Thursday, January 31, 2013

Patty Andrews dead at 94; last survivor of '40s supergroup that sold 75-100 million records; still the top female vocal group in history of popular music

Patty Andrews (right) and her sisters Laverne and Maxine sing for GIs
disembarking in New York City in 1945
Patty Andrews, the mezzo-soprano youngest member of the wildly popular wartime threesome, the Andrews Sisters, died Wednesday in Los Angeles at 94.
     The Andrews Sisters were a  close harmony singing trio who spanned the swing and boogie-woogie eras.
     Their 1941 smash "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy" is considered an early example of rhythm and blues or jump blues.
     Bette Midler's 70s cover of that song became her first #1 hit.
     The Andrews Sisters' harmonies and songs are still influential today and, apart from Midler, have been covered by entertainers such as The Puppini Sisters, Christina Aguilera and The Three Belles. The group was inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 1998.

The Andrews Sisters set female vocal group popular music records that remain unsurpassed:
In the 1950s, the sisters rerecorded in stereo with new arrangements many of their biggest hits, to stunning effect. Below is a smoking-hot redo of In The Mood, which destroys the Glen Miller version, kicks Bette Midler's version around the block, and even obliterates their own 1952 rendition.

Below, the Andrews Sisters trade songs with the Supremes, who do a fine job.

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