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Sister(s) Act, Episode 1: Maxine, LaVerne, and Patty

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Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you the first female super group: the Andrews Sisters!

The Andrews Sisters were the predominant female group for the 1940s, with sales of over 80 million records.

They had appeared previously in a couple of Ritz Brothers movies. I first became aware of the Andrews Sisters through their appearance in the Abbott and Costello movie “Buck Privates.”

Their first big hit was in 1938, the German influenced “Bir Mir Bist Du Schon” (To Me, You are Beautiful).

They really kicked in with chart topping hits like:

  • Beer Barrel Polka“,
  • Beat Me Daddy Eight to The Bar
  • Don’t Sit Under the Apple Tree With Any Else But Me,

… and their signature song, “Rum and Coca Cola.”

The Andrews Sisters are primarily associated with entertainment during World War II.

They were popular not only for their songs and movies, but their appearances at the Hollywood Canteen, in conjunction with Bette Davis and John Garfield:

They also performed overseas to support American troops in such war zones as Africa and Italy.

As with many groups, they had a fallout: in the 50’s, when Patty Andrews decided to go solo.

They saw a huge resurgence in popularity during the early 70’s when Bette Midler recorded their version of “Boogie Woogie Boy.”

And they had a hit Broadway play with “Over Here,” which featured future stars John Travolta, Marilu Henner, Treat Williams and Ann Reinking (who will be featured in a further installment).

…to be continued!


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cstolliver
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cstolliver
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April 25, 2023 5:12 am

Cool addition to the TNOCS series lineup, DF! I look forward to seeing where you go with this and the artists you spotlight.

JJ Live At Leeds
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April 25, 2023 9:04 am

Great stuff, thanks for shedding some light on an era that I’m not so familiar with. I can at least say I’ve heard of The Andrews Sisters’ and recognise some of the songs mentioned even if I don’t know where from. Look forward to hearing more.

Last edited 9 months ago by JJ Live At Leeds
Zeusaphone
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April 25, 2023 10:30 am

My favorite Andrews Sisters song

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zKS5RM6TFUE

LinkCrawford
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April 25, 2023 6:06 pm
Reply to  Zeusaphone

That is definitely in my top few favorites of the AS. Very fun song.

Virgindog
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April 25, 2023 10:33 am

Oh boy, LinkCrawford is going to love this article! Great job, DF, I’m looking forward to the whole series.

lovethisconcept
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April 25, 2023 11:40 am

Nice. I’m already trying to guess who the next group will be.

Zeusaphone
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April 25, 2023 1:42 pm

I’m hoping for the Farber Sisters, Constance and Irene

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wt7GCL1iUKk

lovethisconcept
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April 25, 2023 2:02 pm
Reply to  Zeusaphone

Okay, this one is completely new to me, and I’m not at all sure what I think. I will need to listen to it a couple more times.

Last edited 9 months ago by lovethisconcept
Pauly Steyreen
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April 25, 2023 12:54 pm

Andrews Sisters was my grandfather’s jam. He was a WWII vet — tank battalion in the Battle of the Bulge. The only cassette tape he owned when I was young that wasn’t religious hymns was an Andrews Sisters greatest hits tape. For that reason, they’ll always have a special place in my heart.

lovethisconcept
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April 25, 2023 2:04 pm
Reply to  Pauly Steyreen

Those are the memories that matter. I will always have an inordinate fondness for Bing Crosby because of my grandmother.

cappiethedog
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April 25, 2023 5:22 pm
Reply to  Pauly Steyreen

Alex P. Keaton was a fan. He turned Jennifer’s new wave band into The Andrew Sisters.

Eric-J
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April 25, 2023 4:05 pm

Small but crucial correction: Bei Mir Bist Du Schön
was Yiddish, not German. The English words were translated by Sammy Cahn

cappiethedog
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April 25, 2023 5:24 pm
Reply to  Eric-J

Wow. I just finished a book by Emily St. John Mandel called The Lola Quartet. “Bei Mir Bist Du Schon” is part of a high school jazz band’s repertoire.

LinkCrawford
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April 25, 2023 6:19 pm

A spotlight on a beloved WWII-era group? I’m in! Their harmonies alongside the big band music just seems like the defining sound of the era. It’s a feel good sound that is just like a warm blanket for me. They had a lot of success and for good reason.

I have to agree with DF, I was born in 1970, and while I couldn’t have named many of their songs, I can’t remember NOT knowing “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy”.

dutchg8r
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April 26, 2023 1:51 pm

I’ve mentioned my mom-mom (great grandmother for non-Philly peeps) before, and her giant console entertainment center with radio and turntable that was the size of a shipping container (at least it felt that way to me when I was 4). She had her big collection of 78 vinyl – big bands, polka (Germans love their polka), and lots of Andrews Sisters. To be honest though, at that age I couldn’t tell the Andrews Sisters from any of the other sister groups that were always showing up on the Lawrence Welk Show. 😁

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