The Andrews Sisters were an American close harmony singing group of the swing and boogie-woogie eras. The group consisted of three sisters: contralto LaVerne Sophia (July 6, 1911 – May 8, 1967), soprano Maxene Angelyn (January 3, 1916 – October 21, 1995), and mezzo-soprano Patricia Marie "Patty" (February 16, 1918 – January 30, 2013). Throughout their long career, the sisters sold well over 75 million records (the last official count released by MCA Records in the mid-1970s). Their 1941 hit "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy" can be considered an early example of rhythm and blues or jump blues.
The Andrews Sisters' harmonies and songs are still influential today, and have been covered by entertainers such as Bette Midler, Christina Aguilera, and others. The group was inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 1998. Writing for Bloomberg, Mark Schoifet said the sisters became the most popular female vocal group of the first half of the 20th century. They are still widely acclaimed today for their famous close harmonies.
Maxene Andrews married music publisher Lou Levy in 1941. They separated in 1949. Levy was the sisters' manager from 1937 to 1951.
Eldest sister LaVerne died in 1967 at the age of 55 after a year-long bout with cancer during which she was replaced by singer Joyce DeYoung. DeYoung fulfilled concert appearances including an appearance on The Dean Martin Show on November 30, 1967, but she never recorded with Patty and Maxene. LaVerne had founded the original group, and often acted as the peacemaker among the three during the sisters' lives, more often siding with her parents, to whom the girls were extremely devoted, than with either of her sisters. Their last appearance together as a trio was on The Dean Martin Show on September 29, 1966.
After LaVerne died, Maxene and Patty continued to perform periodically until 1968, when Maxene decided she would become the Dean of Women at Tahoe Paradise College, teaching acting, drama and speech at a Lake Tahoe college and working with troubled teens, and Patty was once again eager to be a soloist.
Maxene died on October 21, 1995, after suffering a heart attack while vacationing in Cape Cod with her daughter/manager Lynda Wells.
Patty died of natural causes at her home in Northridge, California, on January 30, 2013 at the age of 94. Patty and her husband Walter Weschler are interred at Westwood Village Cemetery.