By David W. McCain

In July of 1984 I was visiting my good friend, the late Morton Savada, who was the longtime and legendary proprietor of the Manhattan record store called “Records Revisited”, which was well-known and unique to record collectors because Morty only sold 78 rpm records. He was telling me about a rare disk that had been played at a recent meeting of Record Research Associates (RRA), an organization of record collectors that met on a regular basis in New York.

Downbeat_February_1938David Weiner, president and recording secretary of Record Research, had mentioned the disk in the RRA minutes a few months earlier:

Joe Lauro spun an acetate (an RCA home recording disk, to be precise) he acquired from Sid Austin, the man who discovered the Andrews Sisters. The recording, possibly an aircheck, features the sisters singing a bunch of tunes associated with the Boswell Sisters and dates from November 10, 1932, nearly 5 years before their commercial record debut. The Andrews gals were singing totally in the Boswell style at this early date, with nary a hint of their eventual style apparent.

To those record collectors and musicologists in the know, it was no big news that the Andrews Sisters had been influenced by the Boswell Sisters, especially since LaVerne, Maxene and Patty Andrews consistently said so in interviews throughout their career. But it certainly WAS big news that a recording existed that illustrated this influence and was the earliest known recording of the Andrews Sisters! As I had befriended Vet Boswell back in 1977 and kept in close touch with her, I knew that Vet and Maxene Andrews had recently met a couple of times. Wouldn’t it be great to get a copy of this for both of them?

Vet had finally got to meet Maxene in November 1979 when Maxene was singing at Reno Sweeney’s in New York. Maxene amused Vet by telling her that this was really their second meeting! A friend of the Boswells, a bass player from New Orleans, knew how much the young Miss Andrews idolized the Boswells, and he called Maxene suddenly one evening in New York in the early ‘30s asking, “So, do you want to meet them?”

They hurried to Lindy’s Restaurant, where the Boswells were having a meeting with a few songwriters. Maxene recalled how the Boswells were seated around the table, and she remembered that although Vet was there, Vet did not say anything in the meeting (which is in keeping with Vet’s personality as the most reserved of the three Boswells). All Maxene herself could do was stare.

Native New Yorker Tommy Meehan was at Reno Sweeney’s when the two singers met:

Maxene called Vet up to the stage and told everyone that Vet was influential to the origin of the Andrews Sisters. She mentioned how the Andrews listened to the Boswells on radio when they were young and how they tried to copy them and how funny it was that they even copied the Boswells’ Southern accents, since they were Greeks from the Midwest!  Then she had the audience give Vet a round of applause and asked Vet, “How about we do a chorus of Heebie Jeebies?” Vet laughed and replied, “Oh, I don’t sing with anyone but Connee and Martha.”

Maxene_and_Vet_BoswellVet and Maxene met again in June 1981 when Maxene came to see the off-Broadway Boswell Sisters revue Heebie Jeebies. United Press International (UPI) took their photo together, which ended up in newspapers across the country, and which Richard Lamparski used in his updated pages on the Boswell Sisters in his book, Whatever Became Of…? (Eighth Series) published by Crown in 1982.

But back to the 1932 RCA home recording disk. How on earth did this archeological treasure surface after so many years?

Two intrepid Record Research members, Joe Lauro and John Leifert, had gone to visit musician Sid Austin at his home near Monticello, in upstate New York, in early 1984. Austin told them that he and his original band were from Canada, and that he was good friends with the early band of fellow Canadian Guy Lombardo. John Leifert paid a return visit to Monticello a few weeks later with bandleader Vince Giordano, and Giordano bought Austin’s large collection of arrangements—which John estimated to be about 10,000. Leifert clearly remembered that they had to make two trips with a van.

In my fact checking for this article I asked Joe Lauro and John Leifert about the validity of identifying Sid Austin as the discoverer of the Andrews Sisters, as I thought that credit should go to Larry Rich. Lauro clearly recalled that Austin told him he was the band leader and Larry Rich was the front man. According to Lauro, Austin also went on to say that the Andrews Sisters performed for him in Minneapolis at what may have been a talent contest or that they simply may have made their way back stage with their mother to audition for him. But Sid definitely said they sang for him and it was his call to take them on the road, and furthermore that it was he who financed the home recording and that is why it was in his possession. For their Minneapolis audition, the Andrews Sisters sang the Boswell number It’s the Girl (which they changed to It’s the Boy).

