Maxene (1918-95) was the assertive one, Patty (1920-2013) was the fun-loving one and LaVerne (1915-67) was the serious one. Together they were known as the Andrews Sisters. Born and raised in Minnesota, the sisters won a talent contest in Minneapolis in 1931 that led to an invitation to join a traveling vaudeville show. The sisters toured the country imitating their idols, the Boswell Sisters, until their big break in October 1937. That was when Jack Kapp, head of Decca Records, heard them singing from a New York City hotel on his car radio. He sent an agent to offer them an audition, which led to a recording contract. Their first trip to a Decca recording studio the following month produced a hit, "Bei Mir Bist Du Schoen," and from then through the '40s they were queens of the radio and jukebox. What they lacked in musical talent, they made up for in enthusiasm and showmanship. The girls frequently feuded and often did not speak to each other. They recorded 47 songs with Bing, several of which went gold. Initially, when Jack Kapp, Decca president, approached Bing to sing with the Sisters he said no. Kapp insisted, and after their first recording date Bing was smitten. "I'll record with them anytime they want. They can pick the material," Bing told Kapp. When the Sisters recorded with Bing they used their musical director, Vic Schoen, instead of Bing's, John Scott Trotter, to do the arrangements and conduct the orchestra. Here is a list of Bing's recordings with the Sisters:
Maxene, Patty, LaVerne

September 20, 1939

  • Ciribiribin
  • Yodelin' Jive

  • September 27, 1943
  • Pistol Packin' Mama
  • Victory Polka
  • Jingle Bells
  • Santa Claus in Coming to Town

  • June 30, 1944
  • Hot Time in the Town of Berlin
  • Is You Is or Is You Ain't Ma Baby

  • July 25, 1944
  • Don't Fence Me In (first song to top the Billboard country chart)
  • The Three Caballeros

  • December 8, 1944
  • There's a Fellow Waiting in Poughkeepsie
  • Ac-cent-chu-ate the Positive

  • June 29, 1945
  • Along the Navajo Trail
  • Good, Good, Good

  • July 3, 1945
  • Happy Happy Happy Wedding Day
  • Betsy

  • May 11, 1946
  • Route 66
  • South America, Take It Away

  • March 19, 1947
  • Anything You Can Do
  • There's No Business Like Show Business

  • March 27, 1947
  • Go West Young Man
  • Tallahassee

  • May 12, 1947
  • The Freedom Train

  • November 25, 1947
  • Apalachicola, FLA
  • You Don't Have to Know the Language

  • December 17, 1947
  • A Hundred and Sixty Acres
  • At the Flying W

  • April 14, 1949
  • Be-Bop Spoken Here (with Patty Andrews)
  • Wedding Day

  • May 10, 1949
  • Twelve Days of Christmas
  • Here Comes Santa Claus

  • November 25, 1949
  • Quicksilver
  • Have I Told You Lately That I Love You?

  • February 15, 1950
  • Lock, Stock and Barrel
  • Ask Me no Questions

  • March 24, 1950
  • Life is so Peculiar
  • High on the List

  • LaVerne, Bing, Patty, Maxene September 7, 1950
  • Poppa Santa Claus
  • Mele Kalikimaka
  • If I Were a Bell (with Patty Andrews)

  • February 1, 1951
  • Black Ball Ferry Line
  • The Yodeling Ghost

  • February 8, 1951
  • Forsaking All Others
  • Sparrow in the Tree Top

  • February 21, 1952
  • I'll Si-Si Ya in Bahia
  • The Live Oak Tree

  • September 5, 1952
  • South Rampart Street Parade
  • Cool Water

  • (The sisters dissolved their act in 1953.)

    December 23, 1954
  • Dissertation on a State of Bliss -- a.k.a. "Love and Learn" (with Patty Andrews)
  • The 3 sisters reunited in 1956 and recorded several albums for Capitol records, beginning with a greatest hits album. Their last public performance was on the Dean Martin television show in 1966. LaVerne died of cancer the following year. Patty and Maxene attempted to keep the act together by hiring a replacement for LaVerne, Joyce De Young. The act survived on and off until 1975, when Patty and Maxene parted ways forever.


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