The Andrews Sisters were an American close harmony singing group of the swing and boogie-woogie eras. The group consisted of three sisters: contralto LaVerne Sophia (July 6, 1911 – May 8, 1967), soprano Maxine Angelyn "Maxene" (January 3, 1916 – October 21, 1995), and mezzo-soprano Patricia Marie "Patty" (February 16, 1918 – January 30, 2013).Throughout their long career, the sisters sold well over 75 million records (the last official count released by MCA Records in the mid-1970s). Their 1941 hit "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy" can be considered an early example of rhythm and blues or jump blues.   The Andrews Sisters' harmonies and songs are still influential today, and have been covered by entertainers such as Bette Midler, Christina Aguilera, and others. The group was inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 1998.Writing for Bloomberg, Mark Schoifet said the sisters became the most popular female vocal group of the first half of the 20th century. They are still widely acclaimed today for their famous close harmonies.   The sisters were born to Peter Andreos (anglicized to "Andrews" upon arriving in the US) and Olga (née Sollie); their father was a Greek and their mother a Norwegian of the Lutheran faith. Patty, the youngest and the lead singer of the group, was only 7 when the group was formed, and only 12 when they won first prize at a talent contest at the local Orpheum Theatre in Minneapolis, where LaVerne played piano accompaniment for the silent film showings in exchange for free dancing lessons for herself and her sisters. Following the collapse of their father's Minneapolis restaurant, the sisters went on the road to support the family.   They started their career as imitators of an earlier successful singing group, the Boswell Sisters who were popular in the 1930s. After singing with various dance bands and touring in vaudeville with the likes of Leon Belasco (and his orchestra),and comic bandleader Larry Rich, they first came to national attention with their recordings and radio broadcasts in 1937, most notably via their major Decca record hit, "Bei Mir Bist Du Schön" (translation: "To Me, You Are Beautiful"),originally a Yiddish tune, the lyrics of which Sammy Cahn had translated to English and "which the girls harmonized to perfection."They followed this success with a string of best-selling records over the next two years and they became a household name by the 1940s.   Instrumental to the sisters' success over the years were their parents (Olga and Peter), their orchestra leader and musical arranger, Vic Schoen (1916–2000), and Jack and David Kapp, who founded Decca Records.   During World War II they entertained the Allied forces extensively in America, Africa and Italy, visiting Army, Navy, Marine and Coast Guard bases, war zones, hospitals, and munitions factories.They encouraged U.S. citizens to purchase war bonds with their rendition of Irving Berlin's song Any Bonds Today?. They also helped actress Bette Davis and actor John Garfield found California's famous Hollywood Canteen, a welcome retreat for servicemen where the trio often performed, volunteering their personal time to sing and dance for the soldiers, sailors and marines (they did the same at New York City's Stage Door Canteen during the war). While touring, they often treated three random servicemen to dinner when they were dining out. They recorded a series of Victory Discs (V-Discs) for distribution to Allied fighting forces only, again volunteering their time for studio sessions for the Music Branch, Special Service Division of the Army Service Forces, and they were dubbed the "Sweethearts of the Armed Forces Radio Service" for their many appearances on shows such as "Command Performance", "Mail Call", and "G.I. Journal."   In the 1950s, Patty Andrews decided to break away from the act to be a soloist.She had married the trio's pianist, Walter Weschler, who then became the group's manager and demanded more money for Patty.[1] When Maxene and LaVerne learned of Patty's decision from newspaper gossip columns rather than from their own sister, it caused a bitter two-year separation, especially when Patty sued LaVerne for a larger share of their parents' estate.Patty attributed the breakup to the deaths of their parents: "We had been together nearly all our lives," Patty explained in 1971. "Then in one year our dream world ended. Our mother died (in 1948) and then our father (in 1949). All three of us were upset, and we were at each other's throats all the time."In 1951, they recorded The Windmill Song which is an adaptation of the French song Maître Pierre written in 1949 hy Henri Betti (music) and Jacques Plante. The English lyrics were written by Mitchell Parish. The Andrews Sisters formally broke up in 1953.   Maxene and LaVerne tried to continue the act as a duo and met with good press during a 10-day tour of Australia, but a reported suicide attempt by Maxene in December 1954put a halt to any further tours (Maxene spent a short time in the hospital after swallowing 18 sleeping pills, an occurrence that LaVerne told reporters was an accident). Maxene and LaVerne did appear together on The Red Skelton Show on October 26th 1954 singing the humorous "Why Do They Give The Solos To Patty" as well as lip-synching "Beer Barrel Polka" with Skelton in drag filling in for Patty. The sisters' private relationship was often troubled and Patty blamed it on Maxene: "Ever since I was born, Maxene has been a problem," she said.   