Two Vitaphone short restorations were recently made of Larry Rich’s band from 1928. One short, entitled Dick Rich and His Melodious Monarchs, was issued as a Special Feature on the Al Jolson Jazz Singer DVD release in 2007. Sid Austin can be seen prominently in this short playing the banjo, but it is Rich himself who, leading the band and vocalizing occasionally, steals the show by his campy introductions and comments. The band is a good one and alternately plays sweet and hot versions of Ramona (with Rich doing the vocal), Sunshine and There Must Be A Silver Lining (vocal by Cheri, Rich’s wife, who also performs as a ventriloquist’s dummy in a skit with her husband, who plays the ventriloquist).

According to Andrews Sisters expert and researcher Bob Boyer, LaVerne, Maxene and Patty left Minneapolis with the Larry Rich troupe on November 5, 1931, with their first tour stop being Atlanta. This was a full year before the RCA home recording disk was made in Providence, Rhode Island. The label of the disk has a date of November 10, 1932, and was made when the Andrews Sisters were playing vaudeville dates (this one at Fays Theater) with singer Joe E. Howard (the composer of I Wonder Who’s Kissing Her Now). They had parted company with Larry Rich just a few months earlier.

When I contacted Joe Lauro in 1984 anxiously wanting to hear the home recording disk, he told me he had sold it to a young Minneapolis collector named Laird Forsmark. I wrote to Forsmark in early 1985, and he graciously dubbed a copy on cassette for me.  Unfortunately, he did not have the proper stylus to record the disk at the time, and the resulting cassette was VERY noisy, although the performances could be heard. It was this scratchy copy that I passed on to Maxene Andrews in New Orleans on January 21, 1987, when she came to town to play a National Association of Television Program Executives (NATPE) convention. The local Boswell-inspired trio the Pfister Sisters sang a few numbers with Maxene in a World War II setting (I seem to remember my friends the Pfister Sisters perching on the wing of an airplane!)

Maxene_David_McCainI sent the cassette to Bob Boyer, who wrote back:

… I don’t know what to think of it. I am going to have to listen to it quite a few more times. I noticed that LaVerne was singing the lead, or at least the solos, at that time, which really threw me. I wonder why? I think she was the most musical early on. She played piano. And she was the one to teach the others how to sing after listening to the Boswells on radio. So, I guess it was natural for her to sing the lead. Except for the fact that Patty had the better (best) voice. I wonder what sort of decisions and revelations went into giving Patty the lead. I know Mackie (Maxene) has been quoted as saying that Patty couldn’t sing harmony, so they gave her the lead… And, here, we have proof that she could, indeed, sing harmony…

Copies of this scratchy cassette made it into the hands of devoted Andrews and Boswell fans for years. I recently asked Maxene’s manager Lynda Wells what Maxene thought of the recording. Lynda and I had a most enjoyable reunion in New York in June 2008 when the BBC came to town to research and film interviews for an Andrews Sisters documentary. Lynda recalled:

I remember that you gave Mackie the recording and she was thrilled to finally have a copy. She couldn’t believe how “awful” they sounded, and I think was grateful that they didn’t let that stop them! But, you sure hear the Boswells’ influence. It took a few more years for their sound to mature into the amazing blend they arrived at, with Patty in the lead.

Play the long lost
recording right here!

Longtime Andrews connoisseur Ray Hagen recently gave me his take on the 1932 recording:

When all three sang together Patty always sang lead, i.e. the melody, just as she did throughout their career. The big difference in 1932 was that they all three traded off on solo lines. LaVerne’s mellow alto and Maxene’s fluttery vibrato are clearly noticeable and identifiable on many solo passages. Solos seemed to be an even split between all three. So on their solo lines, LaVerne and Maxene, always the workhorses of the trio, switched from singing harmony to singing melody, then back to harmony for the trio parts.Maxene once confirmed to me that in the beginning she or LaVerne would often sing solo parts if they felt either voice was more suitable to the particular solo passage.

