For those of us with a fondness for the popular culture of the Cladrite Era, the loss of a beloved star is especially painful. There just aren’t all that many performers still with us who entertained audiences in the 1920s, ’30s, and ’40s.
And let’s face it, whether or not she was still performing, the world was simply a better place with an Andrews sister still among us. But alas, the last living member of that storied vocal trio, Ms. Patty Andrews, passed away on Wednesday at the age of 94.
Patty, the youngest of the three sisters, was a soprano and the trio’s lead singer. Maxene, the middle sister, handled the high end of the harmonies, and LaVerne, the eldest, sang the low end.
They were signed to Decca records in 1937, and their second record gave them their first hit, “Bei Mir Bist Du Schön (Means That You’re Grand)” (it was the flip side of “Nice Work If You Can Get It,” which the record company expected to be the hit).
The Andrews Sisters went on to sell 75 million records before they broke up in 1953 (Patty wanted to pursue a solo career). They reunited in 1956, but the sound of popular music had changed and their moment had passed. LaVerne died in 1967, breaking up the act for good.
What great joy Patty and her sisters brought to the world over a 19-year period. The list of their hits is a long one, and choosing a few to share with you below wasn’t easy. But we urge you to give these few hits a listen and then perhaps track down a greatest hits collection or two. There’s no better way to remember Patty Andrews than to set your toe a-tapping to the delightful music she and her sisters made more than 60 years ago.
Rest in peace, Ms. Andrews, and thanks.
Rancho Pillow (by special request of Ms. Cladrite)