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Patty Andrews has died


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:( Here's Lucy guest Patty Andrews has died at the age of 94. :(


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.


Patty continued as a single, finding success in Las Vegas and on TV variety shows. Her sister also toured as a single until her death in 1995.


Her father, Peter Andrews, was a Greek immigrant who anglicized his name of Andreus when he arrived in America; his wife, Olga, was a Norwegian with a love of music. LaVerne was born in 1911, Maxine (later Maxene) in 1916, Patricia (later Patty, sometimes Patti) in 1918, though some sources say 1920.


Listening to the Boswell Sisters on radio, LaVerne played the piano and taught her sisters to sing in harmony; neither Maxene nor Patty ever learned to read music. All three studied singers at the vaudeville house near their father’s restaurant. As their skills developed, they moved from amateur shows to vaudeville and singing with bands.


After Peter Andrews moved the family to New York in 1937, his wife, Olga, sought singing dates for the girls. They were often turned down with comments such as: “They sing too loud and they move too much.” Olga persisted, and the sisters sang on radio with a hotel band at $15 a week. The broadcasts landed them a contract with Decca Records.


They recorded a few songs, and then came “Bei Mir Bist Du Schoen,” an old Yiddish song for which Sammy Cahn and Saul Kaplan wrote English lyrics. (The title means, “To Me You Are Beautiful.”) It was a smash hit, and the Andrews Sisters were launched into the bigtime.


Their only disappointment was the movies. Universal was a penny-pinching studio that ground out product to fit the lower half of a double bill. The sisters were seldom involved in the plots, being used for musical interludes in film with titles such as “Private Buckaroo,” ‘’Swingtime Johnny” and “Moonlight and Cactus.”


Their only hit was “Buck Privates,” which made stars of Abbott and Costello and included the trio’s blockbuster “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy from Company B.”


In 1947, Patty married Martin Melcher, an agent who represented the sisters as well as Doris Day, then at the beginning of her film career. Patty divorced Melcher in 1949 and soon he became Day’s husband, manager and producer.


Patty married Walter Weschler, pianist for the sisters, in 1952. He became their manager and demanded more pay for himself and for Patty. The two other sisters rebelled, and their differences with Patty became public. Lawsuits were filed between the two camps.


“We had been together nearly all our lives,” Patty explained in 1971. “Then in one year our dream world ended. Our mother died and then our father. All three of us were upset, and we were at each other’s throats all the time.”




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I'm still in mourning (yes, I know she was 94!! But I wanted her to live forever). Here is what I posted earlier today to my facebook page, and to the Andrews Sisters mailing list. -


A day of mourning for me. :-( I've been dreading this news to hit, and here it is. My favourite-favourite, Patty Andrews (lead singer of The Andrews Sisters - Yes, she was still alive!!!) passed away this morning. Very Little-known Laura fact: When I was 17, I started an Andrews Sisters mailing list to learn more about and meet others who were as influenced by these mellifluous Greek-Norwegian girls as I was. It's grown in leaps and continues to thrive quite nicely 14 years later, and I always imagined myself accidentally crossing paths with Patty Andrews one day. RIP to one of the most fun, gorgeous voices to ever grace our musical world. I'll really miss knowing you're there, Patty. ♥ ;-(

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The Andrew Sisters completed the great sound of swing. It is so sad to see Patty the last living legacy of that group leave us.


In the article that HarryCarter posted it stated that "The Andrew Sisters" recorded with Desi Arnaz. Does anyone know what songs they recorded with Desi?


Desi and the Andrews Sisters recorded "Old Fon Juan," which is excerpted in Lucy & Desi: A Home Movie.

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Nice tribute to Patty with reminiscences from Lucie:


Of celebrities I write about, by far, one of the great names who generates the most emails, letters and telephone calls is Patty Andrews of the beloved singing trio The Andrews Sisters.

It is with great sadness that I report Patty died on Wednesday, at her lovely gated home in Northridge, Calif., north of Los Angeles. She was just a few weeks away from her 95th birthday on Feb. 15. It was her attorney Richard Rosenthal who confirmed her death.

Her beloved second husband and manager Wally Weschler, died at age 88 in September 2010, just months away from the couple celebrating their 59th wedding anniversary on Christmas Day.

Patty, known as "the one in the middle," was the youngest and the lone survivor of the Andrews Sisters aka Maxene, Patty and LaVerne, one of the most celebrated singing sister acts in history.

Though I've occasionally visited her at her home (the last time being in 2007), more often, I would chat with her by telephone. In recent years, she had around-the-clock care, and had signs of age-related memory loss.

Weschler had been the singing trio's accompanying pianist following the sisters' 15-year skyrocketing success that spanned recording 680 songs from 1938 to 1953. The sisters also starred in feature films with The Ritz Brothers, Bing Crosby, Bob Hope and Abbott and Costello, before feuding caused the act's break-up.

Their songs are still enjoyed today by new generations, including "Rum and Coca-Cola," "Don't Sit Under the Apple Tree" and, of course, "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy." And at Christmas time, you can still hear the sisters singing with Bing Crosby on popular tunes from their team-up album doing songs like "Jingle Bells," "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" and the Hawaiian favorite "Mele Kalikimaka."

The Andrew Sisters reunited in June 1956 during a splashy Hollywood press conference that included a huge "bury the hatchet" sheet cake for photo ops. Accounts said it was disputes between sisters Patty and Maxene, due to Patty's marriage to Wally (and him also assuming the role as Patty's manager) that were responsible for the feud.

Previously, Patty was married to her agent Marty Melcher from 1947 to 1949. Following their divorce, Melcher married Doris Day.

Following their reunion and mended hard feelings, the Andrews Sisters continued performing together in Las Vegas and on television, including Dean Martin's popular TV variety show, until LaVerne's death from cancer at age 55 in 1967. Maxene, who later enjoyed a successful solo cabaret career (including performing one of her last at Theatre at the Center in Munster in 1994) died at age 78 in October 1995.

Patty enjoyed her own limited success with a solo career, also including TV appearances, such as playing herself for a guest star appearance on Lucille Ball's third comedy series "Here's Lucy"for an episode in 1969 called "Lucy and The Andrews Sisters," as well as appearing as one of the regular rotating celebrity judges on "The Gong Show" in the 1970s.

"Working with her on the episode we did with my mother was one of my thrills while doing the series," Lucie Arnaz said Sunday, during a telephone interview from her home in New York.

"We shot the episode before a live audience and Patty worked with us to recreate all of the original dance steps of the routine she used with her sisters when they would perform. She was every bit the professional and I remember we did that dance scene on the day of my 18th birthday, with my mom bring in a big cake on the set."

Arnaz said she recalled that Maxene, though not featured in the episode, also came to visit the set during the filming to watch her sister Patty recreate the Andrews Sisters song and dance routines with Lucille Ball and daughter Lucie filling in as the two other sisters."

In later years, Patty didn't care to talk much about Maxene. but I think she was happy she made up with her in 1987 for a brief reunion when the singing trio was given their star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

As for the group's professional frustration as a famed trio, Patty explained it (with exasperation) in an interview with The New York Times in 1974, as follows: "When our fans used to see one of us, they'd always ask, 'Where are your sisters?' Every time we got an award, it was just one award for the three of us. This could be irritating. We're not glued together



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