Who was/is Brenda Lee ? - CDs, Vinyl LPs, DVD and more

Brenda Lee

They didn’t call pint-sized Brenda Lee ‘Little Miss Dynamite’ for nothing. Her powerhouse pipes were like a lit keg of TNT even before Paul Cohen signed her to Decca at the tender age of 11 (Decca misleadingly billed her as “Little Brenda Lee [9 Years Old]” on her first two singles in 1956). Only four-foot-nine even as an adult, Brenda’s huge, mature-sounding voice belied her diminutive physical stature.

Born Brenda Mae Tarpley in Atlanta on December 11, 1944, she sang around the house at three, won a school talent contest at four, and performed on local TV before she was seven. After a brief stint in Cincinnati, Brenda’s family settled in Augusta, Georgia, where deejay Peanut Faircloth took an interest. He insisted country star Red Foley listen to his little friend when Foley performed in Augusta. Foley was so knocked out that he put 11-year-old Brenda on ‘Junior Jubilee,’ the pubescent counterpart to his ABC-TV show ‘Ozark Jubilee,’ in March of ’56. Befpubescent counterpart to his ABC-TV show ‘Ozark Jubilee,’ in March of ’56. Before long, Brenda was on the adult version. Manager Dub Allbritten decided her stage handle of Little Brenda Tarpley was mundane, so she would be known as Brenda Lee.

Cohen pacted Brenda in May of ’56. Her first Nashville session that July included the rocking Bigelow 6-200 and a rousing reprise of Hank Williams’ Jambalaya (On The Bayou) that Cohen paired as her debut single. Although she usually recorded in Nashville under the direction of Cohen and Owen Bradley, Brenda’s first hit in 1957, the jumping One Step At A Time, was done at New York’s cavernous Pythian Temple under Milt Gabler’s supervision.

Lee cut a raft of great rockers early on in Nashville—Dynamite (the basis for her nickname), Rock The Bop, Ring-A-My-Phone and its incredibly swinging flip Little Jonah (Rock On Your Steel Guitar) (cut May 15, 1958 at Bradley’s studio with Nashville’s A-Team in attendance, it featured Buddy Emmons’ blistering steel work), Let’s Jump The Broomstick, and just in time for 1958 holiday sales, her immortal Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree.

But hits remained in short supply until Ronnie Self wrote Brenda the teasing Sweet Nothin’s. Laced with the insinuating sax of Boots Randolph (a frequent presence on her waxings), it crashed the pop Top Five in 1960, setting the stage for Brenda’s two-sided blockbuster later that year. Jerry Reed penned the upbeat That’s All You Gotta Do, but it was Self’s torch ballad I’m Sorry, sung by Brenda like a jilted woman despite her being only 15, that gave Lee her first pop chart-topper,

“Brenda was a little pro. She was way ahead of her time. At 12, 13 years old, she just reared back and sang like the dickens,” said the late Randolph. “She had a knack about her--I don=t know if she would mimic somebody, or was just letting it all hang out. That little gal could sing, and she hung in there. She liked people like Dinah Washington and Ella Fitzgerald and all of those great singers that came along at that time with the pop singers. It was something else to get in there with a kid that young being able to sing that well.”

Although she had a big seller in 1961 with the cute upbeat item Dum Dum, most of Brenda’s smashes for Decca after I’m Sorry were brokenhearted laments that Bradley gave the full countrypolitan treatment: I Want To Be Wanted (her second #1 pop entry in 1960), Emotions, You Can Depend On Me, Fool #1, Break It To Me Gently, All Alone Am I. Brenda built a huge following around the world and toured the globe regularly, once with the then-unknown Beatles opening for her.

When the pop arena finally lost interest in Lee’s Decca output at the close of the ‘60s (her Too Many Rivers and Coming On Strong just missed the pop Top Ten in 1965 and ’66 respectively), country music fans were quick to embrace the lovable little chanteuse. Brenda scored a slew of C&W hits during the ‘70s and ‘80s.

© Bear Family Records

Copyright © Bear Family Records®. Copying, also of extracts, or any other form of reproduction, including the adaptation into electronic data bases and copying onto any data mediums, in English or in any other language is permissible only and exclusively with the written consent of Bear Family Records® GmbH.

More information about Brenda Lee on Wikipedia.org

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Brenda Lee (LP, 10inch, Ltd.)
Brenda Lee: Brenda Lee (LP, 10inch, Ltd.) Art-Nr.: BAF11016

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BEAR FAMILY Vinyl Club Exclusive - Limited collector's edition, order now from Bear Family's Shop and Mailorder - • 10inch LP (limited edition - colored vinyl) in our 11000-series. • Mega rare Japanese 10"LP release from 1960. •...
$21.31 $23.69
Little Miss Dynamite (4-CD Deluxe Box Set)
Brenda Lee: Little Miss Dynamite (4-CD Deluxe Box Set) Art-Nr.: BCD15772

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4-CD box (LP-size) with 88-page hardcover book, 122 tracks. Playing time approx. 312 mns. Here, complete for the first time, are all Brenda's early recordings from 1956 until 1963. These include Sweet Nothin's, I'm Sorry, Rockin' Around...
$100.87 $112.74
Brenda Lee - Brenda Rocks
Brenda Lee: Brenda Lee - Brenda Rocks Art-Nr.: BCD16686

