American Elephants

Patty Andrews, The Last Andrews Sister, Has Died At Age 94. by The Elephant's Child

Patty was the youngest, and leader of the group, the blonde confident one. Maxine was the middle sister, whose harmonic range gave the impression that there were more than three sisters. LaVerne was the oldest, a strong-willed redhead. In the 1940s they were the most profitable and popular attraction in the country and sold over 75 million records.

They came from Mound, Minnesota. Patty was only 7 when they won first prize at a talent contest at the local Orpheum Theater in Minneapolis. Their father was a Greek immigrant and a restaurateur, and their mother was Norwegian. When their father’s restaurant collapsed in the Depression, they went on the road to support the family, and came to national attention in 1937 with “Bei mir bist du schön.”

They entertained the allied forces all over the world during World War II, sang at military bases, the Stage Door Canteen, and recorded a series of Victory Discs for distribution to Allied fighting forces only, and were the star attraction at many a war bond rally. Wherever our troops went, the music of the Andrews Sisters went with them. Their music has continued to be influential, and remembered. R.I.P.

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