The trio reunited in 1956 and signed a new recording deal with Capitol Records, for whom Patty was already a featured soloist. By this point however, rock-and-roll and doo-wop were dominating the charts and older artists were being pushed by the wayside. The sisters recorded a dozen singles through 1959, some of which attempted to keep up with the times by incorporating rock sounds. None of these achieved any major success. In addition, they produced three hi-fi albums, including a vibrant LP of songs from the dancing 1920s with Billy May's orchestra. In 1962, they signed with Dot Records and recorded a series of stereo albums until 1964, both re-recordings of earlier hits which incorporated up-to-date production techniques, as well as new material, including "I Left My Heart In San Francisco", "Still", "The End of the World", "Puff the Magic Dragon", "Sailor", "Satin Doll", "Mr. Bass Man", the theme from Come September, and the theme from A Man and a Woman. They toured extensively during the 1960s, favoring top nightclubs in Las Vegas, Nevada, California, and London, England.   Eldest sister LaVerne died in 1967 at the age of 55 after a year-long bout with cancer during which she was replaced by singer Joyce DeYoung. DeYoung fulfilled concert appearances including an appearance on The Dean Martin Show on November 30, 1967, but she never recorded with Patty and Maxene. LaVerne had founded the original group, and often acted as the peacemaker among the three during the sisters' lives, more often siding with her parents, to whom the girls were extremely devoted, than with either of her sisters. Their last appearance together as a trio was on The Dean Martin Show on September 29, 1966.   After LaVerne died, Maxene and Patty continued to perform periodically until 1968, when Maxene decided she would become the Dean of Women at Tahoe Paradise College,teaching acting, drama and speech at a Lake Tahoe college and working with troubled teens, and Patty was once again eager to be a soloist.   In 1969, Patty appeared in Lucille Ball's third series Here's Lucy, in the sixth episode of the second season, titled "Lucy and the Andrews Sisters", and played a cameo along with many other stars in the 1970 film The Phynx. Performing with Patty for the Andrews Sisters Fan Club reunion, Lucy played Laverne, Kim (Lucie Arnaz) played Maxine, and Craig (Desi Arnaz, Jr.) played Bing Crosby.
  The Andrews Sisters were an American close harmony singing group of the swing and boogie-woogie eras. The group consisted of three sisters: contralto LaVerne Sophia (July 6, 1911 – May 8, 1967), soprano Maxine Angelyn "Maxene" (January 3, 1916 – October 21, 1995), and mezzo-soprano Patricia Marie "Patty" (February 16, 1918 – January 30, 2013).Throughout their long career, the sisters sold well over 75 million records (the last official count released by MCA Records in the mid-1970s). Their 1941 hit "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy" can be considered an early example of rhythm and blues or jump blues.   The Andrews Sisters' harmonies and songs are still influential today, and have been covered by entertainers such as Bette Midler, Christina Aguilera, and others. The group was inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 1998.Writing for Bloomberg, Mark Schoifet said the sisters became the most popular female vocal group of the first half of the 20th century. They are still widely acclaimed today for their famous close harmonies.   The sisters were born to Peter Andreos (anglicized to "Andrews" upon arriving in the US) and Olga (née Sollie); their father was a Greek and their mother a Norwegian of the Lutheran faith. Patty, the youngest and the lead singer of the group, was only 7 when the group was formed, and only 12 when they won first prize at a talent contest at the local Orpheum Theatre in Minneapolis, where LaVerne played piano accompaniment for the silent film showings in exchange for free dancing lessons for herself and her sisters. Following the collapse of their father's Minneapolis restaurant, the sisters went on the road to support the family.   They started their career as imitators of an earlier successful singing group, the Boswell Sisters who were popular in the 1930s. After singing with various dance bands and touring in vaudeville with the likes of Leon Belasco (and his orchestra),and comic bandleader Larry Rich, they first came to national attention with their recordings and radio broadcasts in 1937, most notably via their major Decca record hit, "Bei Mir Bist Du Schön" (translation: "To Me, You Are Beautiful"),originally a Yiddish tune, the lyrics of which Sammy Cahn had translated to English and "which the girls harmonized to perfection."They followed this success with a string of best-selling records over the next two years and they became a household name by the 1940s.   Instrumental to the sisters' success over the years were their parents (Olga and Peter), their orchestra leader and musical arranger, Vic Schoen (1916–2000), and Jack and David Kapp, who founded Decca Records.   