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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Such Devoted Sisters. 4.

Okay, we're into the forties, and singing sisters.

This leads us to only one place.
The Andrews Sisters.
In many ways, the Andrews Sisters defined the 1940's.
They defined World War 2 for many people.
That was their heyday.
They were never as popular before or since.
There has been much acknowledgement of the influence of The Boswell Sisters
on them, and it sure is evident.
Both groups really swung.
But there were two major differences:
The Boswell Sisters pretty much stuck to songs that naturally swung.
The Andrews Sisters made every song they sang, with the exception of an occasional
ballad, swing like crazy.
Songs that you wouldn't figure could be swung, they swung.

My wife's 88 year old mother lives with us.
And every morning, my wife wakes her up by singing "The Woodpecker Song"
No, not the "Woody Woodpecker Song", but a song from 1940 that I didn't even know
It was a big favorite in their home when my wife was growing up, and had enormous
sentimental value.
So, every morning, my wife would sing "The Woodpecker Song" to her mother.
Recently, I did a search on YouTube for "The Woodpecker Song"
There were several versions.
The Gaylords, Bobby Rydell, and The Andrews Sisters.
You want to guess which one swung like crazy?
When my wife sang it, she never swung.
So I didn't even have a clue that it COULD be swung.

The other difference between the Boswells and the Andrews is that the Boswells were a
sit-down act.
This was by necessity.
Connee Boswell was in an accident that left her paralyzed, so they worked seated
around the piano.
The Andrews Sisters moved.
Hell, they danced.
Look at all their movies where they danced in coordinated, eccentric rhythm.
In reading about them, I learned that Universal Studios, too cheap to hire a
choreographer, brought in the Ritz Brothers to teach them their steps.
So there they were, in their Army uniforms with the skirts, dancing like the
Ritz Brothers and singing great.
One of my prized possessions is a CD of every recording The Andrews Sisters made
with Bing Crosby.
It is magnificent.
They brought out Bing's playful side, and we are all the better for it.

All along the way, they had personal problems among them, but thank God it never
got in the way of the music.

The only other sister act of note in the forties were the King Sisters.
Man, were they square.
Even if you put them on swings, they couldn't swing.
An example of how unfair the business can be.
Because they had a very successful TV variety show in the mid to late sixties.
This made exactly as much sense as Lawrence Welk having a very successful show.
Speaking of Welk, we'll close this out with The Lennon Sisters next time.


My books ,"Show Runner" and it's sequel,"Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne & Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download them.
Just get the free app from Kindle, and they can be downloaded to an IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperback, "Mark Rothman's Essays" is still available for people without Kindle.
I have many readings and signings remaining, and the thing about Kindle is you can't sign one.
If you'd like one, contact me at
And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne & Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube.



  1. I know their music is considered a different genre, but The Andrew Sisters of the 1940s don't sound all that different from the rock and roll of the 1950s, yet people at the time apparently thought so.

  2. You could be qualified to receive a $1,000 Amazon Gift Card.

  3. There is a chance you're qualified to get a free Apple iPhone 7.



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About Me

Hi. I am, according to my Wikipedia entry,(which I did not create) a noted television writer, playwright, screenwriter, and occasional actor. You can Google me or go to the IMDB to get my credits, and you can come here to get my opinions on things, which I'll try to express eloquently. Hopefully I'll succeed. You can also e-mail me at Perhaps my biggest claim to fame is being responsible, for about six months in 1975, while Head Writer for the "Happy Days" TV series, for Americans saying to each other "Sit on it."