January 30, 2013

The Andrews Sisters ~ goodbye & thanks

Maxine (left), Patty (middle), LaVerne (right) - 1947
photographer unknown
(click on any image to see larger size)
Patty Andrews died today. She was 94 and the last of the wonderful female trio that enriched our lives with joyous, funny, uplifting, sometimes sad and wistful, but always beautiful songs be they boogie-woogie or ballads.  They helped us to survive a desperate time in our history.
The news of her death brought back very old memories long dormant. Like the memory of kneeling on the floor in front of the radio with my ear as close to it as my mom would let me and listening to them swing, bop 'n croon all those fantastic tunes they dreamed up for us.

I remember going to the movie matinee on Saturday afternoons with a million kids throwing popcorn at each other while the theater showed a double bill of two way-older-than-god movies (usually westerns but once in a while you lucked out and it was "Frankenstein" or "Dracula"), an installation of a serial (if you were REAL lucky it was not Tom Mix or Gene Autry . . .

left: Tom Mix                                         right: Gene Autry
photographer unknown                                            photographer unknown

but Flash Gordon with Buster Crabbe) . . . 

 Flash Gordon                                               Buster Crabbe
movie poster                                                            as Flash Gordon
.                                                                                 photographer unknown

. . . a thousand cartoons, a hundred coming attractions, endless refreshment ads, maybe the Three Stooges . . .

The Three Stooges

. . .  the news reels such as Pathé News, The March of Time or Movietone News with their up to the date (up to the minute was still a future concept) info about what was happening in the world . . .

Movietone News news reels

(ALL for only 9¢)

. . . then all of a sudden in the middle of this hogpodge up comes a fantastic musical movie short (precursors of the modern day music video) featuring famous music personalities, and sometimes it was the Andrews Sisters giving forth their magnificent musical magic. It gave those radio personalities faces I would visualize when I heard them again on the radio. 

The Andrews Sisters were an intrinsic part of my childhood and, as good, life-long friends often do, would pop up from time to time. Sometimes there were years between appearances but when it happened, it was always with a continuity as if there had not been a minute passed since the last visit. And, of course, always with the joy of seeing/hearing them again, bringing back all those old, long-cherished feelings of pleasure mixed with nostalgia for a time and world long vanished.

The Andrews Sisters were inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 1998.

The Andrews Sisters can be heard on YouTube.

Thanks, LaVerne, Maxene and Patty for the beauty and joy you gave me and the world. You, your incredible harmonies and your glorious songs will live on forever in history, the world and in my heart.

Styrous® ~ Wednesday, January 30, 2013


1 comment:

  1. Ah, One of my favorites too.
    One of (in my humble opinion) their best songs and film clip is Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy of Company C ( http://youtu.be/qafnJ6mRbgk ) as well as my inspiration for my doing drag for the first time; and learned I was never meant to do drag, EVER! LOL
    May she/they rest in piece and united together once again


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