Teresa Brewer

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Teresa Brewer
Brewer in the trailer for the film Those Redheads from Seattle
Brewer in the trailer for the film Those Redheads from Seattle
Background information
Birth nameTheresa Veronica Breuer
Born(1931-05-07)May 7, 1931
Toledo, Ohio, U.S.
DiedOctober 17, 2007(2007-10-17) (aged 76)
New Rochelle, New York, U.S.
Years active1949–1999

Teresa Brewer (born Theresa Veronica Breuer; May 7, 1931 – October 17, 2007) was an American singer whose style incorporated pop, country, jazz, R&B, musicals, and novelty songs. She was one of the most prolific and popular female singers of the 1950s, recording around 600 songs.

Early life[edit]

Brewer was born in Toledo, Ohio, the eldest of five siblings.[1] Her father Ludwig Breuer, a German immigrant, was a glass inspector for the Libbey Owens Company (now part of Pilkington Glass), and her mother Helen (nee Kasap) Breuer, a housewife, was of Polish ancestry. The family were practicing Catholics, and she was a member of the Roman Catholic Church most of her life.


Her singing career began almost as soon as she was able to walk and talk. At the age of 2, her mother entered her in The Uncle August Kiddie Show on Toledo's WSPD and she was a hit with audiences. At the age of 7, Brewer entered The Major Bowles Amateur Hour and was soon touring around the country with them. At 12, her mother pulled her from the road to finish school.

As she progressed through high school she was able to skip a grade. She would have graduated from grade 12 in 1948 at age 17, a year early. Around January 1948 she won a contest in Toledo that led her to the Stairway To The Stars contest show in New York. There she was a winner and the prize was a week's performance at the Latin Quarter club. It was there that she met her first husband, Bill Monahan. Accompanied by her aunt Mary, she decided to stay in New York and do more performing. Being the legal age of 16 she was able to leave school, which she had disliked, and she did not receive a graduation diploma.

An agent, Richie Lisella, heard her sing and took her career in hand, and soon she was signed to a contract with London Records. In 1949 she recorded the song "Copenhagen" (a jazz perennial) with the Dixieland All-Stars along with a number of other recordings. For the B side she recorded the song "Music! Music! Music!". Unexpectedly, it was not the A side but this B side which took off, selling over a million copies and becoming Teresa's signature song.[2] Another novelty song, "Choo'n Gum", hit the top 20 in 1950, followed by "Molasses, Molasses". Like many singers, she preferred ballads as they offered more opportunity to show off her vocal abilities, but the only ballad she recorded to make the charts was "Longing for You" in 1951.

In 1951 Brewer switched labels, going to Coral Records. Since she never learned to read music, she had demos sent to her to learn the melodies of the songs she would record. She had a number of hits for Coral and rerecorded "Music! Music! Music!" with the new label (and would record it a third time for a Mercury label greatest hits collection in 1962). In 1952, she recorded "You'll Never Get Away" in a duet with Don Cornell, followed in 1953 by her best selling hit, "Till I Waltz Again with You". In the mid-1950s she did a number of covers of rhythm and blues songs like "Pledging My Love" and "Tweedle Dee". She covered some country songs including "Jilted", "I Gotta Go Get My Baby", and "Let Me Go, Lover!". In 1956 she co-wrote "I Love Mickey", about New York Yankees center fielder Mickey Mantle, who appeared on the record with Brewer. It was also reported that the two had developed a mutual attraction. Another 1956 hit was Brewer's syncopated rendition of "Mutual Admiration Society". In the same year her hit "A Sweet Old Fashioned Girl" demonstrated in one song her ballad and rock talents. In 1957 she recorded more covers: of the country song "Teardrops in My Heart" and the R&B songs "You Send Me"[3] and "Empty Arms".

