Patty Andrews died yesterday at age 94.
The music of she and her sisters spanned from before WWII and Abbott and Costello; and continued over five decades. She and her sisters were the voices of a generation which saved the world from totalitarianism; fed millions in a war-torn Europe and produced an economic dynamo which generated a culture of “can do” to a world condition which, just “wouldn’t do“.
Decades before Phil Specter introduced the concept of the “wall of sound” to the music industry, Patty; Maxine and Laverne introduced much the same thing, but with the harmonic magic of their voices being the foremost component of their renderings. Their singing was not to the orchestration; but rather, the orchestration itself. Their talent and energy was the major impetus behind the popularity of ‘boogie-woogie’; and gave weight and impetus to the proliferation of ‘pop’ music and ‘top-forty’ ratings.
They were headliners at the ‘Hollywood Canteen‘. They performed more duets with Bing Crosby than all other performers combined. An Academy Award for best music was granted to an Abbott and Costello movie for their smash rendition in it of “The Boogie-Woogie Bugle Boy of Company B“.
One of Bette Midlers’ best-selling albums of the 70’s was her three-part overlay covering this same song.
For those who grew up listening to 78 rpm records that their parents listened to as they grew up, such a passing is just another reminder of the hundreds dying daily who belonged to the ‘Greatest Generation’.
The most important thing we can all do as the Veterans’ cemeteries and nursing homes swell to capacity, is not just to visit; not just to revere; but, to talk to these hardy survivors of the Depression and world war…. and learn what it is like to truly deal with adversity.
Sweet dreams, Patty………