Thursday, January 31, 2013
The last surviving member of the legendary Andrews Sisters, Patty Andrews, died yesterday at the age of 94.
You wouldn't think from reading these pages over the last four years that this would be a big deal for me. But one of the very first records I have ever held and fell in love with was "The Andrews Sisters In Hi-Fi."
My grandfather's record collection was always at my immediate disposal. Amidst the oddball records like "Dick Contino & His Accordion" or "The Three Suns On A Magic Carpet" was a surprising collection of vocal groups. The Drifters, The Everly Brothers, The Hollies, The Beatles of course and the Andrews Sisters. In HI-FI! I loved this record.
It's mostly about the harmony, which to this day, is something that suckers me in everytime, especially that middle. Hard to detect and difficult to execute, it was Laverne not Patty, that blew me away with those subtle vocals that were so close to Patty and Maxine, sparks would fly with each revolution of the platter. But Patty was upfront, singing all those classics.
Capitol Records "hi-fi'd" many of its artists in the 50s, and it didn't always work. (Benny Goodman is one artist that immediately comes to mind.) Think of it as the original remastering. Sometimes the sound would lose its warmth and just become loud and abrasive. But not "The Andrews Sisters In Hi-Fi." This record is a killer from the drum sound to the clarity of the trumpets to of course, the impossible harmonies of The Andrews Sisters.
Go find this record.
Listen to two of my faves below. For Maxine, Laverne, and Patty.