"Teresa Brewer Showcase" was the first LP she released; it was a collection of several of her early recordings with London Records but did not include her two hits "Music! Music! Music!" or "Choo 'n Gum." Most of the albums she released with Coral over the 1950s were typical LPs of the era, featuring more collections of songs and cover versions rather than thematic ideas – one exception was the Catholic-flavored Christmas album At Christmas Time (1957). The last charting hit she had was "Milord" in 1961. Brewer continued releasing albums throughout the 1960s, but the British Invasion in the mid-1960s quickly eliminated most interest in older singers and her record sales dwindled.

She appeared as Pat Edmonds in the 1953 film musical Those Redheads from Seattle. Paramount studio had done surveys in movie theaters asking people who their favorite singers were. She and Guy Mitchell won in their categories and were chosen for the film. In fact she won as America's favorite female singer at least three years. Her song from the film, "Baby Baby Baby", was successful as a single.[4] She had natural brown hair, but had it dyed red for the role. She then kept it red for many years for her performances

Later career[edit]

Brewer re-emerged as a jazz vocalist on Bob Thiele's Amsterdam label in the 1970s and 1980s, recording a number of albums including tribute albums to Bessie Smith, Louis Armstrong, Fats Waller and Irving Berlin. She also recorded with such jazz greats as Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Dizzy Gillespie, Earl Hines, Svend Asmussen, and Bobby Hackett. A landmark recording in her career was Softly I Swing (Red Baron Records, 1992), which was produced by Thiele and featured David Murray, Ron Carter, Kenny Barron, and Grady Tate. Memories of Louis, also recorded for Thiele's Red Baron Records, paired her with a different well-known trumpeter on each track, including Clark Terry, Nicholas Payton, Ruby Braff, Freddie Hubbard, Wynton Marsalis, Roy Hargrove, Sweets Edison, Lew Soloff, Terence Blanchard, Yank Lawson, Red Rodney, and Dizzy Gillespie.[5]

Her rendition of "Danny's Song" for the 1972 album Singin' a Doo Dah Song would return on subsequent compilations, including Her Greatest Hits (1975), Portrait (1986), and Sixteen Most Requested Songs (1991).[6] Brewer sang "The Star-Spangled Banner" at the 1968 MLB All Star Game.

She appeared on television as a guest star on such series as Ed Sullivan, Perry Como, Jimmy Dean, The Muppet Show in 1977,[7] Sha Na Na, and The Statler Brothers Show in 1993.

Thiele, whom she had married, died in 1996, and Brewer never recorded after that.[1] Altogether, she recorded around 600 song titles.

Personal life[edit]

Brewer married William "Bill" Monahan in 1949; the couple had four daughters, Kathleen, Susan, Megan and Michelle.[8][9] They eventually separated, and the marriage was dissolved in 1972 shortly before she married Bob Thiele.


For her contribution to the recording industry, Teresa Brewer has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 1708 Vine Street. In 2007, she was inducted into the Hit Parade Hall of Fame.


Brewer died of progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP), a neuromuscular disease, at her home in New Rochelle, New York, aged 76.[10] Her funeral was held at New Rochelle's Holy Name of Jesus Roman Catholic Church, where she was a member.[11] Her ashes were given to her daughter.[11]


One of Elvis Presley's first public singing experiences in 12th grade was performing a song of Brewer's: "Till I Waltz Again with You".[12]



