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Monday, December 9, 2013

Rock a Billy 'Sweet Nothin's'!

Hey Mickey...we love it!

Happy Holidays, blogmates and readers...Christmas is moving upon us fast and furious!  Mickey and I just can't let this one go by without remembering the cutest little pistol singer to grace the pop and rockabilly scenes in the 1950's and 1960's.

♫ ♪ "My baby whispers in my ear, Ummm, sweet nothins.
♪ He knows the things I like to hear, Ummm, sweet nothins. ♪♪
♫Things he wouldn't tell nobody else...
...Secret baby, I keep them to myself! ♪
♫♫ Sweet nothins...Ummm, sweet nothins."

That's right Mick!  It's that sweet Georgia sound of little Brenda Lee!

Brenda embarked on the music scene as a tiny tot, singing solos as a young girl, at the Baptist church she and her family attended. When her father died in 1953, Brenda pretty much became the primary source of income for her family. She was already a regular on the country music show, "TV Ranch" at WAGA-TV in Atlanta, and, at just about 4 foot nine inches, Brenda would sometimes stand on a wooden crate in order to reach the microphone to perform.


Here is Brenda in 1954, and you can see she is standing up on a platform, above the base of the microphone.  Sometimes they couldn't lower the mic enough for her height!
"What an adorable child!" exclaims my co-host, Mickey.

Brenda Lee literally blew Red Foley away with her singing voice, and, he agreed to let her sing on his touring show "Ozark Jubilee", out of Springfield, Missouri, in Augusta, Georgia.  She performed 'Jambalaya', unrehearsed on stage and Foley later said, "I still get cold chills thinking about the first time I heard that voice!"  Brenda later became a regular on the Ozark Jubilee.  'Jambalaya' became Miss Lee's first single in 1956...and, it eventually led to invites on the Perry Como show and other national TV shows.

Incidentally, Brenda Lee met Elvis Presley for the first time at the Grand Old Opry. I believe it was in December of 1957, just a few months before Elvis left for the Army.  Brenda said she, along with other hopeful recording stars, would hang around backstage of the Opry, in hopes of being invited to sing.  Elvis had come by to visit and, they became friends, and, remained so throughout the rest of Elvis' life.  Brenda said that meeting Elvis is among her fondest memories.  

~Brenda Lee and Elvis Presley

Miss Brenda Lee charted more hits than any other woman in the 1950's and 1960's.  Only Elvis, Ray Charles and The Beatles outcharted her. Although, I do believe that was debatable in view of Connie Francis' success.  Her explosive presence on stage earned her the nickname "Little Miss Dynamite', after having recorded the song 'Dynamite' in 1957.

"DynoMite!"
~ Mickey takes it literally!

Some of Brenda's hits include:
'All Alone Am I'
'Fool No. 1'
'Jambalaya'
'I'm Sorry' (No. 1 hit)
'Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree'
(just to name a few)

~Little Miss Dynamite!

'Little Miss Dynamite' released 'Rockin Around The Christmas Tree' in 1958, but it just didn't chart immediately.  In fact, two years later it snowballed and is now a Christmas standard, ranking 4th in the top 10, all time Christmas Songs.  This is Brenda's biggest selling record...over 5 million sold!
Man, didn't you know this little girl could rock!?!

And, it seems as though we have a Birthday girl on site this week too!  Miss Brenda's birthday is December 11.  And, in honor of her Birthday, and, all of her accomplishments, I just happen to have a copy of 'Rockin Around The Christmas Tree' for your pleasure!





OKAY...wasn't that great?  
Happy Birthday, dear Brenda Lee!

*** Dearest readers, thank you so much for coming by AGAIN!  This part time blogger is on a roll, twice within just a few weeks time, go figure!  Please, do come by anytime, and, let me know what you're up to.
***
 I hope you enjoyed this post.  I felt like it would be very fitting for the Christmas season.  Brenda Lee has touched the hearts of many folks with her Pop, Rock, Rockabilly and Country sounds.
  And, I'm on that list of her lifelong fans!

*** In an interview with 'Country Stars Central', Brenda was asked,
"What's the one thing in life you're absolutely sure about?"
(Brenda replied)  "That I know who I am!"

***
Many Thanks goes out to:
yahoo images
Google
Country Stars Central
Wikipedia

And a special thanks to my guest host, Mr. Mickey Mouse!
Merry Christmas Mickey and Minnie!