The Boswells’ influence is extremely evident on these recordings. Almost shameless, in fact. And they didn’t have the tightness they had by the time they started recording professionally. When singing together it was pretty easy to follow both LaVerne’s and Maxene’s entire harmonic lines, virtually an impossibility in their later work.


Hagen also added:

On the matter of Patty’s not being able to sing harmony, I revisited the matter to Maxene shortly before she died. She only meant that Patty didn’t have a natural ear for harmony, but she could learn the harmony parts when she sang duets with Crosby, Haymes, etc. She wasn’t incapable of doing it, it just didn’t come to her as instinctively as it did to the other two. This made sense to me because I also sang with harmony groups but harmony didn’t come naturally to me either. I had to learn the parts kinda by rote, then I could sing them perfectly well, while others just picked it up by instinct. That’s why I asked Mackie to clarify what she originally told me.

Laird Forsmark died suddenly of a coronary arrest in his native Minneapolis on September 21, 1986. He was only 31 years old. For years Bob Boyer and other collectors tried to find out what had become of the quite formidable Forsmark collection -especially the 1932 disk- to no avail.

Always well-connected and alert to Andrews Sisters items, in 2008 Boyer finally learned that the disk and other items from Forsmark’s collection would be listed on eBay, but it took about another year before the disk actually showed up. In the meantime, Boyer persistently kept the lines of communication open, eventually getting to hear a copy of the disk played to him over the telephone!  His contact had made a digital copy using the correct stylus, which he described as a 4.0, a wider stylus.  The grooves on the old home recording disks are so wide that the playing time is abbreviated, which explains why both sides of the recording run out before the end of the numbers.  Boyer was “amazed” at the difference in quality, and this further fueled his efforts to somehow secure this rare prize.  Fellow Andrews Sisters fan Jack Barnes of Denver placed the winning bid, and Barnes and Boyer made sure the inner circle of Andrews Sisters fans were able to hear this long-lost treasure.

Now to the songs on the disk.  The Andrews Sisters are introduced and sing Sentimental Gentleman From Georgia and Cabin in the Cotton (incomplete) on Side 1.  On Side 2 are Music Hath Charms For Me (in which all three sisters have brief solo passages, Patty being very recognizable as the last), Hand Me Down My Walking Cane, and Go On Satan (incomplete).  Two of these numbers had been recorded by the Boswell Sisters:  Sentimental Gentleman and Walking Cane.  To any seasoned Andrews Sisters fan, what’s immediately noticeable is the absence of the famous Andrews blend.  With LaVerne as the lead voice, and interspersed with brief solo passages by Maxene and Patty, the sound is rather raw.  However, it’s fascinating to hear the young trio interlace their renditions with several very recognizable Boswell riffs.

Gramophone_February_1938When the BBC came to New York in 2008 to do initial research and filming for an Andrews Sisters documentary, they discovered something that even Bob Boyer didn’t know:  that the Paley Center had three Andrews Sisters sides that had been recorded as an audition for NBC!  The songs–You Turned the Tables on Me, Night and Day and Tea on the Terrace—were recorded on September 16, 1937, almost a full month before their first Decca recordings.  Bob got the chance to hear these sides (copies, but Boyer called the sound quality “marvelous”) at the Paley Center with fellow Andrews fans Bill Daugherty and Bryan Ortiz.   He described the accompaniment as piano (pianist unknown) and that the sound and arrangements were “heavily Boswellian.”


Boyer speculates that perhaps the Boswell Sound of these sides may have been why the Andrews Sisters didn’t get an NBC job at this time, as perhaps NBC may have been looking for something different.  Boyer remarked that their harmonies on these sides were not as tight as their later work, and he also didn’t know who had done the arrangements.  He doubted it was Vic Schoen, as Schoen told him years later that he was trying to steer the Andrews Sisters away from the Boswell Sound in order to find their own style.


The Boswell influence was always freely acknowledged by the Andrews Sisters, and this impressed Vet Boswell, who simply said, “Not everyone would do that, you know.” Vet also recalled a note sent by Patty and Maxene shortly after Connee’s death which said, “If it weren’t for the Boswell Sisters, there never would have been the Andrews Sisters.”


