Music! Music! Music!
is Living Era's high potency tribute to one of North America's most distinctive and impossible-to-ignore pop/jazz singers. A native of Toledo, OH, Teresa Brewer
[née Breuer] was born on May 7, 1931. Her mother was a housewife and her father made a living as glass inspector for the Libbey-Owens Company, pioneers in sheet glass manufacturing and developers of the bulletproof fuel tank. In 1938 at the age of seven, little Teresa
appeared on Major Bowes' Amateur Hour, singing the primordial jazz tune "Darktown Strutter's Ball," tap dancing and engaging in precocious comedic banter over the CBS radio network. A recording of that performance is included in this portrait album, along with "Music! Music! Music!" her million-selling number one hit, which was recorded in December of 1949. The penetrating intensity of her voice in combination with a rowdy sense of humor made Teresa Brewer
a natural for the classic jazz and Dixieland repertoire, as well as neo-vaudevillian honky tonk and boisterous novelties. Her ballad singing is something else altogether, as her subsequent evolution into a fully mature jazz singer has demonstrated. Yet during the course of this variegated compilation the giddy, goofy and borderline manic material predominates. Indeed her marvelously passionate handling of "Till I Waltz Again With You" is speedily forgotten under the jarring influence of her spike-driver delivery on "You'll Never Get Away," a nerve-ripping duet with Don Cornell
punctuated by squeals worthy of Mae Questel
. Like Ethel Merman
, Teresa Brewer
attracted attention and earned respect by developing a voice that could cut through anything. Her thrusting maneuverability on "Too Young to Tango" and the almost frightening sustained notes during "Skinnie Minnie Fishtail" are awe-inspiring examples of the human voice taken to wild and joyous extremes.