The Andrews Sisters: Queens of the Jukebox is on display through Nov. 1 in the Great American Songbook Foundation’s Songbook Exhibit Gallery, housed at the Palladium at the Center for the Performing Arts in Carmel. The gallery is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays and prior to select performances at the Palladium.
Best known for the classic “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy,” LaVerne, Maxene and Patty Andrews recorded more than 600 songs and scored 46 Top 10 hits in their heyday from the 1930s to the ’50s. The swing-era trio’s distinctive close harmonies sold an estimated 75 to 100 million records, making them the world’s top-selling pop artists until the arrival of the Beatles. They collaborated with the likes of Bing Crosby, Glenn Miller and Abbott and Costello, appearing in 18 movies during the 1940s.
“Their success and impact were virtually unprecedented,” stated Lisa Lobdell, archivist for the Foundation’s Songbook Archives & Library, in a press release. “We have heard their influence ever since in the music of the Supremes, the Beach Boys, the Manhattan Transfer, Pentatonix, the Indigo Girls, Mumford & Sons and many other artists.”
Most of the Andrews Sisters items were donated in 2010 by Maryland resident Robert Boyer, a fan who had amassed the largest known collection of memorabilia related to the group, including publicity photos, personal snapshots, news clippings, recordings, movie posters, correspondence, magazines and recordings in various formats.
The exhibit includes interactive multimedia touchscreens that enable visitors to experience music and video of the group, as well as the performers who inspired them and the vocal groups they influenced. A traveling version of the exhibit is available free of charge for display by schools, libraries and other community organizations.