Question: who is four feet nine inches tall, the only woman to be inducted in both the Rock and Roll and Country Music Halls of Fame, and is ranked the fourth best-selling artist of the 1960’s, behind Elvis Presley, the Beatles and Ray Charles? Answer: Brenda Lee, of course! Born in 1944, she weighed less than five pounds when she was born to poor parents in Georgia, often living hand-to-mouth. One of the few joys young Brenda had was in music, and in fact she could sing along with the radio by the time she was two years old. By three she was singing for candy at the local store, and soon after that singing solos at her family’s Baptist church. She got her first recording contract at age eleven and became a national sensation not long after.
Her album All Alone Am Iwas released in 1963, and was already her eighth studio record. The title track was a translation of a popular Greek song that reached the Billboard Top 10. In fact, every song on the album was a cover of music previously performed by luminaries including Tony Bennett and even Cole Porter. It was hoped that Brenda, already hugely popular among America’s teenagers, would be able to cross over into a more mature audience. It turned out to be less popular than hoped for, but was a brief glitch in an otherwise stellar decade for the affectionately-called Little Miss Dynamite. By the 1970’s, Brenda’s voice began to mature, pushing her out of the popular charts. She does remain active in music, almost exclusively in Country Music.