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Music / The Andrews Sisters

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From left to right: LaVerne, Patty, and Maxene.

The Andrews Sisters were a big band singing trio from the late 1930s through the early 1950s, although their biggest years were undeniably during World War II.

Prolific and a household name for years, they consisted of Patty (blonde, and the leader, 1918-2013), LaVerne (redhead, 1911-1967) and Maxene (brunette, 1916-1995). They worked with the famous Big Bands of the era, although they resented that they put the emphasis on vocals.

They became one of the most popular female close harmony groups of the first half of the 20th century and released a number of famous tunes that have ended up in a number of video games and movies. They inspired many artists after them, and are possibly the Trope Makers for Blonde, Brunette, Redhead.

The trio performed together from 1925, when they were children, until Maxene's death in 1967. Patty and LaVern continued with a replacement, Joyce DeYoung for a time, but dissolved The Andrew Sisters act in 1968. The two embarked on solo careers, mostly on the oldies circuit, and reunited only for the 1973 Broadway revue Over Here!.


Many mp3 websites fail to differentiate them from the Fontane Sisters or the McGuire Sisters. They're also sometimes mistaken for the Boswell Sisters, an earlier Jazz trio with some very strong stylistic similarities — the Andrews started their career as imitators of the Boswells so it might explain a lot.

Some hit songs:

  • "Bei Mir Bist Du Schoen" (1938). Their first major hit song.
  • "Nice Work If You Can Get It" (1938)
  • "Hold Tight, Hold Tight" (1939)
  • "Beer Barrel Polka" (1939)
  • "Yodelin' Jive" (1939). The first of their many collaborations with Bing Crosby.
  • "Say 'Si Si'" (1940)
  • "The Woodpecker Song" (1940)
  • "Rhumboogie" (1940)
  • "Beat Me, Daddy, Eight to the Bar" (1940). Note that the title is a request to a pianist to play an "eight beat to the bar" boogie-woogie rhythm, not a reference to Domestic Abuse.
  • Advertisement:
  • "Scrub Me, Mama, with a Boogie Beat" (1941)
  • "Aurora" (1941)
  • "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy" (1941). Probably the song they're best remembered for nowadays.
  • "In Apple Blossom Time" (1941)
  • "The Shrine of St. Cecilia" (1942)
  • "Don't Sit Under the Apple Tree" (1942)
  • "Strip Polka" (1942)
  • "Pistol-Packin' Momma" (1943). With Bing Crosby.
  • "Victory Polka" (1943). With Bing Crosby. One of five songs (along with "A Hot Time in the Town of Berlin", "Straighten Up and Fly Right", "Strip Polka" and "Rum and Coca-Cola") to appear in Mafia II.
  • "Jingle Bells" (1943). With Bing Crosby.
  • "Shoo-Shoo Baby" (1943)
  • "Straighten Up and Fly Right" (1944)
  • "Is You Is or Is You Ain't My Baby?" (1944). With Bing Crosby.
  • "A Hot Time in the Town of Berlin" (1944). With Bing Crosby.
  • "Don't Fence Me In" (1944). With Bing Crosby.
  • "Rum and Coca-Cola" (1945). This version was scrapped of most of its Protest Song tone.
  • "Accentuate the Positive" (1945). With Bing Crosby.
  • "The Three Caballeros" (1945). With Bing Crosby.
  • "One Meat Ball" (1945)
  • "Along the Navajo Trail" (1945). With Bing Crosby.
  • "Money Is the Root of All Evil" (1946)
  • "South America, Take It Away" (1946). With Bing Crosby.
  • "Rumors Are Flying" (1946)
  • "Winter Wonderland" (1946)
  • "Near You" (1947)
  • "The Lady from 29 Palms" (1947)
  • "Civilization" (1947). With Danny Kaye. Appears in Fallout 3.
  • "Woody Woodpecker" (1948). With Danny Kaye.
  • "Underneath the Arches" (1948)
  • "You Call Everybody Darling" (1948)
  • "I Can Dream, Can't I?" (1949)
  • "I Wanna Be Loved" (1950)
  • "A Bushel and a Peck" (1950)
  • "Sparrow in the Tree Top" (1951). With Bing Crosby.

Contains examples of:

  • AcCENT upon the Wrong SylLABle: The song "Rum and Coca-Cola" has the title sung out as "Rum and CoCAAA-Cola".
  • Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: The prototypical example for Patty, Maxene and LaVerne respectively, where tributes and similar acts operate on a similar dynamic.
  • Family Title: The act consisted of three sisters, thus the name.
  • Glamorous Wartime Singer: The act was particularly huge around World War II
  • I Just Shot Marvin in the Face: "I Didn't Know The Gun Was Loaded" is about a woman with a chronic habit of shooting people and using the titular excuse when she gets in trouble for it — and she gets away with it multiple times!
  • Taps: A swinging variation was used to start off "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy", alongside a similarly-toned Reveille.
  • Welcome to the Caribbean, Mon!: "Rum and Coca-Cola" is about American tourists in Trinidad.
    Since the Yankee come to Trinidad
    They got the young girls all goin' mad
    Young girls say they treat 'em nice
    Make Trinidad like paradise
    Drinkin' rum and Coca-Cola
    Go down Point Koomahnah
    Both mother and daughter
    Workin' for the Yankee dollar
  • Yiddish as a Second Language: Their early hit was a variation of "Bei Mir Bist Du Schoen" (With Me, You're Beautiful).