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Patty Andrews, last of the Andrews Sisters trio, died last week at 94. Amazing how a tune can be the gateway to an era, perhaps one not your own. My dad played drums in a big band during the late 1940s, for fun, and kept a small set after he was married that he would haul up and play along to old Glenn Miller 78s and Sinatra LPs and other great songs of the 30s and 40s and 50s. It worked out his frustrations, and as I lay in bed listening to the music on summer evenings it was like hearing the soundtrack to someone else's nostalgia. Which has apparently become my own.Nice video of Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy (of Company B) below, but I like this audio of "Bei Mir Bist Du Shein" here.

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Thanks, David, for mentioning Patty Andrews' death. I found the LA Times article touching. From that:When the war ended in 1945, it was even the Andrews Sisters who announced it, to 5,000 GI's during a USO concert in Italy as the men were heading for duty in the Pacific. The troops' commanding officer had interrupted the show, handing the women a note that was read aloud by the youngest, Patty Andrews. "At first there was dead silence," her sister Maxene told The Times years later. "Then Patty repeated the message. 'This is really true,' she told them, and then she started to cry. Suddenly there was a roar. They knew they would be going home, and they did." http://www.latimes.com/news/obituaries/la-me-patty-andrews-20130131,0,49... anecdote reminded me of Paul Fussell's "Thank God for the Atom Bomb." He, too, was among the soldiers who had survived the war in Europe and were about to be shipped to Japan to be slaughtered.". . . when we learned to our astonishment that we would not be obliged in a few months to rush up the beaches near Tokyo assault-firing while being machine-gunned, mortared, and shelled, for all the practiced phlegm of our tough facades we broke down and cried with relief and joy. We were going to live. We were going to grow to adulthood after all."http://croker.harpethhall.org/Must%20Know/History/AtomBombFussell.pdf

Could it be argued that there is a line that connects the Andrews Sisters and Beyonce/Destiny's Child?

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About the Author

David Gibson is a national reporter for Religion News Service and author of The Coming Catholic Church (HarperOne) and The Rule of Benedict (HarperOne). He blogs at dotCommonweal.