway show, “Over Here!” It ran for more than a year, but disputes with the producers led to the cancellation of the national tour of the show, and the sisters did not perform together again.

RIP Patty Andrews 1918-2013
Posted by PalJoey 2013-01-30 17:57:07

Aw, Patty!

Here she is with Maxene in a 10-minute excerpt from Over Here from the 1974 Tony Awards:

In the dance equence before they sing, you can see young Ann Reinking, John Travolta, John Mineo, and Marilu Henner.

RIP Patty Andrews 1918-2013
Posted by NoName3 2013-01-30 19:46:48

The reason Patty refused to tour Over Here with Maxene had nothing to do with the Producers. That was strictly a cover story.

RIP Patty Andrews 1918-2013
Posted by GavestonPS 2013-01-30 19:48:15

Thank you so much, joey! I wasn't in NYC when OVER HERE was running.

But I have an entire CD case full of nothing but Andrews Sisters records.

I find that when friends say "I like the Andrews Sisters", they almost always mean the handful of boogie woogie tunes they did. But in fact the Sisters recorded hundreds of jazz, swing, polka, ballads and novelty numbers.

It's quite an amazing collection of work!

RIP Patty Andrews 1918-2013
Posted by alterego 2013-01-30 23:21:03

Ok, spill the beans NoName3.

RIP Patty Andrews 1918-2013
Posted by NoName3 2013-01-31 00:11:29

I've had just enough Scotch to tell tales out of school now that the sisters are gone and attitudes have changed so much.

There were disputes with the producers over money and perks but nothing that wouldn't have been worked out. But during the run Patty finally found out that Maxene was gay and never spoke to her again and refused to work with her again. When their contract was up, Patty refused to re-sign, although the show was still going strong, and they had been supposed to tour whenever the New York run ended. Maxene tried to reconcile over the years but Patty wouldn't talk to her. Read the whole obit, not just the excerpt above, carefully.

When I saw the show late in the run I found it strange that during the bows, they entered down front from opposite wings but each stayed on her side of the stage and they didn't acknowledge each other in any way. A few years later friends clued me in to what had gone on. It was reported in the tabloids in the 90's but they got a lot of details wrong.

Caveat emptor: I'm open to correction from anyone who knows first hand what really happened; as I said what I know is second hand. But I heard the same story, with more details, so many times over the years from people who were in a position to know, that I believe it. Again, open to correction and apologies to anyone offended.

A sad story.

RIP Patty Andrews 1918-2013
Posted by alterego 2013-01-31 08:16:25

Ah ha. Someone once told me that it was demands that each wanted that made things impossible for the producers. i.e. one had a limo the other wanted a bigger limo, one had meals brought in on matinee days the other wanted meals brought in every day and similar. Your story makes sense though. Cheers.