Patty Andrews, Sweet Trio’s Last Member Dead at 94

By: The Columbus Dispatch Email
By: The Columbus Dispatch Email

LOS ANGELES — They were the swinging, sassy voice of the home front for U.S. service personnel overseas during World War II, singing catchy hit tunes such as Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy that delighted Americans and catapulted the Andrews Sisters to the top of the pop charts.

One of the most-successful female recording groups in pop history, the sisters — LaVerne, Maxene and Patty Andrews — became a beloved American institution.

Yesterday, Patty Andrews, the group’s lead singer and its last surviving member, died of natural causes at her home in the San Fernando Valley city of Northridge, according to her attorney. She was 94. Maxene, the middle Andrews sister, died in 1995 and LaVerne, the eldest, in 1967.

The Andrews Sisters began singing professionally in 1932. Known for their three-part harmonies and onstage humor, they churned out hit after hit: From 1938 to 1951, they had 19 gold records, dozens of top 10 singles and record sales of nearly 100 million.

Although Patty and Maxene lived near each other in California, according to reports they spoke rarely and saw each other just twice from 1974 to Maxene’s death in 1995. Once was in 1987, when their star was dedicated on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

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