Summary of “Brenda Lee Is More Than ‘Rockin Around the Christmas Tree'”

Brenda Lee is sitting inside her spacious Nashville home, sipping a glass of sweet tea and staring at dead friends.
Lee turns to another recent acquisition: a signed photo of Jerry Lee Lewis.
Right now Lee is thinking less about her legacy and more about her left foot, which she broke recently and which is bothering her more than usual.
“Brenda Lee is in the top three female rock & roll singers of all time: her, Janis Joplin and Tina Turner.” John Lennon seemed to agree; he’s said to have called Lee “The greatest rock & roll voice of them all.”
Just about everyone in town has a Brenda Lee story: the time they ran into her at the grocery store, the time they interrupted her lunch at the Cheesecake Factory to ask for an autograph, the time they helped lift her luggage into an overhead compartment.
Brenda Lee Tarpley’s first official performance was in 1951, at the age of seven, when she won the talent show at her elementary school, belting out the country standard “Slow Poke” and Nat King Cole’s “Too Young.” Influenced in equal part by the gospel, country and R&B she heard growing up, Lee soon began singing Hank Williams and Peggy Lee songs in talent shows and variety programs in and around Atlanta.
Did the death of her father also give Lee access to the type of adult pain she expressed in her earliest pop hits? “I think so,” Lee says quietly.
“I don’t think Brenda Lee has been acclaimed as much as she should,” says Wanda Jackson, who, like Lee, was a pioneer in the male-dominated worlds of country, rockabilly and rock & roll.

The orginal article.