Thursday, March 14, 2013

Well, time marches on-it has been said. The loss of both Fran Warren and Patty Andrews proves that to be true. Not too long ago I would be sitting and talking with these two icons more than a number of times over the years.   Fran and I snacked on some fast food backstage in the Glen Cove Theater on Long Island one evening before she hit the stage singing one of her favorites-"Mame." Of course, Fran is most famous for her rendition of "A Sunday Kind of Love" recorded originally with the Claude Thornhill orchestra a long time ago. She performed on Broadway in Mame, Pajama Game and Frank Loesser's  Broadway masterpiece Guys and Dolls, as well as many other gigs, as they say in the trade. Fran and I were both members of the Society of Singers, an organization of other singers who helped down and out singers. That's where we first met. Fran was also a member of the Friars Club. This Bronx, New York girl,  Fran Warren,  was a very peppy singer and she loved the music business. She was 87.
Patty Andrews and I were another story. This terrific singer, the lead singer of the iconic Andrews Sisters, was indeed a great friend. After our intitial meeting back in the early eighties, Patty asked me to write up her promotionals when she became a single and was working gigs in California with the Tex Beneke Orchestra and other bands. I also worked with her when she signed with Storyville Records, a European studio, collecting and issuing only her singles. When fellow singer Rosemary Clooney passed away, Patty wrote me in despair, fearful of her own mortality, to which I replied: " You will outlast them all," Sez I, and she did. Patty was to be 95 just before she passed on. My pals Lee Hale and Van Alexander kept an eye on her and after their traditional lunch get togethers, would stop at Patty's place in Northridge, California to check up on her. The Andrews Sisters have surpassed both Elvis and the Beatles combined with more records made and more charted hits than any other singer or group of singers.  I'm certain Father God will be glad to add her to his favorite singers list. I will miss her, and Madeline and I now have no flowers to send her on her birthday, but like millions of her fans, we will never forget her great musical moments which we still can enjoy.