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Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Teresa Brewer born 7 May 1931

 
 
Teresa Brewer (May 7, 1931 – October 17, 2007) was an American pop singer whose style incorporated elements of country, jazz, R&B, musicals and novelty songs. She was one of the most prolific and popular female singers of the 1950s, recording nearly 600 songs.
 
Teresa Breuer who later changed her name to one she deemed more theatrical, grew up in Toledo, Ohio, USA. Her father was an inspector of glass for the Libbey Owens Company (now Pilkington Glass); her mother was a housewife. At the age of two, Theresa was brought by her mother to audition for a radio program, "Uncle August's Kiddie Show" on Toledo's WSPD.
 
She performed for cookies and cupcakes donated by the sponsor. Although she never took singing lessons, she took tap dancing lessons. From age five to twelve, she toured with the "Major Bowes Amateur Hour", then a popular radio show, both singing and dancing. Her aunt Mary traveled with Theresa until 1949, when Theresa married. She was devoted to her aunt, who shared Brewer's home until her death in 1993.
 
At the age of 12, Theresa was brought back to Toledo, ceasing touring to have a normal school life. She continued to perform on local radio. In January 1948 the 16 years-old Theresa won a local competition and (with three other winners) was sent to New York to appear on a talent show called "Stairway to the Stars", featuring Eddie Dowling. It was about that time that she changed the spelling of her name from Theresa Breuer to Teresa Brewer. She won a number of talent shows and played night clubs in New York (including the famous Latin Quarter
 
 

An agent, Richie Lisella, heard her sing and took her career in hand, and soon she was signed to a contract with London Records. In 1949 she recorded a record called "Copenhagen" with the Dixieland All-Stars. The B side was a song called "Music! Music! Music!" by Stephen Weiss and Bernie Baum. Unexpectedly, it was not the A side but the B side that took off, selling over a million copies, and it became Teresa's signature song. Another novelty song, "Choo'n Gum", hit the top 20 in 1950, followed by "Molasses, Molasses". Although she preferred to sing ballads, the only one of those that made the charts was "Longing for You" in 1951.
 
In 1951 she switched labels, going to Coral Records. By this time she was married with a daughter, Kathleen. Since she never learned to read music, she had a demo sent to her to learn the tunes of her songs. Even so, she had a number of hits for Coral, though one of her recordings, "Gonna Get Along Without You Now" (1952) was better known in a 1956 version by Patience and Prudence and was also a hit in 1964 for Skeeter Davis as well as Tracey Dey. Also that year she recorded "You'll Never Get Away" in a duet with Don Cornell, and in 1953 came her best selling hit, "Till I Waltz Again with You".
 
In the mid-50s, she did a number of covers of rhythm and blues songs like "Pledging My Love", "Tweedle Dee", and "Rock Love". She also covered some country songs like "Jilted", "I Gotta Go Get My Baby", and "Let Me Go, Lover!". In 1957 she made more covers: of country song "Teardrops in My Heart" and R&B songs "You Send Me" and "Empty Arms". The last chart hit of hers was "Milord" in 1961, an English language version of a song by Édith
Piaf.
 
In 1962 she switched labels again, to Philips Records, where she recorded many singles and albums over a five year period, including Gold Country in 1966. She subsequently made a few recordings for other companies, but with no more big chart hits. In the 1970s she released a few albums on Flying Dutchman Records owned by her husband, jazz producer Bob Thiele. Teresa Brewer remerged as a jazz vocalist on Thiele's Amsterdam label in the 1980's and 1990's recording a number of albums including tribute albums to Bessie Smith, Louis Armstrong, and Irving Berlin. She also recorded with such jazz greats as Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Dizzy Gillespie, and Bobby Hackett.
 
Her record-producer husband died in 1996, and Brewer never recorded after that. For her contribution to the recording industry, Teresa Brewer has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 1708 Vine Street.
 
Teresa died on October 17, 2007, at her home in New Rochelle, New York, of Progressive Supranuclear Palsy (PSP), a rare degenerative brain disease. She was 76. (info edited from Wikipedia)
 
 

3 comments:

boppinbob said...

For Teresa Brewer - Teenage Dance Party go here:

http://uploaded.net/file/pbtcm73e

01. Hula Hoop Song
02. Ricky Ticky Song
03. Why Baby Why
04. Teardrops in My Heart
05. Tweedle Dee
06. After School
07. Rock Love
08. Pledging My Love
09. Lula Rock a Hula
10. On Treasure Island
11. If I Were a Train
12. Gone
13. Empty Arms
14. Since You Went Away
15. Dark Moon
16. So Shy
17. It's the Same Old Jazz
18. Bobby
19. Jingle Bell Rock
20. Born to Love

Unknown said...

I think one picture of Teresa is Patti Page.

boppinbob said...

Dear Unknown, Thanks for spotting this weeks deliberate mistake!!!
Now rectified. Regards, Bob