The most popular musical act of the 1940s was a trio of ladies named Patty, LaVerne, and Maxene, collectively known as the Andrews Sisters. Their patriotic tunes are particularly nostalgic for me, a child of the Reagan era who had a special appreciation for the Abbott and Costello movies in which they sometimes appeared.
Bud and Lou’s first starring roles came in the comedy film Buck Privates, and it remains one of their most popular. The movie released in early 1941, prior to America’s entry into World War II, and amidst the backdrop of the first peacetime conscription in American history, the Selective Training and Service Act of 1940. The Andrews Sisters featured prominently in its musical interludes. The most famous tune from the movie was probably “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy of Company B,” but in recent weeks, I’ve been reminded of another of their popular songs from the film, because the spirit of the song serves as a time capsule which could not exist in starker contrast to the spirit of the country today.
Consider the opening verses of a tune that they sing as a reminder to the American everyman, “You’re a Lucky Fellow, Mr. Smith”:
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