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1-CD DigiPac (4-plated) with 52-page booklet, 36 tracks. Playing time approx. 87 minutes. Brenda Lee - The Queen of Rock 'n' Roll on an expertly chosen blend of big hits and lesser-known, blues-edged cuts all designed to appeal to...
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Wiedersehen ist wunderschön
Brenda Lee: Wiedersehen ist wunderschön Art-Nr.: BCD15644

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1-CD with 32-page booklet, 16 tracks. Playing time approx. 40 mns. Includes 12 German, 2 French and 2 Italian tracks, with Fool #1 and Anybody But Me recorded in all of these languages. All remaining titles were German originals (except...
$18.94
From Levis To Calvin Klein Jeans - I Know A Lot About Love (7inch, 45rpm, BC, CS)
Brenda Lee: From Levis To Calvin Klein Jeans - I Know A Lot... Art-Nr.: 45MCA51230

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A - From Levis To Calvin Klein Jeans B - I Know A Lot About Love
$11.81
The Best Of Brenda Lee (CD)
Brenda Lee: The Best Of Brenda Lee (CD) Art-Nr.: CDFC5163

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(Comerta) 18 tracks
$11.81
Sweet Nothin's - I Want To Be Wanted (7inch, 45rpm)
Brenda Lee: Sweet Nothin's - I Want To Be Wanted (7inch,... Art-Nr.: 45MCA60069

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(MCA Records) 2 tracks
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I´m Sorry - All Alone Am I (7inch, 45rpm, SC)
Brenda Lee: I´m Sorry - All Alone Am I (7inch, 45rpm, SC) Art-Nr.: 45OLD9163

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(Old Gold) 2 tracks
$11.81
The Collection (CD)
Brenda Lee: The Collection (CD) Art-Nr.: CDMCD18580

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(1992/MCA) 16 tracks
$17.75
EP-Collection (CD)
Brenda Lee: EP-Collection (CD) Art-Nr.: CDSEE425

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(See For Miles Records) 25 tracks
$23.69
My Greatest Songs (CD)
Brenda Lee: My Greatest Songs (CD) Art-Nr.: CDMCD18349

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(MCA) 14 tracks
$20.13
Medley Of Hits (CD)
Brenda Lee: Medley Of Hits (CD) Art-Nr.: CDPACD065

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(Castle Communications Australasia LTD) 12 Tracks (46:36) live recordings - unknown data
$23.69
Live Dynamite! (2-CD)
Brenda Lee: Live Dynamite! (2-CD) Art-Nr.: CDCP8289

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(1997/Charly)
$21.31
The Very Best Of Brenda Lee With Love (CD)
Brenda Lee: The Very Best Of Brenda Lee With Love (CD) Art-Nr.: CD527386

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(Telstar Records) 30 tracks
$11.81
Sweet Nothin's (CD)
Brenda Lee: Sweet Nothin's (CD) Art-Nr.: CD983020

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(Snapper Music) 24 tracks
$15.38
At Her Best (2-CD)
Brenda Lee: At Her Best (2-CD) Art-Nr.: CDPL2011

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(Planet Media & Entertainment) 13 tracks incl. Meldley's
$21.31
I'm Sorry - All Alone Am I (7inch, 45rpm)
Brenda Lee: I'm Sorry - All Alone Am I (7inch, 45rpm) Art-Nr.: 45MCA60070

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(MCA Records) 2 tracks
$11.81
Little Miss Dynamite (CD)
Brenda Lee: Little Miss Dynamite (CD) Art-Nr.: CDBIT61015

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(1993/Backbiter) 20 tracks
$11.81 $17.75
Here Comes That Feeling (CD)
Brenda Lee: Here Comes That Feeling (CD) Art-Nr.: CDJAS906

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(2015/Jasmine Records) 31 tracks
$17.75
Classic Album Collection (3-CD)
Brenda Lee: Classic Album Collection (3-CD) Art-Nr.: CD057863

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(IMC Music) 48 tracks
$17.75
Rock The Bop (CD)
Brenda Lee: Rock The Bop (CD) Art-Nr.: CD365056

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(Radio Archives) 30 tracks
$23.69
Brenda Lee (CD)
Brenda Lee: Brenda Lee (CD) Art-Nr.: CDWB26439-L

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(1991/Warner Bros.) 10 tracks, ADD, new stock copy, original sealed (US longbox packaging). (Bear Family Records) - 1991 Warner album, produced by Jim Ed Norman for JEN Productions and Eric Prestidge for Sound Mind Productions except as...
$23.69
Let Me Sing & By Request
Brenda Lee: Let Me Sing & By Request Art-Nr.: CDCHD1097

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(2006/ACE) 24 tracks Decca 1963 (DL 74439) & 1964 (DL 74509) with 16 page color booklet
$14.19 $18.94
Definitive Collection (US)
Brenda Lee: Definitive Collection (US) Art-Nr.: CDMCA4738

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(2006/MCA NASHVILLE) 28 tracks 1957-79
$22.44
Love You! Early Hits That Made Her Famous (CD)
Brenda Lee: Love You! Early Hits That Made Her Famous (CD) Art-Nr.: CDMCD30492

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(MCA) 20 tracks
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