During World War II they entertained the Allied forces extensively in America, Africa and Italy, visiting Army, Navy, Marine and Coast Guard bases, war zones, hospitals, and munitions factories.They encouraged U.S. citizens to purchase war bonds with their rendition of Irving Berlin's song Any Bonds Today?. They also helped actress Bette Davis and actor John Garfield found California's famous Hollywood Canteen, a welcome retreat for servicemen where the trio often performed, volunteering their personal time to sing and dance for the soldiers, sailors and marines (they did the same at New York City's Stage Door Canteen during the war). While touring, they often treated three random servicemen to dinner when they were dining out. They recorded a series of Victory Discs (V-Discs) for distribution to Allied fighting forces only, again volunteering their time for studio sessions for the Music Branch, Special Service Division of the Army Service Forces, and they were dubbed the "Sweethearts of the Armed Forces Radio Service" for their many appearances on shows such as "Command Performance", "Mail Call", and "G.I. Journal."   In the 1950s, Patty Andrews decided to break away from the act to be a soloist.She had married the trio's pianist, Walter Weschler, who then became the group's manager and demanded more money for Patty.[1] When Maxene and LaVerne learned of Patty's decision from newspaper gossip columns rather than from their own sister, it caused a bitter two-year separation, especially when Patty sued LaVerne for a larger share of their parents' estate.Patty attributed the breakup to the deaths of their parents: "We had been together nearly all our lives," Patty explained in 1971. "Then in one year our dream world ended. Our mother died (in 1948) and then our father (in 1949). All three of us were upset, and we were at each other's throats all the time."In 1951, they recorded The Windmill Song which is an adaptation of the French song Maître Pierre written in 1949 hy Henri Betti (music) and Jacques Plante. The English lyrics were written by Mitchell Parish. The Andrews Sisters formally broke up in 1953.   Maxene and LaVerne tried to continue the act as a duo and met with good press during a 10-day tour of Australia, but a reported suicide attempt by Maxene in December 1954put a halt to any further tours (Maxene spent a short time in the hospital after swallowing 18 sleeping pills, an occurrence that LaVerne told reporters was an accident). Maxene and LaVerne did appear together on The Red Skelton Show on October 26th 1954 singing the humorous "Why Do They Give The Solos To Patty" as well as lip-synching "Beer Barrel Polka" with Skelton in drag filling in for Patty. The sisters' private relationship was often troubled and Patty blamed it on Maxene: "Ever since I was born, Maxene has been a problem," she said.   The trio reunited in 1956 and signed a new recording deal with Capitol Records, for whom Patty was already a featured soloist. By this point however, rock-and-roll and doo-wop were dominating the charts and older artists were being pushed by the wayside. The sisters recorded a dozen singles through 1959, some of which attempted to keep up with the times by incorporating rock sounds. None of these achieved any major success. In addition, they produced three hi-fi albums, including a vibrant LP of songs from the dancing 1920s with Billy May's orchestra. In 1962, they signed with Dot Records and recorded a series of stereo albums until 1964, both re-recordings of earlier hits which incorporated up-to-date production techniques, as well as new material, including "I Left My Heart In San Francisco", "Still", "The End of the World", "Puff the Magic Dragon", "Sailor", "Satin Doll", "Mr. Bass Man", the theme from Come September, and the theme from A Man and a Woman. They toured extensively during the 1960s, favoring top nightclubs in Las Vegas, Nevada, California, and London, England.   Eldest sister LaVerne died in 1967 at the age of 55 after a year-long bout with cancer during which she was replaced by singer Joyce DeYoung. DeYoung fulfilled concert appearances including an appearance on The Dean Martin Show on November 30, 1967, but she never recorded with Patty and Maxene. LaVerne had founded the original group, and often acted as the peacemaker among the three during the sisters' lives, more often siding with her parents, to whom the girls were extremely devoted, than with either of her sisters. Their last appearance together as a trio was on The Dean Martin Show on September 29, 1966.   After LaVerne died, Maxene and Patty continued to perform periodically until 1968, when Maxene decided she would become the Dean of Women at Tahoe Paradise College,teaching acting, drama and speech at a Lake Tahoe college and working with troubled teens, and Patty was once again eager to be a soloist.   In 1969, Patty appeared in Lucille Ball's third series Here's Lucy, in the sixth episode of the second season, titled "Lucy and the Andrews Sisters", and played a cameo along with many other stars in the 1970 film The Phynx. Performing with Patty for the Andrews Sisters Fan Club reunion, Lucy played Laverne, Kim (Lucie Arnaz) played Maxine, and Craig (Desi Arnaz, Jr.) played Bing Crosby.
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The Andrews Sisters
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