Patty Andrews of Andrews Sisters dead at 94
FILE - In this Oct. 1, 1987 file photo, Patty, left, and Maxine Andrews, of the famed Andrews Sisters, smile as they hold their star plaques which they received as they accepted a star in the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Patty Andrews, the last survivor of the three singing Andrews sisters, has died in Los Angeles at age 94. Andrews died Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2013, at her home in suburban Northridge of natural causes, said family spokesman Alan Eichler. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon, File)
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Patty Andrews, the last surviving member of the singing Andrews Sisters trio whose hits such as the rollicking "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy of Company B" and the poignant "I Can Dream, Can't I?" captured the home-front spirit of World War II, died Wednesday. She was 94.
Andrews died of natural causes at her home in the Los Angeles suburb of Northridge, said family spokesman Alan Eichler in a statement.
Patty was the Andrews in the middle, the lead singer and chief clown, whose raucous jitterbugging delighted American servicemen abroad and audiences at home.
She could also deliver sentimental ballads like "I'll Be with You in Apple Blossom Time" with a sincerity that caused hardened GIs far from home to weep.
"When I was a kid, I only had two records and one of them was the Andrews Sisters. They were remarkable. Their sound, so pure," said Bette Midler, who had a hit cover of "Bugle Boy" in 1973. "Everything they did for our nation was more than we could have asked for. This is the last of the trio, and I hope the trumpets ushering (Patty) into heaven with her sisters are playing "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy."
From the late 1930s through the 1940s, the Andrews Sisters produced one hit record after another, beginning with "Bei Mir Bist Du Schoen" in 1937 and continuing with "Beat Me Daddy, Eight to the Bar," ''Rum and Coca-Cola" and more. They recorded more than 400 songs and sold over 80 million records, several of them going gold.
FILE - This 1942 file photo shows singer Patty Andrews, the last survivor of the three singing Andrews sisters, who has died in Los Angeles at age 94. Andrews died Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2013, at her home in suburban Northridge of natural causes, said family spokesman Alan Eichler. (AP Photo, File)
Other sisters, notably the Boswells, had become famous as singing acts, but mostly they huddled before a microphone in close harmony. The Andrews Sisters — LaVerne, Maxene and Patty — added a new dimension. During breaks in their singing, they cavorted about the stage in rhythm to the music.
Their voices combined with perfect synergy. 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."
Kathy Daris of the singing Lennon Sisters recalled on Facebook late Wednesday that the Andrews Sisters "were the first singing sister act that we tried to copy. We loved their rendition of songs, their high spirit, their fabulous harmony."