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In the years before and after World War II, there were no bigger voices than those of the Andrews Sisters. Maxene, LaVerne, and Patty charted more top ten Billboard hits than Elvis or the Beatles and went on to become the top-selling female vocal group of all time, selling approximately 100 million records. They recorded such instant hits as "Beer Barrel Polka," "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy," "Don't Fence Me In," and "I Can Dream, Can't I?" They dominated the music scene for fifteen years with some 600 recordings, appearances in seventeen films, cabaret performances, and countless radio and television appearances.
Swing It! is the first published biography of this incredibly popular trio. The book includes many rarely published photos and features extensive career data, including a detailed discography, filmography, and listing of their radio and television appearances between 1938 and 1967. The Andrews Sisters had their big break with the 1937 release of the Yiddish tune "Bei Mir Bist Du Schon (Means that You're Grand)," which sold 350,000 copies in one month and established the trio as successful recording artists. The sisters are now probably best remembered for their work entertaining troops in World War II. They traveled across the U.S. and to Italy and Africa, and their recording of "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy" for the film Buck Privates became synonymous with the war effort. Part of the reason for the success of the Andrews Sisters was their ability to perform so many different types of music. They repeatedly achieved major hits with melodies derived from many different countries, becoming the first and most prominent artists of their time to bring ethnic-influenced music to the forefront of America's hit parade. The Andrews Sisters separated for two years in the 1950s as the strain of constantly living, working, and playing together for over four decades took its toll. They reunited in 1956 and continued to perform together until LaVerne's death from cancer in 1967.
The Andrews Sisters remain the most successful and enduring female vocal group in the history of show business. Theirs are the voices that defined an era.
You’ll become a fan after reading this book. -- Big Band Jump Newsletter
A book that will be cherished by music lovers and connoisseurs of general American history alike. -- Daily News Bowling Green, Kentucky
A serious view of the quintessential girl singing group of the Big Band era and beyond. -- Celebrity Profiles
The first book about the Andrews Sisters, and Sforza has done a commendable job. -- Choice
Sforza gives us an excellent biography of the Andrews Sisters and in doing so marvelously evokes the exciting times in which they performed. -- Times (Kettering-Oakwood, Ohio)
Admirably thorough in detailing the group’s recording career. -- Library Journal
A colorful and flattering portrait of a vital part of American popular culture in the World War II era. [Swing It!] chronicles [the Andrews sisters'] professional career in great detail but also addresses the sisters’ frequent personal feuds. -- People
Fascinating and renews a desire to hear those voices once more. -- Rainbo Electronic Reviews
The author has unearthed a barrelful of information that heretofore had never been assembled. . . . A biography to savor. -- Rapport
An invaluable record of the pop-music business before rock, before huge arena shows, before albums on LPs and CDs, before performers were expected to write their own material, a time when musical talents of performers were more important than those of the electronic geniuses that record them. -- Seattle Times
In such affectionate books as Swing It! the melody and memory linger on. -- Times Literary Supplement
The University Press of Kentucky
Place of Publication
Andrews Sisters, Singers
Sforza, John, "Swing It! The Andrews Sisters Story" (2000). Cultural History. 12.