Photograph of the Orpheum Theatre, c.1930, as it appeared when the Andrews Sisters won a talent contest that launched them on the vaudeville circuit.

The Orpheum Theatre

Photograph of the Orpheum Theatre in Minneapolis, c.1930, as it appeared when the Andrews Sisters won a talent contest that launched them on the vaudeville circuit.

The Andrews Sisters

Portrait of the three Andrews Sisters, from top: LaVerne, Patty, and Maxene, April 7, 1952.

The Andrews Sisters

The Andrews Sisters hold a singular place among the many famous Minnesota-born musical talents who have made it big. Rising to fame in the swing era of the late 1930s, they developed their successful close-harmony formula early on. Patty, the blond mezzo-soprano, sang lead; Maxene, the brunette, sang soprano; and LaVerne, the redhead, sang contralto. The trio recorded more than six hundred songs, sold over ninety million records, earned fifteen gold records, and had a dozen number-one hits. Forty-six of their tunes made it to the Billboard Top Ten chart—more than either Elvis Presley or The Beatles.

Front cover of the April 1921 issue of Captain Billy's Whiz Bang.

Captain Billy's Whiz Bang, April 1921

Front cover of the April 1921 issue of Captain Billy's Whiz Bang.

Photograph of Wilford "Captain Billy" Fawcett with his third wife (and former secretary) Frances Robinson.

Wilford "Captain Billy" Fawcett and Frances Robinson

Photograph of Wilford "Captain Billy" Fawcett with his third wife (and former secretary) Frances Robinson.

Wilford "Captain Billy" Fawcett and Harold Lloyd

Photograph of Wilford "Captain Billy" Fawcett playing golf with silent film star Harold Lloyd c. 1935. Fawcett and Lloyd's father, James Darsie Lloyd, were friends.

Wilford "Captain Billy" Fawcett with Betty Grable and Jackie Coogan

Photograph of Wilford "Captain Billy" Fawcett congratulating actors Betty Grable and Jackie Coogan on their marriage, c. 1937.

Roscoe Fawcett

Photograph of Roscoe Fawcett, brother of Wilford "Captain Billy" Fawcett, in 1928. Roscoe ran the day-to-day operations of Fawcett Publications when Captain Billy left Minneapolis on frequent hunting trips and excursions to New York and Hollywood.

Wilford "Captain Billy" Fawcett

Photograph of Minnesota-based publishing magnate Wilford Fawcett, 1925.

Fawcett, Wilford Hamilton "Captain Billy" (1885–1940)

One of the most colorful characters on the scene in early twentieth century Minnesota was Wilford Hamilton "Captain Billy" Fawcett. He was editor and publisher of a bawdy men's humor magazine called Captain Billy's Whiz Bang. He was also a veteran of two wars, an Olympic athlete, a world traveler, a big-game hunter, and a resort owner.

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