In 1974, Maxene and Patty spoke to Rex Reed for a feature story in the New York Daily News:

“Let’s face it,” added Maxene, bouncing on the sofa.  “The reason all this stuff is coming back is because of Bette Midler’s Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy.”

“Yeah,” said Patty.  “That word “camp” doesn’t bother us.  We think it’s very funny.”

“I hate the word nostalgia, though,” said Maxene.  “They don’t call Rembrandt’s paintings nostalgic.  Anything good is gonna last honey.  I don’t care if they say I’m 86 years old.”

“Well,” quipped Patty, “aren’t you, bubbie?”

“No, I’m 92….”

Minnesotans With A Y’all Drawl

“It only seems that way. They’ve been part of the public heartbeat since they were kids in Minneapolis. Three little Greek-Norwegian girls who sang in kiddie revues at the Orpheum and hit the road before the age of 16. Patty tells the story: “We got a dollar a day, and even if there were three people in the audience, we performed as though it was a full house. We copied the Boswell Sisters so much, and they were from New Orleans, that we developed Southern accents. If you listen to our first record, Bei Mir Bist Du Schoen, we sound like shrimp trawlers.”

“Well, there are Southern Jews too, Patty.”

“We didn’t read music. We sang what we heard. LaVerne also played great piano by ear. She sang the lead and played the third part. The harmonies just came natural.”

Three years later, Patty Andrews was quoted by Dave Dexter in the liner notes for an LP on the MCA label:

“The Boswells were the best.  In Minneapolis, as kids, we listened to their every radio broadcast and we had most all their records.  Connee, Vet and Martha were our idols and we tried to sing like them.  More than 40 years later, I still think they were the greatest.”

Gramophone_January_1931Dexter also wrote:

…. but then Patti (sic) had always sung lead and handled solo spots.  She downplays her dominance to this day, explaining that she was no more talented than Maxene or LaVerne—it was just that “the blend seemed better” when she handled the melody and her sisters tackled the difficult harmony parts.

The Boswells had a different method in constructing their harmonies, as all three regularly switched their parts.  Martha Boswell explained “Boswell Rhythm” to a New Orleans reporter in January 1935:

Blending, that explains it….. I’ll explain it as simply as I can.  If we sang according to orthodox musical traditions, Vet would be the high voice or soprano, I would be the middle or alto and Connie would be the low or contralto.But we don’t sing in the orthodox way.  Instead, when we sing as a trio we achieve an unusual and unorthodox effect by deserting our own particular tone and singing in another tone.  We call that blending.

If you know anything about music, for example, you know that a soprano is rarely able to hit a low “C” note effectively, but Vet can do that when we sing as a unit thereby producing an effect which is out of the ordinary and which accounts for our own peculiar type of individuality.

Blending and cross-blending of voices achieved by a desertion at various times of the tones in which we would normally sing is an important factor in the production of the thing you have heard called “Boswell Rhythm.”

This blending takes varied forms.  Sometimes all three of us will strike a crescendo in the same tone.  At other times we achieve a cross-blending effect as when the soprano sings contralto and the contralto sings soprano.  If we sang out of tone separately it wouldn’t be so good, but doing it together produces the blending effect that goes over.

Forty-three years later, Vet Boswell gave a more simple explanation to Lou Dumont:

Dumont:  “You sang high, is that correct?”

Vet Boswell:  “Well I sang both, I sang high and low.  Primarily I was the high voice.  Connie was the–well, I don’t know, it was a tossup between Connie and Martha who had the lower voice.  We interchanged.  We always had a saying, ‘cause when we started to do a number, Martha would play it on the piano, and we would just start singing, you know, in harmony. We used to say, “Whoever gets to a note first, hold it, ‘cause that’s where you belong.”  So we never went like the average harmony.  If I happened to hit a low note, then Connie took the high.  That was the natural placement for our voices then, you know, so that’s the way we worked.”

