Teresa Brewer

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Teresa Brewer
Teresa brewer.png
Teresa 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 active1949–1990s

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


Early life[edit]

Brewer was born in Toledo, Ohio, the eldest of five siblings.[1] Her father was a glass inspector for the Libbey Owens Company (now part of Pilkington Glass), and her mother was a housewife.

When she was two years old, her mother entered her into an audition for a radio program, Uncle August's Kiddie Show on Toledo's WSPD. She performed for cookies and cupcakes donated by the sponsor. Although she never took singing lessons, she took tap dancing lessons. From age five to twelve, she sang and danced on the Major Bowes Amateur Hour, then a popular touring radio show. Her aunt Mary traveled with Theresa until 1949, when Theresa wed William Monahan.[citation needed]

At the age of 12, Brewer returned to Toledo and ceased touring in order to have a normal school life. She continued to perform on local radio. In January 1948, the 16-year-old won a local competition, and (with three other winners) was sent to New York to appear on a talent show called Stairway to the Stars, featuring Eddie Dowling. It was at about that time that she changed the spelling of her name from Theresa Breuer to Teresa Brewer. She won a number of talent shows and played night clubs in New York (including the Latin Quarter).[citation needed]

Personal life[edit]

Teresa married William "Bill" Monahan in 1949; the couple had four daughters, Kathleen, Susan, Megan and Michelle.[2][3] They eventually separated, and the marriage was dissolved in 1972 shortly before she married Bob Thiele.


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. For the B side she recorded the song "Music! Music! Music!". Unexpectedly, it was not the A side but the B side which took off, selling over a million copies and becoming Teresa's signature song. Another novelty song, "Choo'n Gum", hit the top 20 in 1950, followed by "Molasses, Molasses". Although she preferred to sing ballads, her only recorded ballad 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. Despite her lack of formal training, she had a number of hits for Coral. In 1952, she also 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 like "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 country song "Teardrops in My Heart" and R&B songs "You Send Me"[4] and "Empty Arms".

In 1960, she had another hit with a cover of the standard "Have You Ever Been Lonely?". Her final charted recording was "Milord" in 1961, an English language version of a song by Édith Piaf. In 1962 she switched labels again, to Philips Records, where she recorded many singles and albums over a five-year period, including Gold Country in 1966. In addition to having her record new and contemporary material, Philips put Brewer in the studio to re-record her earlier material with new arrangements, instrumentation and recording equipment: the resulting album (PHM 200-062) was issued as Teresa Brewer's Greatest Hits. After leaving Philips, Brewer made a few recordings for other companies, but with no more big chart hits. In the 1970s she released a few albums on Flying Dutchman Records owned by her second husband, jazz producer Bob Thiele, including Teresa Brewer In London, which she recorded with cockney pop rock duo Chas & Dave under the pseudonym 'Oily Rags'. In 1975 she released an album Unliberated Woman produced by Elvis Presley's producer Felton Jarvis. One of the tracks is "For the Heart" written by Dennis Linde.[citation needed] Brewer also guest starred on The Muppet Show in 1977, in episode 22 of season 2.

She appeared as Pat Edmonds in the 1953 film musical Those Redheads from Seattle – she was a natural redhead herself. Her song from the film, "Baby Baby Baby" was successful as a single.[5] She appeared on television as a guest star on such television shows as The Muppet Show and Sha Na Na.[6] In 1968, Brewer sang the Star Spangled Banner at the 1968 MLB All Star Game. She released "Danny's Song" (written by Kenny Loggins) in 1972 (album, Singin' a Doo Dah Song), in 1975 (album, Teresa Brewer – Her Greatest Hits), in 1986 (album, Portrait) and, again in 1991 (album, Sixteen Most Requested Songs) [7]

Later career[edit]

Brewer re-emerged as a jazz vocalist on Thiele's Amsterdam label in the 1980s and 1990s 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, features a number of great trumpeters 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.[8]

In Australia, Brewer had a later string of hits starting with "Ballad of Lovers Hill' in February 1963 which reached number 4. Other tracks followed such as "Like I Do" from March 1963 which went to number 27. "Second Hand Rose" of September 1963 reached number 3. "Come On In" did not fare as well reaching No. 46. Her 1970s rock version of "Music! Music! Music!" reached No. 24 in 1973.[citation needed]


Her record-producer husband died in 1996, and Brewer never recorded after that.[9] All together, she had recorded nearly 600 song titles. 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 a neuromuscular disease, progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP), at her home on Pinebrook Boulevard in New Rochelle, New York, aged 76.[10]


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".[11]



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[12]
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 1 Non-album tracks
"Choo'n Gum"
b/w "Honky Tonkin'"
17 11
1951 "Let's Have a Party"
b/w "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"
b/w "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"
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)
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 Moving 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"
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. ^ Obituary: Teresa Brewer, The Independent, 19 October 2007
  2. ^ "Teresa Brewer Center/Life". Teresafans.org. Retrieved 17 February 2013.
  3. ^ "Teresa Brewer, 76; 1950s pop singer who transitioned to jazz". Articles.latimes.com. 19 October 2007. Retrieved February 17, 2013.
  4. ^ 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.
  5. ^ 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 Kirns in a socko performance on this romantic ballad. "
  6. ^ Garlen, Jennifer C.; Graham, Anissa M. (2009). Kermit Culture: Critical Perspectives on Jim Henson's Muppets. McFarland & Company. p. 218. ISBN 078644259X.
  7. ^ Profile, teresafans.org; accessed October 22, 2014.
  8. ^ "Memories of Louis" review, Allmusic.com; accessed October 22, 2014.
  9. ^ The Independent
  10. ^ Nelson, Valerie (19 October 2007). "Teresa Brewer, 76; 1950s pop singer". Obituaries. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 26 June 2009.
  11. ^ "Elvis talks about the 1945 and 1953 talent shows (in 1972)". YouTube. Retrieved 16 October 2015.
  12. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 78. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.

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