The Andrews Sisters were way before my time, but they represent a cultural touchstone that still gets referred to today. They inspired countless other singing groups, imitations, and parodies. I remember seeing Looney Tunes versions of them (though I don’t remember exactly which cartoons). And they sang beautifully together, the way that sometimes only family can.
Patty Andrews died yesterday at 94. She was the last surviving sister.
While I try to avoid most of this era’s music, I love “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy.” It’s so light-hearted and cheerful, exactly the kind of song needed to boost morale during WWII. Even though the video sucks, the footage in this clip is kind of amazing. I like seeing the world through other eyes this way. Life during WWII is something none of us can possibly imagine, even though we’ve been living with war for more than a decade in this country. The level of unity and sacrifice was almost unprecedented. (Yes, there were people opposed to the war; knowing myself the way I do, I might have been one of them. Even though stopping Hitler and the others was absolutely necessary, I have always believed there was a lot we should have done to prevent any of it from happening in the first place. But this is not the place for a history lesson.) The Andrews Sisters were just part of the cultural machine driving the war effort. It was a different time. And even though the music was a product of its time, it doesn’t dim the light pouring from the lovely voices of Patty and her sisters.
Click here for more information on Patty Andrews and her life.