The Anderson sisters who make up the Echo Valley Bluegrass Band in western Pennsylvania, have reached back to their fellow sibling singers, The Andrews Sisters, for inspiration on their bluegrass version of Jingle Bells.
For those whose musical memories don’t go all the way back to WWII, the Andrews girls were extremely popular during the big band period. They recorded a number of songs that became smash hits (Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy and Rum and Coca Cola), and were known for entertaining US troops stationed all over the world during the war and the post war occupation period.
Laverne, Maxene, and Patty Andrews were not only recording stars, but movie stars as well, appearing in more than a dozen Hollywood productions. Their reign as chart toppers ran from the late 1930s into the early ’50s when Patty broke away to pursue a solo career.
Their version of Jingle Bells was recorded with Bing Crosby in 1943, and was internationally successful from the start. It has enjoyed a reprise of sorts in the holiday movie classic, A Christmas Story, set in the immediate postwar period.
Echo Valley grabbed some of the Andrews Sisters’ licks for their arrangement, and set it to bluegras style on their just-released EP, Christmas with Echo Valley.
Have a listen in this new video.
Christmas with Echo Valley is available wherever you stream or download music online, and to radio programmers via AirPlay Direct. It contains 6 holiday favorites sung by the Anderson sisters with bluegrass accompaniment.