Year Single (A-side, B-side)
Both sides from same album except where indicated
Some tracks from 10" LP's did not appear on any standard albums
Chart positions Album
US CB UK[13]
1949 "Copper Canyon"
b/w "Way Back Home"
Teresa Brewer & Bobby Wayne
25 Non-album tracks
1950 "Music! Music! Music!"
b/w "Copenhagen"
1 1 Non-album tracks
"Choo'n Gum"
b/w "Honky Tonkin'"
17 11
"Punky Punkin'"
b/w "Cincinnati Dancing Pig"
"Molasses Molasses"
b/w "Grizzly Bear"
"The Thing"
b/w "I Guess I'll Have To Dream The Rest"
1951 "Let's Have a Party"
/ "The Picnic Song"
Teresa Brewer, Claire Hogan, Snooky Lanson & Bobby Wayne
"A Penny a Kiss, A Penny a Hug"
b/w "Hello"
Teresa Brewer & Snooky Lanson
"If You Want Some Lovin'"
b/w "I've Got the Craziest Feeling"
"Lonesome Gal"
b/w "Counterfeit Kisses"
"Oceana Roll"
b/w "Wang Wang Blues"
"If You Don't Marry Me"
/"I Wish I Wuz"
"Longing for You"
b/w "Jazz Me Blues"
1952 "Sing Sing Sing"
b/w "I Don't Care"
Till I Waltz Again with You (10" LP)
"Lovin' Machine"
b/w "Noodlin' Rag" (on Teresa Brewer (Vocalion))
Non-album track
"Gonna Get Along Without Ya Now"
b/w "Roll Them Roly-Boly Eyes" (on Teresa Brewer (Vocalion))
25 Till I Waltz Again with You (10" LP)
"I Hear the Bluebells"
b/w "Kisses on Paper"
Non-album tracks
"Rhode Island Redhead"
Teresa Brewer
b/w "En-Thus-E-Us-E-As-M"
Eileen Barton (Non-album track)
Teresa Brewer (Vocalion)
"You'll Never Get Away"
b/w "The Hookey Song"
Don Cornell & Teresa Brewer
17 17 Non-album tracks
"Till I Waltz Again with You"
b/w "Hello Bluebird"
1 1 Till I Waltz Again with You (10" LP)
1953 "Dancin' with Someone (Longin' for You)"
b/w "Breakin' in the Blues"
17 20
"Into Each Life Some Rain Must Fall"
b/w "Too Much Mustard"
23 Time for Teresa
"Ricochet (Rick-O-Shay)" 2 2 Teresa
"Too Young to Tango" 39 The Best of Teresa Brewer
"Baby, Baby, Baby"
b/w "I Guess It Was You All the Time"
12 20 Non-album tracks
"Bell Bottom Blues" / 17 14 Teresa
"Our Heartbreaking Waltz" 23 30 Non-album tracks
"I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus"
b/w "Ebenezer Scrooge"
"I Just Can't Wait Till Christmas"
b/w "Too Fat for the Chimney"
1954 "Jilted"
b/w "Le Grand Tour de L'Amour" (from Teresa Brewer)
6 11 Miss Music
"Skinnie Minnie (Fish Tail)"
b/w "I Had Someone Else Before I Had You"
(from A Bouquet of Hits, 10" LP)
22 26
"Au Revoir"
b/w "Danger Signs"
b/w "My Sweetie Went Away" (from A Bouquet of Hits, 10" LP)
43 Non-album tracks
"Let Me Go, Lover"
b/w "The Moon Is On Fire" (Non-album track)
6 9 Teresa
1955 "I Gotta Go Get My Baby"
b/w "What More Is There to Say" (Non-album track)
"Pledging My Love" / 17 11
"How Important Can It Be?" Flip Non-album tracks
"Tweedle Dee"
b/w "Rock Love" (from Miss Music)
"Silver Dollar"
b/w "I Don't Want to Be Lonely Tonight" (from Teresa Brewer)
20 27 Teresa
"The Banjo's Back in Town"
b/w "How to Be Very, Very Popular" (Non-album track)
15 24
"Baby Be My Toy"
b/w "So Doggone Lonely" (Non-album track)
Miss Music
"Shoot It Again"
b/w "You're Telling Our Secrets" (from Teresa Brewer)
66 39 Non-album track
1956 "A Good Man Is Hard to Find"
b/w "It's Siesta Time" (from Teresa Brewer)
39 Music Music Music (Coral)
"A Tear Fell" / 5 7 2 Teresa
"Bo Weevil" 17 19
"A Sweet Old Fashioned Girl"
b/w "Goodbye, John"
7 11 3
"I Love Mickey" (with Mickey Mantle)
b/w "Keep Your Cotton Pickin' Paddies Offa My Heart"
(from Teresa Brewer)
87 50 Miss Music
"Mutual Admiration Society" / 21 24
"Crazy with Love" 73
1957 "I'm Drowning My Sorrows" / 40 Non-album track
"How Lonely Can One Be" 49 Miss Music
"Empty Arms"
b/w "The Ricky-Tick Song" (from For Teenagers in Love)
13 17 Miss Music
"Teardrops in My Heart"
b/w "Lula Rock-a-Hula"[A]
