January 31st, 2013

RIP Patty Andrews

The last of the Andrews sisters has died at the age of 94:

As Patty remarked in 1971: “There were just three girls in the family. LaVerne had a very low voice. Maxene’s was kind of high, and I was between. It was like God had given us voices to fit our parts.”

And here they are:

And here’s what one of my favorite choreographers, Paul Taylor, has done with some of their music. It’s just a tiny excerpt from a much longer work, and I couldn’t find a video of his own company performing it (these are Miami City Ballet dancers). But still, it’s a pretty good rendition:

10 Responses to “RIP Patty Andrews”

  1. artfldgr Says:

    As i said earlier in the other thread….
    I had beenistening to them
    I had watched hellsapoppin with martha raye
    Then pippin
    Then abbot costello w andrews sisters

    Swing to boogie woogie
    8 to the bar
    Slip me 5 jackson….

    Rip. 🙂

  2. Mr. Frank Says:

    It’s hard to beat WW II music or WW II America. It may have been our finest hour.

  3. Artfldgr Says:


    our finest hour was 1776…

    and afterwards, as we did not do what the french did to the losers…

    was good until about 1840, when everyone went nutters with science and bureaucracy, and progressiveness, control, and so on. from then on its been a punctuated decline with a few hesitations, but no reversals, with some future event taken up as the latest great moment. Remember the Alamo? Daniel Boone, and Davy Crocket?

    a great example of HOW nutters we went is to see Maggie Gyllenhall play a suffragette feminist in a movie based on the history of the electric vibrator… and its chock full of progressive stuff, and so on – but only for those who know and are on the inside… otherwise you will miss it. (like the classroom scene where the young doctor is discussing her revolution, and she says mostly they teach arithmetic, and every so often they insert a progressive idea). and the whole celebration of the vibrator as a liberating thing, harkens back to harmon, the socialist free love, and the roots of all of this. which you can loosly see in the movie as the repression they were battling was mostly so they could have free access and share their nintendo of the day with each other.

    that also spawned, Kellogg… the wacko who was over concerned with everyone regular bowel movements. (though i would admit, the birth of corn flakes and such as more palatable ways to get “roughage” towards his medicinal ideas wasn’t as bad as some of the other stuff).

    spawned in the open freedom of the US, by 1850 it was nutty to the max, though historically we tend to remember the more sane climb of the wealthy, and so on. which is so much more sober than the faddish things having to do with electricity.

    but dont feel so superior after you read that. you can read today about the discovery of 4 way DNA naturally occuring in humans (ie, 4 strands linked, not two).

    and you know that by the end will be the.. its going to lead to a cure for cancer, or it has to do with cancer. ie. everything new they find out, they claim will link to cancer. its ritualistic to the point were we don’t even notice it.. but if you read as many papers as i do, eventually the rote things that are custom not factual, become really obvious and BORING like living in ground hog day, where every day could only vary to his event horizon and his ideas, but was also always the same.

    (CS Lewis has something wonderful on that concept. that the universe is both familiar and unknown at the same time. you know there will be a sunrise tomorrow, but you also know it will be a different day too).

    there were other fine moments, but only that which birthed what we have lost for posterity, would be the finest, for without it, every other would also not have been.

  4. parker Says:

    Thank you for the blast from the past. As a little kid the Andrews Sisters, Anita O’Day, Frank Sinatra, Bing, Count Basie, the Duke; along with Hank Williams and Hank Snow, were all spinning on the record player. A more innocent and wholesome era.

  5. expat Says:


    I wonder whether today’s kids are even exposed to music and films from that era. They all seem so trapped in a tiny fragment of time where coolness rules. Do they respond at all to melodies?

  6. parker Says:

    “Do they respond at all to melodies?”

    I work with elementary students for 6 hours a day. It may surprise you expat that more than a few, although their parents are at the age or below of my adult children, that many of them — while unaware of the older music of my tender years — are Beatles fans. Say what you want about the Beatles, but they produced so many wonderful, melodic pop songs, choose one:


    So far, in my little corner of Iowa, kids are protected from the ravages of rap & hip-hop. “The people that come and go say hello.”

  7. expat Says:

    That’s good to hear, Parker. One other factor of transmitting older music to us was the Ed Sullivan Show. I think everyone watched it.

  8. Pat Says:

    One of my styles of music. RIP. Here’s a fabulous clip of another trio of sisters who were contemporaneous and extraordinary. Watch for the apple.

  9. Sharon W Says:

    I really enjoyed that. I did not see one overweight person in all the pictures, and the pretty legs and skin. There must be something to be said about just enjoying social dancing and eating normal food in moderation…no Big Gulps then. Also look at the socks with heels. My mother-in-law told me there would be lines for blocks when they heard a store had nylons during the war. A generation that understood sacrifice on a personal level. There is no doubt a lot to be said about that too.

  10. Charles Says:

    At the gym, I still listen to many, many of the Andrew Sister’s songs while working out. Everything is upbeat and positive (with lyrics that aren’t mangled and rather fun to listen to – “Want some seafood, Momma, shrimpers and rice . . “)

    Lately, I’ve started listening to the Puppini Sisters, who are not sisters at all. They call themselves “Sisters” in honor of the Andrew Sisters who inspired their music.

    Bette Midler in the 70s and the Puppini Sisters in the 2000s have both been influence by the Andrew Sisters. Who will it be in the next thirty years? Now, THAT is what I call timeless.

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.

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