Saturday, February 02, 2013

You Don't Know Harmony Till You Listen To Them


If you ever go down Trinidad
They make you feel so very glad
Calypso sing and make up rhyme
Guarantee you one real good fine time

Drinkin' rum and Coca-Cola
Go down Point Koomahnah
Both mother and daughter
Workin' for the Yankee dollar
(Ah, it's a fact man, it's a fact...)
                        You Tube Video by RumandCocaCola44. Rare DOT recording.

They influenced my pop song choices in the past. I remember listening to them in the mid-50s.  As a teen, I was fascinated by their harmony and vocalisation and could not imagine how 3 voices could merge so smoothly as one. They were one of the first female groups that I used to listen to from our PYE radio at home.  Rum and Coca Cola, one of their top hits, was the most rollicking song those years and Rum and Coke has always been my favourite mix.

So who's who? Honestly I just know their songs.
The Andrews Sisters (real sisters) were contralto LaVerne Sophia, soprano Maxine Angelyn "Maxene" and mezzo-soprano Patricia Marie "Patty" who had just passed away on January 30, 2013.  The other two sisters passed on some time ago. Since 1938 the group had sold over 75 million records with their 400 songs.  One of them and a personal favourite is Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy (1941) which is supposed to be the first sampings of rhythm and blues music.
78 records cost a bomb now unless Sungei Road have some left.

During their career the sisters had been accompanied by top major big bands and personalities that included: Glenn Miller, Benny Goodman, Buddy Rich, Tommy Dorsey, Harry James, Jimmy Dorsey, Gene Krupa, Bob Crosby (Bing Crosby's brother), Desi Arnaz, Guy Lombardo, Les Brown, Xavier Cugat Nelson Riddle and a host of others.

You should check out their song titles if you are interested. Got their 78s? Probably cost a bomb now. You can't even find them in Sungei Road. The titles that I know from memory are: Beer Barrel Polka, Too Young, Chattanooga Choo Choo, I Wanna Be Loved, Route 66, I Don't Know Why (I Just Do), Christmas Island, Don't Fence Me In and so on.

You are right. Some of their songs have been recorded by other artistes like Nat Cole, Bing Crosby and even Russ Hamilton. 

And watch the Dino video; no fireworks, half-naked screaming girls nor ear-blasting gimmicks. Just talented people with beautiful voices providing pure entertainment.

Some information from Wikipedia.
Images from Google.
Rum and Coca Cola lyrics: Morey Amsterdam / Music: Jeri Sullivan, Paul Baron.




1nightstorm said...

Thank you for sharing this treasure with those who remember these gifted, beautiful woman in their prime and for the younger crowd to learn about what they missed.

These ladies without question were "The Beatles" of their generation and their music, movie, concert and patriotic efforts and acomplishments are nothing short of awesome.

I was in love with all 3 but Patty always was my favorite.

animalry said...

Dear Patty,

You and your sisters were the most amazing singers and I have been nursed through many years of hardship and joy with your music and am so upset to hear you have passed on.

Now with all your loved ones passed, R.I.P Angel xx Thank you for everything.
Ryan S

GEOFF RAE said...

The original Girl Group ! During the late 30s and 40s they had hit after hit and sold in excess of 60 million records. Patty was the youngest sister and lead singer of the group.

Died of natural causes at her home aged 94.


JollyGreenP said...

Thanks Andy, this is one that had slipped my memory. However, I don't think this was the version I was familiar with, more likely Harry Belafonte


ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

Yes I think Belafonte got the oomph too. But I actually learnt about the sisters from this song. Don't know how the formula came about.

Thanks John for the comment and visit.

(Managed to download their performance with Dean Martin.)


Great stuff. And, yes I did like the Andrew sisters but was still too young to take notice. Maybe that's what got me interested in Jazz and Swing when I take up my instrument again after retirement.

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

Thank you Fred for comment. Yes, the sisters were within that period when jazz was king and swing was the thing.

(Freddie Siow plays lead guitar).

dino martin peters said...

Hey pallie, likes Andy dude, cool to see our most beloved Dino turnin' up 'gain at your fab musical blog-o. Keeps lovin' our Dino!

ARTHUR said...

Thank you Andy,
So lovely to hear all the vintage songs again! Have a good Sunday.

Kind regards

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

Thank you Arthur for taking some time to visit, listen and comment.

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

You are truly Dino's greatest fan. Surfers should visit DMP's blog and read the information about this fantastic star.

No wonder the DEAN MARTIN SHOW was so popular those days. His PR especially his body language and unique voice combined with the special guest-stars (like Andrews Sisters) that appear made the series truly one of a kind.

Thank you for visiting again DMP.

FL said...

Andy, like what Freddie Siow, I, myself was also too young to take notice of the Andrew Sisters in details. We were teenagers then, and was more interested on pop and rock and commercial music & songs, and not so keen on Jazz/Broadway music then. However, as we grew older, we tend to like to hear songs from artistes like Andrew Sisters of the earlier years ! Thanks for this interesting post.

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

My music influence was more clarinetist Benny Goodman, drummer Gene Krupa and trumpeteer Harry James and Latin music more Xavier Cugat. So Andrews Sisters were a force to reckon with. They were all over the radio in Singapore 50s.

Movies at the Capitol Cinema featured Burt Lancaster and Richard Widmark and the sexy ladies included Hedy Lamaar and Jane Russell. I guess it was a different era, earlier than yours.

Thanks again FL for your generous contribution of yesteryear stories and priceless information.

Teoh said...

I am pleased to know another singing group of the 50s from you. Thank you Andy.

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

And I am pleased that you made another visit BC, thanks.

There were many female groups those years like The Chordettes, The Fontane Sisters, The McGuire Sisters The DeCastro Sisters and The Lennon Sisters in the 50s and early 60s.

CYLIN said...

I enjoy reading your blog and can relate to some of the postings. They bring back memories - some sweet; some sad - hard to believe they're sooooo long ago.

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

Thank you for enjoying the blog. It is written out of love and free will. Like my childhood...

Teoh said...

The Chordettes, The Fontane Sisters, The MsGuire Sisters, The DeCastro Sisters and The Lennon Sisters. These are all the names that I heard for the first time.

I spent more than one and a half hours to listen to The Chordettes, The Fontane Sisters and The McGuire Sisters. There sang so many lovely songs.

I will listen to The DeCastro Sisters and The Lennon Sister some other times.

I have added a few names to my LP purchase wish list.

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

To my friend drummer, singer, LOUIS SOLIANO, who has been bringing joy and comfort to Singapore's music paternity.

This one's for you, my friend.