64 40 For Teenagers in Love
"It's the Same Old Jazz"
b/w "Born to Love"
"You Send Me"
b/w "Would I Were"
8 1 Time for Teresa
"Nora Malone"
b/w "When I Leave the World Behind"
26 Music Music Music (Coral)
"Listen My Children"
b/w "Hush-a-Bye, Wink-a-Bye"
At Christmas Time
1958 "Lost a Little Puppy"
b/w "Because Him Is a Baby"
b/w "There's Nothing as Lonesome as Saturday Night"
Teresa Brewer
"Saturday Dance"
b/w "I Think the World of You" (from Time for Teresa)
Heavenly Lover
"Pickle Up a Doodle"
b/w "The Rain Falls on Everybody"
"The Hula Hoop Song"
b/w "So Shy" (from For Teenagers in Love)
38 37
"Jingle Bell Rock"
b/w "I Like Christmas" (Non-album track)
The Best of Teresa Brewer
1959 "The One Rose (That's Left in My Heart)"
b/w "Satellite"
75 67 Heavenly Lover
"Heavenly Lover"
b/w "Fair Weather Sweetheart"
40 44
"Bye Bye Bye Baby Goodbye"
b/w "Chain of Friendship"
115 99
"Mexicali Rose"
b/w "If You Like-a-Me" (Non-album track)
Songs Everybody Knows
1960 "Peace of Mind"
b/w "Venetian Sunset" (Non-album track)
66 81 My Golden Favorites
b/w "That Piano Man" (Non-album track)[B]
31 24 Songs Everybody Knows
"Have You Ever Been Lonely (Have You Ever Been Blue)"
b/w "When Do You Love Me"
84 120
"How Do You Know It's Love"
b/w "If There Are Stars in My Eyes"
21 Non-album tracks
1961 "Older and Wiser" / 136
"Whip-poor-will" 131
b/w "I've Got My Fingers Crossed"
74 105 The Best of Teresa Brewer
"Little Miss Belong to No One"
b/w "Sea Shell" (from Aloha from Teresa)
111 Non-album tracks
"Step Right Up"
b/w "Pretty Lookin' Boy"
1962 "Another"
b/w "I Want You to Worry"
"One Heart Less to Break"
b/w "You Came a Long Way from St. Louis" (from Don't Mess with Tess)
"The Ballad of Lover's Hill"
b/w "Not Like a Sister" (from Terrific Teresa Brewer)
118 Non-album track
1963 "She'll Never, Never Love You (Like I Do)"
b/w "The Thrill Is Gone"
122 113 Terrific Teresa Brewer
"Second Hand Love"
b/w "Stand-In"
"He Understands Me"
b/w "Just Before We Say Goodbye" (Non-album track)
130 145
1964 "I Hear the Angels Singing"
b/w "Cry Baby"
Non-album tracks
"Come On In"
b/w "Simple Things"
"Dang Me"
b/w "Mama Never Told Me" (Non-album track)
Golden Hits of 1964
1965 "Goldfinger"
b/w "Make Room for One More Fool" (Non-album track)
Goldfinger, Dear Heart & Other Great Movie Songs
b/w "I've Grown Accustomed to His Face"
"What About Mine"
b/w "Say Something Sweet to Your Sweetheart"
Non-album tracks
"Little Buddy"
b/w "Little Bitty Grain of Sand" (Non-album track)
Songs for Our Fighting Men
1966 "Handle with Care"
b/w "I Can't Remember (Ever Loving You)"
Non-album tracks
"Evil on Your Mind"
b/w "Ain't Had No Lovin'"
Gold Country
1967 "Thoroughly Modern Millie"
b/w "Jimmy"
Non-album tracks
1968 "Step to the Rear"
b/w "Live a Little"
"A Woman's World"
b/w "Ride-a-Roo"
1972 "Somewhere There's Someone Who Loves You"
b/w "Day by Day"
1973 "A Simple Song"
b/w "Singin' a Doo Dah Song"
Singin' a Doo Dah Song
"Music! Music! Music!" (rock version)
b/w "School Days"[C]
109 112 Teresa Brewer in London
"Another Useless Day"
b/w "Music To The Man"
Music Music Music (Flying Dutchman)
1974 "Bo Weevil"
b/w "Bei Mir Bist Du Schon (Means That You're Grand)"
(from Music Music Music (Flying Dutchman))
Non-album tracks
b/w "What'll I Do"
"Am I Asking Too Much of You"
b/w "Willie Burgundy"
1975 "Unliberated Woman"
b/w "Good Lovin' You"
Unliberated Woman
1976 "Music Music Music" (Disco Version)
b/w "Where Did the Good Times Go"
Non-album tracks
1979 "Some Songs"
b/w "A Natural Feelin' for You"
1981 "Come Follow the Band"
b/w "The Colors of My Life"
Come Follow the Band
1983 "Jimmy Dorsey Medley"
b/w "Classic Medley #1"
Non-album tracks
"No Way Conway"
b/w "Sittin' Here Cryin'"