Thank you again, have a safe Holiday!  Stop and say hello if you get the chance! 
 Merry Christmas to you all from Rock A Billy Rock!
Think Peace, Joy and Love (well, in any order you want!)

will see you again xxoo 

*probably in 2014, lol!

7 comments:

  1. Hi, Karo! Hi, Mickey! Happy birthday, Brenda!

    It's great to see that you're on a roll, good buddy, and this is another post that strikes a chord with me. I've always loved Brenda Lee and collected most of her records over the years. (My dad was a huge fan of Red Foley.) Those rare pictures of Brenda performing as a child are priceless. I hadn't seen them before. She surely was a little girl with a big voice. As you pointed out, Brenda ran neck and neck with Connie Francis for the title of top female vocalist of the late 50s and early 60s. Joel Whitburn lists Brenda as the #1 Female Singer of the 1960's. Like Connie, Brenda enjoyed massive crossover success over a long period of time, recording country songs, ballads and rock 'n' roll. I have a record research book that lists Brenda's first two singles in 1956 as "Ain't Gonna Give Nobody None"/"If I Ever Get Rich" (on the Apollo label as by Brenda Lee) and "Bigelow 6-200"/"Jambalaya" (on Decca as by Little Brenda Lee). The book goes on to say that original 45 rpm copies of "Bigelow"/"Jambalaya," "Dynamite" and "Rock the Bop," a 1958 release, are in demand among collectors and fetch a pretty penny. Thanks for the video of "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree," an evergreen that I never get tired of hearing.

    Stay well, good buddy. Take care of both Suzannes and Scootie and have a wonderful Christmas!

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  2. Good evening Shady. I'm glad this little girl struck a soft spot in your heart too. I don't know of anyone who doesn't enjoy hearing a song by this sweetheart! I had no idea she ranked so high on the circuit. When Suzanne saw the photo of Brenda and Elvis, that was it! Nothing doing but to do a post on Brenda. I think she was probably a good friend to many entertainers she crossed paths with.

    Who knows how Mickey Mouse got involved...I guess he thought I could use some help, haha! Anyway, thanks so much for stopping by. We're working at staying warm around here, and I think little Scooter will be on the scene this weekend for more fun! Have a great week Shady, and Merry Christmas! See you later!

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  3. Hi Karo, looks like you and Mickey put on a 'dynomite' show with this post! Brenda Lee really worked hard to become what she has, and, we all just adore her! My favorite Brenda Lee song is 'I'm Sorry'. It's a sad song, but she really puts a lot into it, and makes it so real!

    This was a great idea...Brenda Lee was always a favorite around Christmas time, everyone enjoyed hearing and dancing to her songs. I enjoyed this post, can't wait to see what you come up with next. Lots of love! ♥

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  4. Hi Karo. Hope you don't mind me popping by today. A little bird told me that I must pop over! I actually have just posted a video of Little Miss Dynamite on my facebook Timeline, where she was singing Rockin Around The Christmas Tree. Great minds obviously think alike! I was always a huge fan of Brenda Lee back in the days. My favourite was also I'm Sorry - teenage angst and all that!! Also, All Alone Am I, which I have on my very own Juke Box over here in Devon, England. What a fantastic photo of her belting out Rockin Around The Christmas Tree!! She was very tiny I believe. Well, I know only too well how beautiful things come in small packages!! Wishing you a very Happy Christmas from across the pond.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Thisisme. I don't mind you coming by at all...I'm honored to have you as a guest and follower. I'm just kind of a part time blogger, showing up every now and then with a post!

      Brenda Lee was so cute, I remember seeing her on Ed Sullivan and the Lawrence Welk show too! I'll bet you really enjoy your jukebox at home, I remember seeing a picture of it on one of your posts a year or so ago.

      We're walking around the house now singing Brenda Lee songs-go figure! Thank you so much for stopping in and leaving a message. Have a very wonderful Christmas, Thisisme!

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  5. Merry Christmas and Best Wishes for a Happy New Year!
    Bring you Good wishes of happiness.

    Sorry for greeting you earlier,, just don't want miss saying this.
    By the way, I'm clotee. I am blogger too, and now try my best luck to open an e-store. Nice to know you.

    Regards,
    Clotee

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    Replies
    1. Hi Clotee, Thanks for stopping by to say hello. Good luck on opening your e-store. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you!

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