The Andrew Sisters: Boogie Woogie Bugle Girls!

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Boogie Woogie Bugle Girls! 

The Andrews Sisters:  A Look Back at the one of the Greatest Vocal Groups in History

During a time when teenagers were doing the jitterbug and Uncle Sam was asking young men to enlist, The Andrews Sisters were America’s most popular female singing group. Patty, the youngest sister, was a loud and energetic blond who headed the group with her confident vocals.

The middle sister was Maxene, a brunette, whose harmonic range gave the impression of four voices instead of three. Finally, completing the trio was the eldest, LaVerne, a strong willed red head with a witty sense of humor and an eye for fashion.

The Andrews Sisters versatile sound and range in genres explains their longevity in the music industry and popularity with people all over the world. They had major hits in nearly all types of music ranging from swing to country-western. This tremendous popularity did not stop in the music business. The trio could also be found performing in radio series, commercials, Hollywood movies and on Broadway.

     

Born in Minnesota, the three Andrews sisters developed a love for music at an early age. As children their first experience with music occurred when LaVerne had her two younger sisters sing a musical note around the family’s piano. This experience awakened the girls love for music and they began spending all of their free time singing and mimicking the successful singers of the time. Some of their first major influences included the Boswell Sisters, Ella Fitzgerald and Mel Torme.

The girls got their start when Larry Rich hired them to go on tour with his 55 member troupe. In 1932 they stopped touring with Rich, but the girls continued to sing at fairs, vaudeville shows and club acts. While touring the girls worked hard on their craft and rehearsed daily, sometimes practicing in the back of their father’s Buick while driving to the next show. After six years of living on the road the girls had their first major success with Bei Mir which sold 350,000 copies. The song held the Billboards No. 1 slot for five weeks. This achievement established The Andrews Sisters as successful recording artists and they became celebrities.

 

ACHIEVEMENTS

· Earned nine gold records

· Recorded over 700 songs

· First all-female group to have a record go platinum

· Sold over 90 million records

· One of the first vocal groups inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame

· Over 100 songs on top 30 Billboard charts

· 46 songs reach the top 10 on the Billboard charts

· Some hits include: Beer Barrel Polka (Roll out the Barrel), Bei Mir Bist Du Schon (means that you’re grand), Don’t Fence Me In and Winter Wonderland

QUOTES

By The Andrews Sisters

The wonderful thing was that we were together for so many years. We dressed together, we slept together, we roomed together, we went shopping together, and of course we rehearsed together. We never separated.
— Maxene Andrews

I was the rebellious one.
— Maxene Andrews

We were such a part of everybody’s life in the Second World War. We represented something overseas and at home – a sort of security.
— Patty Andrews

We were very fortunate, because we had so many hits, so we’d be singing out all hits.
— Patty Andrews

I am ignorant and that’s why I’m happy!
— Patty Andrews

Patty was the fun one of the group, the clown who kept us laughing during those endless periods of backstage boredom.
— Maxene Andrews

It just wasn’t wanting to sing together again, but the public never really wanted The Andrews Sisters to break.
— LaVerne Andrews

LaVerne was the swinger of the group on stage. She was a great dancer, was very fashion conscious, and she had a beautiful figure. She had a great sense of humor, and she loved people.
— Maxene Andrews

 

After the success of Victory Canteen the Shermans teamed up with Will Holt to write Over Here! a musical about the WWII homefront starring Patty and Maxene Andrews. After 341 successful performances the show closed. The two sisters continued solo careers until the 1990s. In 1995, while on vacation in Cape Cod, Maxene had a heart attack and died. She was 79. The surviving sister, Patty, does not do much entertaining today, but has performed on ships for several different cruise lines.

The Andrews Sisters were vibrant figures in the entertainment industry for about 30 years, and they still appeal to both the young and old. Some of their accomplishments include selling over 90 million records, recording about 700 songs and earning nine gold records. Today, The Andrews Sisters are still recognized for their engaging harmony and witty sense of humor. The trio brought music, laughter and happiness in a dark period for Americans. They are lovingly remembered by their fans and still remain one of the best-selling one of female vocal groups of all time.


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