I’ll Be With You In Apple Blossom Time The Andrew Sisters
inNovember 1, 2012 - 5:40am
My parents Bob & Josie, were in their prime in the 1940's. They were young people who danced to the big band swing music of the WWII era. When I was a child they sang all the tunes to me and taught my sister and me all the dances. I’ll never forget my Father showing me how they did the Big Apple. The only thought in my head was please don’t let the neighbors see this.
I grew up thinking the Andrew Sisters were somehow responsible for saving the world during the war. My parents spoke of them as if they were personal friends. I’ll never forget the day LaVerne died and my Mother’s sisters gathered at our house to grieve her loss.
The Andrew Sisters formed their original singing group in 1911. They got their start when Larry Rich hired them to go on tour with his troupe. By 1940 they were in high demand grossing around $20,000 per week making singing appearances. During that time they made appearances in 17 Hollywood movies and released 8 singles, 6 of which became number 1 hits. They performed with nearly all of the major big bands such as Glen Miller, Benny Goodman, Buddy Rich, Tommy Dorsey , Jimmy Dorsey, Freddie Slack, Eddie Heywood, Desi Arnaz, Guy Lombardo, Les Brown, Xavier Cugat and many more. One of their best known hits was Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy and Bob and Josie's personal favorite I'll Be With You In Apple Blossom Time. Very aware of their patriotic duty they volunteered their free time to entertain the soldiers and in 1945 they participated in an 8 week USO tour performing for our servicemen.
Little is known about their private lives as was the norm in the days before television and the internet.
Patricia Marie Andrews the youngest sister was called Patty. Born 2/16/18 and is still living today in California. In 1947 she married Marty Melcher but they divorced in 1949 as he had become romantically involved with Doris Day. Later in 1951 Patty married Walter Weschler and they remained married for 60 years until his death in 1995. In 1951 Patty decided to leave the group without giving her sisters any notification. Rumor has it that they learned of this by reading it in the newspaper. This caused a serious alienation between the trio that lasted a lifetime. In 1957 they reunited but their time for success had passed. They remained together until 1967 at the time of LaVerne’s death.
LaVerne Sophia Andrews was the eldest, born 6/6/11 and passing away on 5/8/67. She was labeled with her red hair as strong willed with a great sense of humor and an eye for fashion. She married Louis A. Rodgers in 1948 and by all accounts they were happily married until her death in 1967.
Maxene Angelyn Andrews, the middle sister, born in 1916, dying in 1995 of a heart attack. She married Lou Levy the group’s manager in 1941, adopted two children and they divorced in 1949. She never married again.
Written by Christine Moore
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