If you’ve wondered if the Andrews Sisters, as established stars, ever crossed paths with Connee Boswell, here’s a detailed account of a long-forgotten benefit performance that took place at the Glendale, Calif. Civic Auditorium in December of 1940.  In his memoir Jukebox Saturday Nights , author Alan Copeland, an alumnus of the Bob Mitchell Boys’ Choir, listed a rather incredible array of talent including four bands (Ray Noble, Phil Harris, John Scott Trotter and Johnny Richards).  The band of John Scott Trotter was currently backing Connie (she didn’t start spelling her name as “Connee” until 1942) Boswell and Bing Crosby on the very popular Kraft Music Hallradio programConnie had a long run on this show, beginning November 14, 1940 and ending December 25, 1941.  The vocal lineup featured the Andrews Sisters, the Merry Macs and Connie Boswell.  Copeland described how the Bob Mitchell Boys Choir was thrilled to be on the same bill with two groups they admired:

Arriving at the mike amidst an ovation, the group (the Merry Macs) swings into The Cuckoo in the Clock, their new Decca recording.  Bathed in a pink gel, the group sparkles like ravishing jewels placed in an onyx setting.  The Macs’ lead singer, Mary Lou Cook, along with Judd, Ted and Joe McMichael, are peaking into their prime, and when they begin the first bars of The Hut Sut Song, the crowd and fans backstage go wild.

Patty, Maxene and LaVerne Andrews, cloistered around their idol and chief influence, Connie Boswell, snap their fingers and rock from foot to foot; Miss Boswell’s wheelchair rocks from side to side along with them.  Phil Harris, drawn from his dressing room by the merriment on stage, make his way through us, his wavy hair sporting fresh Brilliantine…his incredible smile cutting a swatch to the paralyzed singer’s side.   Segueing to stardom from a vocal trio herself (The Boswell Sisters), Connie Boswell is to 1940 what Ella Fitzgerald has become:  a seductress of scat, a rare art form, the mastery of which has no doubt motivated the touching adulation she now receives from the Andrews Sisters and Mr. Harris, striding on stage now to give the Macs’ curtain calls even greater flair.

Upstairs, as we change for our next-to-closing song with Phil Harris, the butterflies have vanished and in their place glows a warm Yule log.  A bit of Connie’s manicured (and modernized) Mississippi Mud manages to float through the crack beneath our dressing room door as we pause between phrases rehearsing Christmas Night In Harlem.

Downstairs again, we merge with the backstage mélange; by standing on our toes and constantly changing angles, we hear Patty, Maxene and LaVerne coaxing the ubiquitous Miss Boswell to join them for their encore, Bei Mir Bist Du Schoen.  Connie is once again escorted out to her stool by Al Jarvis, and the girls gather around her as John Scott Trotter’s introduction and the audience’s surprised approval sets the pace for a unique event.  What we now hear is the sisters’ giant hit being sung in perfect four-part harmony…

Did the Andrews Sisters ever get to see the Boswell Sisters in performance?

Jan Shapiro, jazz vocalist and longtime Chair of the Vocal Department at Boston’s Berklee College of Music, interviewed Maxene Andrews in 1989 as part of her thesis on the Boswell Sisters, and her research was partially funded by a grant from the National Endowment For the Humanities.  Maxene told Shapiro that she did indeed see the Boswells live in performance.  She couldn’t remember the exact date, but her story is fascinating:

Paramount_ad_January_1_1932-inlineAnd I never forgot that same time we were in New York.  We had gone into–the show had moved up to White Plains.  We played a different place every week.  The show had moved up to White Plains, but we were sent down to Manhattan to pick up some things for the stage, and we went down with one of the stage hands.  My sister LaVerne and me.  Patty couldn’t go because she was–the man who owned the show thought she was too young.  So, we got to the corner of 44th, 44th and Broadway and there was a wonderful Paramount theater.  And it was freezing cold, freezing cold.  And I looked up on the side and the billing was Bing Crosby, the Boswell Sisters and the Ritz (sic: Rio) Brothers.  And I looked at that and I said to my sister LaVerne, “We’ve got to go in.”  We didn’t have a dime in our pockets because we had to go with this stagehand.  So while we were standing there the people, the throngs of people going into the theater, and as luck would have it, these people pushed us in and so we got into the theater.  We didn’t have to pay.  So there we were and I said to LaVerne, “We’re going to see them, we’re really going to see them!” And so they came on just before Bing Crosby.  They came on, and I remember they, the way they, in those days the orchestra was in the pit.  And it was a very big orchestra.  And so, the stage at the Paramount was very big.  And they came on and they sang, they sat at, they were stationary at a piano.  And they sang into, they had the microphone decorated like a flower bouquet.  And I’m telling you, all I can remember is just never closing my eyes.  Like you just want to get every bit of breath.  Don’t waste anything…

