Patty Andrews, Last-Surviving of the Andrews Sisters, Dead
Patty Andrews, the last-surviving member of the Andrews Sisters, passed away on Wednesday (Jan. 30) at the age of 94.
An official statement on behalf of the family shares that the beloved singer died from natural causes at her home in the Los Angeles suburb of Northridge, Calif. Andrews’ death was preceded by the passing of her sisters, Maxene and LaVerne, in 1995 and 1967, respectively.
The Andrews Sisters first found fame in 1938 with their very first No. 1 song, ‘Bei Mir Bist Du Schön.’ The sibling trio amassed dozens of charting singles through the early 1950s and sold more than 75 million albums during their lengthy career.
The group’s 1941 hit ‘Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy’ is considered an early example of rhythm and blues or jump blues. The Andrews Sisters are often considered to be the most popular female singing group of the first half of the 20th century.
The trio gained prominent fame during World War II as steadfast patriots for America and the country’s deployed troops. They encouraged U.S. citizens to purchase war bonds with their rendition of the Irving Berlin’s classic, ‘Any Bonds Today?,’ and helped create the famous Hollywood Canteen, a refuge for returning servicemen. In partnership with movie and music legend Bette Midler and actor John Garfield, the Andrews Sisters performed and volunteered their personal time to sing and dance for the soldiers, sailors and marines.
“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,” shares Midler, who had a hit cover of ‘Bugle Boy’ in 1973 (quote via the Boot). “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.’”
Patty Andrews removed herself from the trio in 1951 and distanced herself from her sisters, both professionally and personally. The girls later reunited in 1955, but the result was considered a commercial failure.
Andrews is survived by her foster daughter, Pam DuBois, a niece, and several cousins. Walter Wechsler, her husband of 60 years, died on Aug. 28, 2010 at the age of 88.
Watch the Andrews Sisters Sing ‘Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy’