Sunday Morning Country Classic Spotlight to feature Brenda Lee
She was born Brenda Mae Tarpley in Atlanta, Georgia. Her musical talent blossomed when she was just five years old. Her older sister entered her in a school talent contest, where she took first place with “Take Me Out to the Ball Game.”
When Brenda was nine years old her father was killed in a work related accident. After her mother remarried the family relocated to Cincinnati and then to Augusta, Georgia. Soon she was a star on local television.
The producer of the show decided the name Tarpley was too hard to remember, so he shortened her name and christened her Brenda Lee. Lee was introduced to Red Foley in February of 1956 by a local DJ. Foley was very impressed with Brenda’s talent, so the family moved to Springfield, Missouri so Lee could become a regular performer on Red Foley’s “Ozark Jubille” a national TV show.
At four feet nine inches tall she was nicknamed Little Miss Dynamite in 1957. She is best known for her 1960 hit, “I’m Sorry” and 1958’s “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” a holiday standard for more than 50 years. Her marriage to Ronnie Shaklett in 1963 has been solid. They have two daughters, Jolie and Julie who was named after Patsy Cline’s daughter, and three grandchildren. Brenda still lives in Nashville with her husband, Ronnie and continues to tour and perform. Hear the music and life of Little Miss Dynamite as the spotlight shines brightly on Brenda Lee this Sunday January 13th.
Join me at 11 a.m. for the Sunday Morning Country Classic Spotlight. I am here every Sunday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the Country Classic Show on 98.1 FM 98 Country.