Brenda Lee Was Thirteen Years Old When She Recorded 1950s Hit
Aug 01, 2020
A recording from a 1950s television show reveals that singer Brenda Lee had more talent at age 13 than some singers manage to acquire their whole lives.
Pint-Sized Pop Star
At just four foot nine, Brenda Lee is the classic tiny girl with a huge voice. The Atlanta-born Lee dominated the pop charts in the 50s and 60s with hits like "I'm Sorry," "Cry Me a River" and "Rocking Around the Christmas Tree." She was the top-selling female vocalist of those decades.
Big Voice In a Little Body
Lee didn't just look like a little girl. She was a little girl. Lee was just a child when she started belting out those songs. Her husky growl and knowing lyrics belonged to an older, wiser woman who had seen a lot of life, but that voice was coming from the tiny body of a 13-year-old girl.
A television appearance from the 1950s shows Lee performing her hit "Rock the Bop." The video reveals an incredibly polished, mature-sounding Lee. The soulful, bluesy song requires Lee to rasp and growl, and she delivers with no problem.
Little Miss Dynamite
These days, we're used to seeing young performers on reality shows. In Lee's day, however, there were no reality competitions for young performers. Lee was competing with grown women in a tough industry.
She got her first big break when she was just 10 years old. After seeing her perform, country singer Red Foley put her on his popular show Ozark Jubilee. That appearance got her the nickname "Little Miss Dynamite," which she kept the rest of her life.
Touring the World
Just two years later, she was singing at the Grand Ole Opry, touring the country with Patsy Cline and performing in Las Vegas. At the time, Lee was supporting her family with her singing. She later bought a house for her mother.
Always a Star
That early recording of 13-year-old Lee singing "Rock the Bop" was a sign of things to come. Lee remained a recording star for several decades. She had country hits in the 1970s and was nominated for a Grammy in the 1980s. Lee continued performing until the year 2000 when she took time off to heal her vocal cords.
She's living proof you don't have to be big to make a big impression. Brenda Lee shows why she was "Little Miss Dynamite" in a TV recording from the 1950s. At only 13, Lee sounds professional and mature.
Do you think today's young singers can match Brenda Lee? What do your friends think? Let us know in the comments and be sure to pass this article along to others.