The last of the world-famous Andrews Sisters, Patty, passed away on January 30, 2013 at the age of 94. As a team, LaVerne Sophia, Maxine Angelyn and Patricia Marie, sold more than 100 million records and their smash 1941 hit “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy” is one of the most well-known songs of the 20th century.
The sisters were born to Greek immigrant Peter Andreas (anglicized to “Andrews” upon arriving in the US) and a Norwegian mother. All three were baptized in the Greek Orthodox Church, using as their baptismal names their middle names chosen by their Greek father and first names chosen by their Norwegian mother.
Their official biographer, H. Arlo Nimmo, wrote in The Andrews Sisters: A Biography and Career Record that all three attended Greek school, although religion didn’t play a big part in their upbringing or adult life.
The Andrews Sisters were one of the most popular female vocal groups of the 20th century. Their statistics and numbers dwarf some of today’s “pop” stays who are in the headlines:
- 100 million records sold from over 600 recorded tunes
- 113 charted Billboard hits, 46 reaching Top 10 status (more than Elvis Presley or The Beatles)
- 17 Hollywood films (more than any other singing group in motion picture history)
- Record-breaking theater and cabaret runs all across America and Europe
- Countless appearances on radio shows from 1935 to 1960 (including their own)
- Guest spots on every major television show of the 1950s and 1960s, including those hosted by Ed Sullivan, Milton Berle, Perry Como, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis, Jr., Johnny Carson, Joey Bishop, Art Linkletter and Jimmy Dean.