The only time the Boswell Sisters played the Paramount was for a month-long engagement in January 1932.  They shared the bill with Bing Crosby for three weeks in Manhattan and with Russ Columbo for a week at the Brooklyn Paramount.  Variety disclosed that the Boswells were paid $3,000 a week.  The January 5, 1932 issue reviewed the January 2 show and confirmed Maxene’s memory, right down to the flowers used in the staging of the act:

Boswell Sisters, also from radio, are introduced from a dark stage in the midst of a bower of flowers built on the movable platform and concealing the piano they use for their hot-cha harmonizing.  Open in a trio; two girls are off while Connie does a sympathetic ballad solo in her nice contralto.  Absent sisters return for Mississippi Mud, with a reference to its having been introduced by Crosby.  They go into the number and Crosby joins them, standing behind them, but on the platform, and singing as a background for their harmonizing.

Zit’s Theatrical Weekly (January 9, 1932) gave this report of the Paramount stage show, which fills us in on what else LaVerne and Maxene may have heard:

The Boswell Sisters open with  “Roll On Mississippi, Roll On”. Then Connie, the best of the Boswells, offered a solo,  “I’m All Dressed Up a With Broken Heart”. The trio then sang  “Heebie Jeebie Blues” and were forced to supply two encores, “Eenie Meenie Miney Mo” and  “Mississippi Mud”. Swell voices, perfect harmony and good showmanship.

Further verifying Maxene’s story is Bob Boyer’s research which places the Andrews Sisters in New York state (Albany, Schenectady, Troy and Yonkers) and New York City with Larry Rich for the entire month of January 1932.  The Boswell Sisters’ Times Square Paramount engagement with Bing Crosby and the Rio Brothers ran from January 1 – January 7, 1932.

This was followed by January 8 – January 14 at the Brooklyn Paramount with Russ Columbo and the Rio Brothers, followed by January 15 – 21 back in Manhattan with Bing Crosby and Burns & Allen.  The Boswells concluded their Paramount gig with appearances from January 22-28 in Manhattan with Bing Crosby and the Three Queens.

Paramount_ad_January_8_1932-inline“H.D.S,” the reviewer for Billboard, caught the Boswells during their week with Crosby and Burns & Allen:

The first scene introduces the dancing ensemble in a novelty number, followed by the Boswell Sisters presented in a Southern setting, offering first  “Stay Out of the South”.  Connie, the personable soloist of the trio, follows with “Faded Summer Love”, which was show-stopping.  “Loves Goes on Just the Same” followed by the trio for the close in.  Two encores were responded to, the girls going even stronger at the start, each number building to a terrific hand at the finish.

Maxene reminisced further to Jan Shapiro:

LaVerne was very musical, and when she would hear the Boswell Sisters’ arrangement of any particular song, she would go to the piano and she would finger out the most intricate part of that particular arrangement, and then of course she would teach it to Pat and me…

That influence–whatever it was– that caught me—the Boswell Sisters became a great influence in my life and also in the Andrews Sisters’ lives, and they followed us long after the girls had retired and into the years of Connee as a great soloist….

The Boswell Sisters opened up the door for all harmony groups.  They broke the mold.  They came out of a semi-classical period, and here they were throwing to the world this wonderful sense of Southern jazz.   They were doing things that nobody else vocally had done.  They would take a song where they would sing a beautiful ballad, and then coming into the second chorus they’d break the rhythm, and they gave you some wonderful kind of vocalization that was really—those things were hard to copy.  We tried like hell to copy them, but some of them we couldn’t make!  But it was one of the great joys in my life to have been able to be a part of the Boswell Sisters, even though it was through a sense of copying in our early career, but to also get to know them.  And to show how strong the influence was:   when we recorded “Bei Mir Bist Du Schoen”, it didn’t come out as “Bei Mir Bist Du Schoen”—it came out as “Bah Meer Bist Dew Shayne!”.  When we copied, we copied the Southern dialect, we went the whole route!

