Belfast Telegraph

Friday 19 December 2014

Andrews Sister Patty dies at 94

Patty Andrews who died in Los Angeles at age 94 (AP)
Patty Andrews who died in Los Angeles at age 94 (AP)

Patty Andrews, the last survivor of the three singing Andrews Sisters, has died in Los Angeles at the age of 94.

Andrews died at her home in suburban Northridge of natural causes, said family spokesman Alan Eichler.

Andrews Sisters 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 the Second World War.

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 more than 80 million records, several of them gold (over a million copies).

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."

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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