The Boswell Sisters were an extravagantly gifted singing trio that graced the sweet, swinging sphere. These darlings of radio’s golden age were noted for their style of singing and the breezy arrangements that had a little bit of everything nice: abrupt changes in key and tempo, scat singing, Boswellese (a unique gibberish), hot breaks, some good old Southern hokum, imitated jazz horns, a smooth-as-syrup harmonic blend on flawlessly-phrased lyrics.
Their sound became emblematic of 1940’s girl groups, even young Ella Fitzgerald loved the Boswell Sisters, particularly idolizing Connie since she was deeply influenced by her phrasing.
The group got signed to Decca, but after just three records they broke up in 1936. while Connie continued to have a successful solo career as a singer for Decca.
The Historic New Orleans Collection Exhibition honoring the pioneer of female harmonizing- “Shout, Sister, Shout: The Boswell Sisters of New Orleans,” is opening on March 19th, 2014.
The Andrews Sisters- LaVerne, Maxen, Patty, started off their career as imitators of an earlier successful group, the Boswell Sisters, but soon propelled to create their unique sound with an evident trademark- lightning-quick vocal syncopations.
While the sisters specialized in swing, boogie-woogie, and novelty hits, they also produced major hits in jazz, ballads, folk, country-western, seasonal, and religious titles, being the first Decca artists to record an album of gospel standards in 1950.
Their versatility allowed them to pair with many different artists including recordings with most popular bands of the 40s, fitting neatly into the styles of Benny Goodman, Glenn Miller, Jimmy Dorsey, Bob Crosby and Woody Herman.
The Andrews Sisters broke up in 1951. when Patty, after their parents’ deaths, joined another group, with her husband acting as her agent.
After many scandals and open feuding the trio got back together and continued until LaVerne’s death in 1967. Patty was the last sister to pass away, in January of 2013 at the age of 94.
By the time they called it quits as a trio in 1950s, the group had amassed a phenomenal 113 chart singles, sold 75 million records, and recorded more than 1800 songs earning them 19 gold records and eight number ones and had appeared in 22 films.