RIP Patty Andrews – Last Surviving Member of The Andrews Sisters Passes Away

Sad news out of Los Angeles this afternoon…Patty Andrews, the last surviving member of The Andrews Sisters, has passed away from natural causes at her Northridge, CA home. She was 94 years old.

Together with her sisters LaVerne and Maxene, The Andrews Sisters were arguably the most popular group of the 1930’s and 1940’s and the most influential all-female group in history.  Their energetic performance style fit in perfectly with the new swing music craze.

1947 publicity photo of The Andrews Sisters.  The Andrews Sisters performing.

Their biggest hit is, of course, “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy“:

Other hits include “Rum and Coca Cola” and “Don’t Sit Under the Apple Tree“.  They recorded over 400 songs and sold more than 80 million records during their career.

The trio was known for volunteering enormous amounts of time to entertain World War II troops.  They recorded Victory Discs (or V-Discs) for distribution only to the Allied troops and made appearances on shows like “Command Performance”, “Mail Call”, and “G.I. Journal”.

Patty married Walter Weschler, pianist and conductor for the sisters, in 1952 and he later became her manager.  Walter passed away in 2010.  They had no children.  Patty is survived by her foster daughter, Pam DuBois.

Patty, LaVerne, and Maxene Andrews will certainly be missed, and their mark on swing music is indelible.

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WORLD WAR II ERA NOSTALGIA: 1940’s Nestle Ad Campaign “Chocolate Is A Fighting Food”

It is a simple, universal truth:  everyone loves chocolate!  Nestle produced the ration chocolate that was sent to our military personnel overseas during World War II.  They launched a corresponding ad campaign during the early 1940′s which re-branded their products in an intriguing way, centered on the ongoing conflict overseas:

chocolateisafightingfoodchocolateisafightingfoodlifemagazine1943 chocolateisafightingfoodlifemagazine1943-2

Chocolate was no longer merely a special delicacy and treat.  No, chocolate was the very fuel powering our soldiers!  Concentrated nutrition!  “It supplies the biggest amount of nourishment in the smallest bulk”, as penned by famous war journalist Ernie Pyle according to one ad.  A handy nutrition chart shows that 1 Nestle milk chocolate bar provides more calories than 1 medium broiled lamb chop, 1 8 oz glass of milk, 2 eggs, or 2 slices of bread!

Details regarding how soldiers were receiving and using chocolate rations also attempted to justify shortages of the coveted product back home.  “If your dealer is sometimes out of Nestle’s chocolate and EverReady cocoa, here’s why…”.

The campaigns appears to have been successful, and further secured Nestle as an iconic American brand.

Do you know of any other interesting ad campaigns from the World War II era?  Sound off in the Comments below!


(Images and info courtesy of Dying for Chocolate and AllPosters)

UPCOMING PERFORMANCES: 3/16/2013 in Rockford, IL and 7/25/2013 in Grafton, WI

We have booked our first two public performances for 2013!  SCB will return to Veterans Memorial Hall in Rockford, IL on 3/16/2013 for another great night of music! Come and see the debut of our new male vocalist, Frank.  The Mary J. Harris swing band will perform from 6:30-7:30 pm, and we’ll perform from 8 pm – midnight. Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 at the door, as a fundraiser for the Veterans Memorial Hall.

On 7/25/2013, we will make our debut at Veterans Memorial Park in Grafton, WI as part of the Grafton Area Live Arts (GALA) Summer Concerts In The Park series. The concert will run from 6:30-9:30 pm.  There is no charge for admission.

See our Performance Schedule for more details.

OUR NEXT PERFORMANCE: 9/22/12 Midway Village Museum World War II Days in Rockford, IL

2012 Midway Village World War 2 Days

We will perform at the 2012 World War II Days at Midway Village Museum USO Style Dance this Saturday 9/22/2012 from 7-9 pm.  The dance will be held at Veterans Memorial Hall, and a bus will be available to transport World War II Days participants from the reenactment site.  There is no charge for admission to the dance.  See you there!

OUR NEXT PERFORMANCE: St. Joseph’s Catholic Church Festival in Fort Atkinson, WI

Our next public performance will be held at the St. Joseph’s Catholic Church festival in Fort Atkinson, WI on Saturday August 11th, 2012 from 6:30 – 10:30 pm. FREE admission and parking.

St. Joseph’s Catholic Church is located at 1660 Endl Boulevard in Fort Atkinson, WI, off of Hwy 12 and Hackbarth Rd. For more information, contact them at 920-563-3029 or on Facebook.