After Peter Andrews moved the family to New York in 1937, his wife, Olga, sought singing dates for the girls. They were often turned down with comments such as: ‘‘They sing too loud and they move too much.’’ Olga persisted, and the sisters sang on radio with a hotel band at $15 a week. The broadcasts landed them a contract with Decca Records.
They recorded a few songs, and then came ‘‘Bei Mir Bist Du Schoen,’’ an old Yiddish song for which Sammy Cahn and Saul Kaplan wrote English lyrics. (The title means, ‘‘To Me You Are Beautiful.") It was a smash hit, and the Andrews Sisters were launched into the bigtime.
Their only disappointment was the movies. Universal was a penny-pinching studio that ground out product to fit the lower half of a double bill. The sisters were seldom involved in the plots, being used for musical interludes in film with titles such as ‘‘Private Buckaroo,’’ ‘'Swingtime Johnny’’ and ‘‘Moonlight and Cactus.’’
Their only hit was ‘‘Buck Privates,’’ which made stars of Abbott and Costello and included the trio’s blockbuster ‘‘Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy from Company B.’’
In 1947, Patty married Martin Melcher, an agent who represented the sisters as well as Doris Day, then at the beginning of her film career. Patty divorced Melcher in 1949 and soon he became Day’s husband, manager and producer.
Patty married Walter Weschler, pianist for the sisters, in 1952. He became their manager and demanded more pay for himself and for Patty. The two other sisters rebelled, and their differences with Patty became public. Lawsuits were filed between the two camps.
‘‘We had been together nearly all our lives,’’ Patty explained in 1971. ‘‘Then in one year our dream world ended. Our mother died and then our father. All three of us were upset, and we were at each other’s throats all the time.’’
Patty Andrews is survived by her foster daughter, Pam DuBois, a niece and several cousins. Weschler died in 2010.
A memorial service is planned in Los Angeles, with the date to be determined.