Brenda Lee—the little girl with the big voice, started performing at the age of 5
• FIRST BIG BREAK
In February 1956, at the age of 9. Brenda turned down an offer to perform on the Peach Blossom Jamboree program for $30, so she could go see one of her favorite entertainers, country music singer Red Foley. Mr. Foley was visiting Augusta (Georgia) with the cast of the ABC-TV show Ozark Jubilee. Brenda met Mr. Foley and his manager, Dub Albritten. Peanuts Faircloth asked Foley if he would let Brenda sing a song on the show. Foley agreed. Foley said "I still get cold chills thinking about the first time I heard that voice." Mr. Foley introduced Brenda. "One foot started patting rhythm as though she was stomping out a prairie fire but not another muscle in that little body even as much as twitched. And when she did that trick of breaking her voice, it jarred me out of my trance enough to realize I'd forgotten to get off the stage. There I stood, after 26 years of supposedly learning how to conduct myself in front of an audience, with my mouth open two miles wide and a glassy stare in my eyes." Brenda performed “Jambalaya” then another tune, then another, and still another. She left the stage with the crowd shouting for more. "The way I stood back and enjoyed watching her work I felt guilty for not going out to the box office and buying a ticket," said Foley.
Brenda has performed all over the world, and does a lot of charity fund raisers. She has recorded in German, French and Japanese. She gathered her staff around her, starting with Dub Albritten, Red Foley’s manager, and kept them for many years. Some of her songs bring back memories, like “Sweet nothin’”, “Jambalaya” and “Rocking around the Christmas Tree”. What are your favorite Brnda Lee songs? John Beaulieu will tell us all about this fascinating performer.
Host, Robert Acosta