An introduction to Brenda Lee’s childhood
Brenda Lee was born in an impoverished family of Atlanta, Georgia, on the 11th of December in 1944. She was born as Brenda Mae Tarpley but eventually got famous by the name of Brenda Lee. Her parents Annie Grace and Reuben Lindsey Tarpley, worked hard to support the life of their children.
Her interest in music
Brenda’s interest in music developed from an early age. She was probably two when she was able to sync her whistle in the melody of the songs playing on the radio. At the same age, her mother regularly took her to the local candy store for performing on the counter in the store. At the age of three, she was made to participate in a talent contest by her sister, which she eventually won. She continued singing for a few years in local halls, baseball games and also made an appearance on a radio show in Atlanta.
Result of her father’s death
Brenda’s father died in May 1953, when she was just eight. It happened at a construction site, where her father worked as a carpenter, and an on-site accident took away his life. It was her time to support her family with her singing at the local events, radio, and even on the television shows.
Role of Red Foley in her life
At the age of ten, she turned down a live performance to meet Red Foley. He was host at a new show Ozark Jubilee in the year 1954. He allowed Brenda to open the show with Jambalaya’s song, which he never regrets for after the show. Brenda, with her powerful voice, not only impressed Foley but also to everyone who heard her song. The crowd, mesmerized by her voice, didn’t allow her to leave the stage. As per their demand, she sang three more songs for them.
Her professional singing career
After three years of her last performance in the Foley’s show, Brenda recorded her first song, “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree.” It was a Christmas song by Johnny Marks, which was recorded by Brenda Lee in the year 1958 for Decca Records. However, the song quite flopped in the first year of its release. Only 5,000 copies were sold in 1958, and nothing changed even in the following year. It was only when Brenda Lee became a popular music sensation in the year 1960. The song “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” broke all the records and was leading on the 14th rank at the Billboard Hot 100 pop singles chart. It kept on growing and made it to the 3rd rank on the Billboard Hot 100 pop singles chart in the year 1965. Plenty of artists came forward and recorded the covers of the timeless holiday classic by Brenda Lee. Some of the famous artists were Green Day, Jessica Simpson, Cyndi Lauper, and many more.