  1. ^ Teardrops in My Heart peaked at number 13 on the Canadian CHUM Chart.[14]
  2. ^ Anymore peaked at number 3 on the Canadian CHUM Chart.[15]
  3. ^ Music! Music! Music! reached number 84 on the Canadian RPM charts, September 8, 1973.[16]


  1. ^ a b "Obituary: Teresa Brewer". The Independent. October 19, 2007. Archived from the original on 2022-08-11.
  2. ^ Murrells, Joseph (1978). The Book of Golden Discs (2nd ed.). London: Barrie and Jenkins Ltd. p. 50. ISBN 0-214-20512-6.
  3. ^ Gilliland, John (1969). "Show 17 - The Soul Reformation: More on the evolution of rhythm and blues[Part 3]" (audio). Pop Chronicles. University of North Texas Libraries.
  4. ^ Billboard - Oct 31, 1953 - Page 30 TERESA BREWER Baby, Baby, Baby 78 CORAL 61067— "Baby" is from the current flick "Those Redheads From Seattle." Artfully phrased and styled. Miss Brewer turns in a socko performance on this romantic ballad."
  5. ^ "Memories of Louis" review. Allmusic.com. Retrieved October 22, 2014.
  6. ^ Profile. teresafans.org. Retrieved October 22, 2014.
  7. ^ Garlen, Jennifer C.; Graham, Anissa M. (2009). Kermit Culture: Critical Perspectives on Jim Henson's Muppets. McFarland & Company. p. 218. ISBN 978-0786442591.
  8. ^ "Teresa Brewer Center/Life". Teresafans.org. Retrieved February 17, 2013.
  9. ^ "Teresa Brewer, 76; 1950s pop singer who transitioned to jazz". Articles.latimes.com. October 19, 2007. Retrieved February 17, 2013.
  10. ^ Nelson, Valerie (October 19, 2007). "Teresa Brewer, 76; 1950s pop singer". Obituaries. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved June 26, 2009.
  11. ^ a b Wilson, Scott (August 19, 2016). Resting Places: The Burial Sites of More Than 14,000 Famous Persons, 3d ed. McFarland. ISBN 9781476625997 – via Google Books.
  12. ^ "Elvis talks about the 1945 and 1953 talent shows (in 1972)". YouTube. Archived from the original on 2016-03-09. Retrieved October 16, 2015.
  13. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 78. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  14. ^ "CHUM Hit Parade - July 8, 1957".
  15. ^ "CHUM Hit Parade - September 26, 1960".
  16. ^ "RPM Top 100 Singles - September 8, 1973" (PDF).

External links[edit]