Singer Bill Daugherty is still in contact with Patty Andrews, the sole survivor of the Andrews trio.  The producer of a planned Boswell Sisters documentary had asked me to inquire if Patty would consent to be filmed about the Boswell influence.  Acting on Bob Boyer’s advice, I approached Daugherty to ask Patty Andrews.  Patty declines all formal interviews these days, but she fondly recalled to Daugherty via telephone a time the Andrews Sisters were playing Las Vegas.  Connee Boswell came to see them, and when they saw Connee was in the audience, they sang a couple of Boswell Sisters songs with the arrangements.  Patty recalled Connee was “so tickled” that they still remembered them!  Patty then told Daugherty that they used to sing some of the Boswell songs to warm up with in their dressing room because they were such good arrangements and their harmonies were so challenging.

Patty, we Boswell fans have a way of sticking together through the generations, don’t we?


Billboard,  January 23, 1932“H.D.S.” review of Paramount, New York.

Boyer, Robert.  Letter to David McCain, August 28, 1996 re: his reaction to the 1932 home recording disk.

Copeland, Alan.  Jukebox Saturday Nights.  BearManor Media, 2007.   pp. 59-62.

Daugherty, Bill.  E-mail  to David McCain, January 30, 2008 re:  Andrews Sisters and Connee Boswell in Las Vegas.

Dexter, Dave.  Patty Andrews interviewed in liner notes from1977 MCA LP The Best of the Andrews Sisters (MCA2-4024).

Dumont, Lou.  First Ladies of Radio:  The Boswell Sisters.  Audio interview with Vet Boswell, July 11, 1978 at Vet’s home in Peekskill, N.Y.  First Ladies of Radio was a 13-part series featuring programs on different female singers of the 1920s and 1930s.  This series aired in 1979 on WGBH Boston under a radio cooperative which included radio stations in  Iowa, Alaska, Seattle and Columbus, Ohio.

Forsmark, Laird.  Letters to David McCain, January 6, 1985 and March 25, 1985.

Gillis, James H.  “’Blending’ Termed Secret of Boswell Trio’s Success.”  New Orleans Times-Picayune, January 6, 1935, p. 14.

Hagen, Ray.  E-mails to David McCain, November 6 and 10, 2009 re: 1932 disk.

Meehan, Tommy.  E-mail to David McCain, March 4, 2008 re: meeting of Vet Boswell and Maxene Andrews.

Reed, Rex.  “Apple Tree Blooms Again on Broadway.”  New York Daily News, Sunday, March 3, 1974, p. 5.

Shapiro, Jan.  Transcribed audio interview with Maxene Andrews  (p. 8) re: seeing the Boswells at the Paramount and selected transcription from video interview held at Maxene’s home in Auburn, Calif., June 20, 1989.

Variety,  January 5, 1932.  Review of Paramount theater show of January 2, 1932.  Also “Boswells at $3,000” p. 35.

Weiner, David.  Record Research Associates minutes.  March 3, 1984.

Wells, Lynda.  E-mail to David McCain, October 13, 2009.

Zit’s Theatrical Weekly,  January 9, 1932. Paramount stage review.

Very Special Thanks to Jack Barnes for granting permission to include the audio excerpt of Sentimental Gentleman From Georgia from the 1932 disk.

For further reading on the history of the Andrews Sisters, I HIGHLY recommend T. Arlo (Harry) Nimmo’s excellent biography entitled The Andrews Sisters, published by MacFarland & Company, Inc. in 2004. His book includes rare photos and a thoroughness of research made possible by the cooperation of longtime Andrews Sisters fans Robert Boyer, Everett Searcy, Merle Smith and John Tyler (to whom Nimmo most appropriately dedicates his finished work).