Brenda Lee Grandma, What Great Songs You Sang!/Miss Dynamite
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- Released: November 1, 2004
- Label: Ace Records UK
- 1.Some of These Days
- 2.Pennies from Heaven
- 3.Baby Face
- 4.Good Man Is Hard to Find
- 5.Just Because
- 6.Toot, Toot, Tootsie
- 7.Ballin' the Jack
- 8.Rock-A-Bye Your Baby With a Dixie Melody
- 9.Pretty Baby
- 10.Side By Side
- 11.Back in Your Own Backyard
- 12.St. Louis Blues
- 14.Weep No More My Baby
- 15.Jambalaya (On the Bayou)
- 16.(If I'm Dreaming) Just Let Me Dream
- 17.Be My Love Again
- 18.My Baby Likes Western Guys
- 19.Sweet Nothin's
- 20.I'm Sorry
- 21.That's All You Gotta Do
- 22.Heading Home
- 23.Wee Wee Willies
- 24.Let's Jump the Broomstick
2 LPs on 1 CD: GRANDMA, WHAT GREAT SONGS YOU SANG! (1959)/MISS DYNAMITE (1960).
Liner Note Authors: Rob Finnis; Charles Lamb.
Illustrator: Rob Finnis.
In late 1959, Brenda Lee was dangerously close to becoming a 14-year-old has-been. A dynamic performer, she wowed everyone who saw her in concert, but she'd failed to dent the charts for two straight years after debuting with a pair of middling hits. Clearly, the novelty was wearing off. Earlier that year, Decca had recorded a set of vintage pop standards -- most from the 1910s and '20s -- to transfer her appeal to older audiences, but the LP failed to sell. Then, in August 1959, she recorded "Sweet Nothin's," an irresistibly flirty piece of country-pop; early in 1960, it reached the Top Ten and was followed in short order by three more (two of which hit number one). For this CD reissue, Ace compiles Brenda Lee's first two LPs, which together straddle the line between her pre-fame period (1959's Grandma, What Great Songs You Sang!) and her great breakout of 1960 (Brenda Lee, or its British release, Miss Dynamite). For listeners searching for a title to expand their knowledge of Lee beyond the usual hits compilations, this disc functions very well. The latter LP has a raft of hits and great performances to use for context, while the former shows off her talent in far different settings. Although a Decca executive thought only of the marketplace when he commissioned Lee to sing songs like "Pennies from Heaven" and "A Good Man Is Hard to Find," the results are surprising -- here was a girl who had turned 14 just one month earlier exhibiting marvelous interpretive sense on a set of standards, all of them at least 30 years older than the singer herself. Her self-titled LP of 1960 is one of those great rock records that has been unfortunately superceded by hits compilations; aside from the Top Ten singles -- "Sweet Nothin's," "That's All You Gotta Do," and the number one "I'm Sorry" -- many of the songs here (even the non-hits) end up on compilations, like a re-recorded stereo version of her 1957 hit "Dynamite," "My Baby Likes Western Guys," "Weep No More My Baby," "Let's Jump the Broomstick," and "Wee Wee Willies." ~ John Bush
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