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Brenda Lee Christmas CD

Brenda Lee Christmas Songs & Music

Pint-sized singer Brenda Lee burst onto the music scene in the 1950's and soon became a household name. Audiences were wowed by her powerful and mature voice and wondered how such a sound could come from such a tiny girl. More than fifty years later, Brenda Lee still garners plenty of airplay. Each December, revellers around the world pull on their dancing shoes and join her as she sings up a storm while Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree.

Brenda Lee was born Brenda Mae Tarpley in Atlanta, 1944, to an uneducated working class parents. Even from as young as two, Lee's voice was a source of income for her family, with her mother and sister often standing her on the counter at the local sweet shop to earn candy and coins in exchange for a song.  As she grew older, she began to appear on radio programs throughout the US, captivating audience with a stunning and mature voice that belied her pre-teen years. 
Aged all of twelve, Lee was offered a recording contract by Decca Records. It was here that her affiliation with Christmas music began. Her second single featured two novelty Christmas tunes, I'm Going to Lasso Santa Claus and Christy Christmas. "I'm gonna tick, tick tickle him on the tummyBecause he laughs so funny"Lee announces in the first tune, while Christy Christmas, she declares"Will make your dreams come true.And you'll love Christy ChristmasJust as much as he loves you."Decca went all out with these songs, selling their new talent as super cute and charming. They were even credited to "Little Brenda Lee (aged 9 years old)", despite the fact that had just turned twelve.

Whilst neither of these singles made the charts, it was Lee's next Christmas song that was to launch her to stardom. Songwriter Johnny Marks had had huge successes with his holiday tunes A Holly, Jolly Christmas and the timeless Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. In 1958, he penned Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree, with the honour of recording the song falling to thirteen-year-old Brenda Lee. Despite a slow start to sales in 1958 and 59, the song's popularity grew as Lee's career progressed. At Christmas in 1960, Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree peaked at 14 on the Billboard charts and has since sold more than five million copies.

In 1964, Brenda cemented her position as a name in Christmas music by releasing her own holiday album entitled Merry Christmas From Brenda Lee. The album opens, predictably, with her hit song and is devoid of traditional pious carols. The tracks combine popular releases such as Jingle Bell Rock and Winter Wonderland with holiday tunes by Lee herself including The Angel and the Little Blue Bell.

Brenda Lee's yuletide songs continued to find their way onto numerous compilation albums, including Tennessee Christmas and Rockin' Little Christmas. It wasn't until 1991 however that Lee released a second holiday album of her own. The tracks of A Brenda Lee Christmas span the length of her career, with the album featuring many more Christmas classics than her first holiday record. Traditional carols Silent Night and O Come All Ye Faithful receive the Brenda Lee treatment as well as the gospel classic Go Tell it on the Mountain. In true Brenda Lee style, however, the album again opens with Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree; the hit that made her a star.

Today, Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree is the fourth highest selling Christmas single of all time. No Christmas party would be complete without its twanging guitar, wailing sax solo and Brenda Lee's soaring voice. Since the days she sung on the counter of her local sweet shop, Brenda Lee was bound to give the world something to remember. More than fifty years later, she's still the life of the Christmas party!

Brenda Lee Christmas Albums

Merry Christmas from Brenda Lee

1964: Merry Christmas from Brenda Lee

Only available on vinyl or cassette, Merry Christmas is a return to the good old days of yuletide music. The album opens with Lee’s iconic hit and continues with eleven more holiday favourites. Brenda Lee was twenty when this album was released, but she manages to retain plenty of childish charm. This old fashioned classic is guaranteed to spread plenty of holiday cheer.

A Brenda Lee Christmas

1991: A Brenda Lee Christmas

The album cover of Brenda Lee’s second holiday album claims it is “Christmas in the old-fashioned way”, something of a misleading claim. Lee rerecorded her hit Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree for this 1991 release and the new version lacks the preppy innocence of the original version. Whilst Lee’s renditions of classic carols are great, there is very little of the old fashioned feel of Merry Christmas. The singer is much older here, of course, and her voice has a more mature quality. Lee still manages to deliver plenty of holiday joy, but if it’s a bit of Christmas vintage you are after, stick to her earlier work.

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