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Christmas Music Playlists with Brenda Lee Songs
The Tree Is Never A Crowd With Brenda Lee
Factfile - Brenda Lee
- Born Dec 11, 1944 in Atlanta, Georgia, Brenda was nicknamed Little Miss Dynamite after recording Dynamite in 1957. She stood at just 4 ft 9 inches tall.
- Christy Christmas (1956) was recorded when she was just 12 years old.
- A year later she recorded Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree which went on to sell > 5 million copies and is the 5th best selling US Christmas single of all time
- Her 2 holiday albums were Merry Christmas From Brenda Lee (1964) and A Brenda Lee Christmas (1991). The 1964 album featured the single Christmas Will Just Be Another Lonely Day
Country singer Brenda Lee’s best known Christmas song is undoubtedly her ‘Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree’ but she has an extensive list of winning Christmas songs to her name. Her association with the season goes back to 1956 when as a mere 11 year old she released a single containing ‘I'm Gonna Lasso Santa Claus’ and ‘Christy Christmas’. Both songs were great fun and even though they didn’t see any chart action there was no doubting the young singer’s potential. It would be another 2 years before ‘Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree’ arrived. The song was written by Johnny Marks, who had already written ‘Rudolf The Red-Nosed Reindeer’, and with the 13 year old Lee on vocals it was inevitable that a hit would ensue. It took a number of re-releases but ‘Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree’ eventually took root and to date has sold over 5 million copies.
The success of ‘Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree’ (and it’s sprightly b-side ‘Papa Noel’) meant that a Brenda Lee Christmas album was always on the cards and in 1964 ‘Merry Christmas From Brenda Lee’ duly arrived. This album is the quintessential Christmas album with strong vocals and warm inviting instrumentation. Amongst the usual standards that Lee covered (‘Silver Bells’, ‘Frosty The Snowman’, ‘Winter Wonderland’, ‘Santa Claus Is Coming To Town’) were some delightful little known treats. ‘Christmas Will Just Be Another Lonely Day’ was released as a single and despite its melancholy title was an upbeat and wonderfully put together composition. The heavy percussion can never hope to drown Lee’s imposing vocals with the string section and background cooing afford the song a particularly contemporary feel. Another unheralded gem is Lee’s cover of Brook Benton’s ‘This Time Of The Year’, this is the true sound of Christmas which makes it all the more surprising that it rarely gets heard nowadays.
Brenda Lee recorded a much more recent Christmas album in 1991 called ‘A Brenda Lee Christmas’ (subtitled ‘In The New Old Fashioned Way’) which included a disappointing re-recording of ‘Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree’. While she was never going to recapture the magic of her former glories this was a well put together compilation of traditional Christmas songs. We’ll keep turning the clock back however to those mid-20th century recordings of hers.
Rockin' around the Christmas Tree, At the Christmas party hop, Mistletoe hung where you can see
Johnny Marks, Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree
Ev'ry couple tries to stop...
Rockin' around the Christmas Tree Let the Christmas Spirit ring
Brenda Lee Christmas Album & Single Covers