Tags: andrews | sisters | patty | dies

Last Andrews Sister, Patty, Dies at 94; Sang 'Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy'

Thursday, 31 Jan 2013 11:35 AM

By Alexandra Ward

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Singer Patty Andrews,the last surviving member of the 1940s sibling super group The Andrews Sisters, died Wednesday at her home in Los Angeles. She was 94.

Andrews and her sisters, LaVerne and Maxene, were best known for hits "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy," "I'll Be with You in Apple Blossom Time" and "Rum and Coca-Cola." The cheery vocal trio's music was synonymous with patriotic World War II America, and the group became the sweethearts of the U.S. troops serving overseas, according to the New York Times.

They performed along with big band leaders like Jimmy Dorsey, Bing Crosby, and Desi Arnaz, among others, and also appeared in films, including "Swingtime Johnny" (1943), "Hollywood Canteen" (1944) and the Bob Hope-Bing Crosby comedy "Road to Rio" (1947).

Andrews was born on Feb. 16, 1918, in Minneapolis. She was the youngest sister, a soprano, who sang lead; Maxene handled the high harmony; and LaVerne, the oldest, took the low notes. The women began singing together as children, and perfected their act by the time they were teenagers. They were signed by Decca Records in 1937.

The trio kept performing together until LaVerne's death in 1967. Patty and Maxene parted ways for a while but reunited in 1974 for the Broadway show "Over Here!" Maxene died in 1995.

Patty's first husband, Martin Melcher, went on to become actress Doris Day's manager and husband. Patty later wed The Andrews Sisters' pianist and later manager, Walter Weschler, in 1952.

The Andrews Sisters' harmonies and songs are still influential today, and have been covered by entertainers such as Bette Midler, The Puppini Sisters, Christina Aguilera, and The Three Belles. The group was inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 1998.

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