Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Jango Song Of The Day-Brenda Lee
Brenda Lee was one of the most popular recording artists of the early 60s and I'm Sorry was her biggest hit and signature song. It's probably forgotten that she was 16 years old at the time. She went on to great success in the country music market and still records today. She was born Brenda Mae Tarpley Dec. 11, 1944 in Atlanta. She began performing as a child and by age ten was the family breadwinner after her father died in 1953. She was named Brenda Lee by a radio show producer who thought Tarpley would be too difficult to remember. Her big break came in Feb. 1955 when she went to see Red Foley perform in Augusta. A DJ convinced Foley to listen to her sing and she became a regular on his Ozark Jubilee TV show. Decca Records signed her soon after and her first single was Jambalaya, a song she sang on TV. Her earlier recordings were more rockabilly than country or pop. That's why this 2CD Anthology released in 1991 by MCA is the best Brenda Lee comp. Most of the other comps ignore her early rockabilly recordings. The song Dynamite earned her the nickname Little Miss Dynamite. Brenda started to have more sustained chart success when she started working with producer Owen Bradley in 1958. Of course he also produced Patsy Cline. Her 1958 recording Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree is probably her biggest selling recording because it still sells today. But I'm Sorry was Brenda's crossover breakthrough and topped the Billboard Hot 100 in 1960. The song was written by rockabilly singer Ronnie Self who wasn't a successful performer but also wrote the hit Sweet Nothins. Because Brenda was 16 at the time, Decca was reluctant to release I'm Sorry because they thought she was too young to sing that kind of song. But it became a smash upon release. Brenda Lee made her final appearance on the pop charts in 1963 but she reestablished herself in the country market in the 70s and continues to tour today. She has a gospel CD Songs Of Inspiration coming out in August on Varese Sarabande. Brenda Lee wasn't the first teenage music superstar but she is certainly one of the most durable. Here's Brenda Lee performing I'm Sorry 1960.