Patty Andrews, the last of the singing trio the Andrews Sisters has died at the age of 94 of natural causes at her home in Northridge, California, per her spokesperson Alan Eichler, on January 30, 2013.
Patricia Marie, or Patty as she was commonly known, the youngest member of the group, born on February 16, 1918, sang mezzo-soprano. Oldest sister LaVerne Sophia, born on July 6, 1911 (died May 8, 1967 of cancer), sang contralto, while second-youngest Maxene Angelyn, born on January 3, 1916 (died October 21, 1995 of a heart attack), sang soprano.
Together, they would launch several hits from the 1930’s through the 1950’s in their distinct “Swing” style including Bei Mir Bist Du Schoen, Beer Barrel Polka and Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy, playing with some of the best big bands of the Big Band era, including those led by Glen Miller, Benny Goodman and Tommy Dorsey.
World War II brought out the best in the Andrews Sisters who entertained the troop for the war effort, performing for American and Allied Forces in the United States, Africa and Italy, visiting Army, Navy, Marine and Coast Guard bases, out in war zones and at hospitals and munitions factories.
Supporting actors Bette Davis and John Garfield, the Andrews Sisters helped found the famous California Hollywood Canteen, a retreat for servicemen where they often performed, volunteering their personal time to sing and dance for the soldiers, sailors and Marines, later continuing to do the same at New York City's Stage Door Canteen.
They were also dubbed the “Sweethearts of the Armed Forces Radio Service” for their many appearances on shows like “Command Performance,” “Mail Call,” and “G.I. Journal.”
With their songs used in some 72 soundtracks, the Andrews also starred in several films, including those opposite Bud Abbott and Lou Costello in Buck Privates and in Hold that Ghost in 1941, alongside Davis and Garfield in Hollywood Canteen in 1944 and with Bob Hope and Bing Crosby in Road to Rio in 1947.
Patty Andrews was reportedly married to Harry Kelcher in June 1936. They were divorced in May 1946, after which she married Martin Melcher in July 1947. Andrews and Melcher divorced in August 1950.
The Andrews Sisters may have passed on but their music will last forever…