One of America's most popular singing groups of all time - with accumulated sales of over 75 million - The Andrews Sisters will forever be associated with entertaining allied troops during the Second World War, yet their distinctive, close harmony boogie woogie vocal style and hits like Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy, Rum and Coca Cola and I'll Be With You In Apple Blossom Time carry a timeless appeal that has influenced many artists since; from Bette Midler to the Puppini Sisters. From Minnesota, they were effectively formed when eldest girl LaVerne took to the family piano and coaxed her younger sisters Maxene and Patty to sing with her. Initially copying the popular Boswell Sisters, they won a local talent contest and joined Larry Rich's vaudeville show. In time they struck out on their own, driven around the country in their father's Buick, and going on to their first recording success with a Yiddish song Bei Mir Bist Du Schön, which sold 350,000 copies. The height of their fame came in the 1940s when America fell in love with their rapid harmonies, feel-good act and versatility of styles, scoring a succession of major hits and going on to appear in 17 Hollywood movies. Their popularity continued after the war, although Patty Andrews - who generally took the lead vocal role - left to go solo in 1954 after a rift with her sisters. LaVerne and Maxene continued as a duo but the split did neither party any favours as the onset of rock'n'roll shifted public taste away from their sweet style. They later patched up their differences and reunited as a trio with further success, often recording with Billy May's Orchestra. It all came to an end when LaVerne contracted cancer and they made their last appearance together on the Dean Martin Show in 1966. Maxene and Patty continued working together, their profile rising again after Bette Midler's cover of Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy in 1972. The sisters' last big appearances together were in the Broadway World War 2 musical Over Here in 1974, but they continued to work separately in cabaret.