Brenda Lee’s Still Got It More Than 60 Years After Release Of Holiday Hit ‘Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree’(3 photos)

Brenda Lee is one resilient woman. The small vocalist rose to prominence even before entering her teens, receiving praise for her singing abilities and taking first place in regional competitions. By the time she was ten years old, she was supporting her family financially. Red Foley, a country music performer, noticed her and invited her to appear on his hit program "Ozark Jubilee." She lived the rest of her life going by the moniker "Little Miss Dynamite," which she received from that appearance.

Although the Atlanta-born Lee would go on to become the biggest-selling female vocalist of those decades and rule the pop charts in the 1950s and 1960s with singles like "I'm Sorry," "Cry," "Losing You," "Is It True," and "Coming on Strong," her early success captured the nation's attention. Lee was a small girl at the time; she didn't merely appear like one. When Lee first began delivering hits, she was only a little child. Her knowing phrases and deep, husky rumble belonged to a wiser, older lady who had lived a long life, yet her voice was emanating from a little teen girl's body.

In one 1950s TV appearance, Lee performs her classic song "Rock the Bop." Lee sounded quite polished and mature in the video. Lee had to growl and rasp into the sultry, bluesy tune, and she did so effortlessly. We're accustomed to seeing young performers on reality programs these days. But there were no reality shows for young performers when Lee was around. In a competitive industry, Lee faced forth against mature ladies. She not only accomplished that, but she has also managed to stay in the public eye, especially in light of her well-known Christmas classic, "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree." The 1960s saw Lee reach her zenith as fans flocked to her rockabilly, pop, and country musical styles. Superstars Elvis Presley, The Beatles, Connie Francis, and Ray Charles were the only ones to surpass her amazing record of having 37 singles that decade that were ranked on the Billboard Hot 100 lists. While Madonna in 1986 surpassed her record-breaking nine straight top 10 Billboard Hot 100 successes from 1960 to 1962 for a female solo artist, among of her most memorable songs from that era were "Jambalaya," "All Alone I Am," "Emotions," and "As Usual."

Despite being a pop music sensation in the 1960s, she spent the most of the 1970s going back to her roots in country music with singles like "He's My Rock," "Nobody Wins," "Wrong Ideas," and "Big Four Poster Bed."

Top organizations in the business have acknowledged Lee for her musical achievements. She was elected into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2002, the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1997, and the Atlanta Music Hall of Fame in 1986. However, Lee is best known for her Christmas song "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree," which was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Grammy Award in 2009 to commemorate its 50 years as a holiday classic. The song, which was written by Johnny Marks and debuted in 1958 when Lee was just 13 years old, didn't do well on the charts at first, but over time, it became difficult to recall a Christmas when the song wasn't played on the radio.

"Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree" is still a holiday staple that consistently reaches the charts every year for almost six decades. It reached an all-time high of No. 2 on the Billboard charts 61 years after its premiere. It reached the top once more in 2022, peaking at No. 3 behind Mariah Carey's “All I Want for Christmas Is You” and Adele’s “Easy on Me.” Third isn't a horrible place to be, according to Lee, who is 78 years old, who told The Post, "If I have to be behind anybody, that's pretty good company."

She went on to say that she fell in love with the song the moment she heard it. "I really like it since it was a rocking tune as opposed to the (traditional) songs. It was really fun for me to do. We probably needed two attempts. She said, "It was in the summer, and (producer) Owen (Bradley) had it all decked up like Christmas, and it was just adorable."

Additionally, Lee expressed her pride in having made history with the rockabilly song to Hellenic News. "Getting a standard Christmas song is one of the hardest things to do in the industry," the speaker stated. "I'm fortunate enough to own one. It wasn't until the Christmas of 1960 that it truly took off, even though we had recorded it back in 1958. Every year since then, the original recording has been made available.

Lee said that she hasn't grown tired of hearing her song over the years and that it's still a family favorite at home.

"I've now retired. On Christmas, however, we sing it during family get-togethers. "Come on, sing a little bit of 'Rockin'," someone will suggest. And, shockingly enough, I went caroling. Every year, I enjoy seeing Carol," she remarked.

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