If you're only familiar with Brenda's hits, you will be surprised by the first of the two albums featured here, although depending on your musical tastes, that could work either way. It is a collection of songs from the early part of the twentieth century, featuring five songs written before 1920 and only one written after 1930, that being Pennies from heaven (1936). With strong jazz influences, it suggests that Brenda could have been a successful jazz singer had she chosen to take her career that way after the pop hits dried up.
As it was, her debut album featured classics such as St Louis blues, Rock-a-bye your baby with a Dixie melody, Ballin' the jack, Side by side, Toot, toot, Tootsie, Baby face and the oldest song here, Some of these days (written in 1910). Not what people expect to hear from Brenda Lee, especially at such a young age (she was just a teenager), but brilliant.
The second album here rounds up Brenda's early hits, but has a couple of oddities (My baby likes western guys, Wee wee Willies) that seem weaker than the rest of the album, but they might grow on me.
These two albums (or more accurately, the singles featured on the second album) launched Brenda's career on both sides of the Atlantic, and she became a regular in the pop charts for a few years.
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