(updated April 23, 2013)
How her recording career started.
Her birth name was Theresa Breuer, her parents being German. They lived in Toledo, Ohio, USA. Birth date May 7, 1931 (a girl:).
She quit school at the age of 16 in early 1948, and zipped off to New York for professional singing engagements, accompanied by her aunt. She was a hit in clubs as in the Latin Quarter. Soon an agent offered his service.
At age 17 she was already married, to Bill Monahan.
In 1949 London Records, based in England, noticed and signed her.
It took two unsuccessful singles before she hit with Music Music Music. 1949 into 1950 it became a #1 international million seller, while she was 18.
Her permanent residence was just north of New York City, and she worked out of New York.
The singles I know of on London, with Billboard US chart positions and 78 numbers, were:
1949- When the Train Came In / A Man Wrote a Song (511)
- (duets with Bobby Wayne) Copper Canyon / Way Back Home (562)
- I Beeped When I Shoulda Bopped / Old Man Mose (563)
1950- Music M.M. (#1) / Copenhagen (604)
- Choo'n Gum (#17) / Honky Tonkin' (678)
- Punky Punkin' / Cincinnatti Dancing Pig (768)
- Molasses Molasses / Grizzly Bear (794)
- You've Got Me Crying Again / He Can Come Back Any Time He Wants To .... (795)
1951- The Thing (#20) / I Guess I'll Have To Dream The Rest (873)
- If You Want Some Lovin' / I've Got the Craziest Feeling (967)
- Oceana Roll / The Wang Wang Blues (1083)
- If You Don't Marry Me / I Wish I Wuz (1085)
- Longing For You (#23) / Jazz Me Blues (1086)
Coral early singles:
1951- 1. Sing Sing Sing / I Don't Care
1952- 2. Lovin' Machine / Noodlin' Rag
- 3. Gonna Get Along Without Ya Now (#25) / Roll Them Roly Boly Eyes
- Til I Waltz Again With You (#1)
1953 - Dancing With Someone (Longing For You) (#17)
- Baby Baby Baby / I Guess It Was You All The Time (solo version) _ _ (from her movie Those Redheads From Seattle)
- a 1953 reissue single #65520 of Music Music Music (Coral rerecording) / Gonna Get Along wo Ya Now
Highlighted song titles are linked to online samples.
There were other singles where she sang in duets and groups.
Musical film shorts
Teresa filmed seven numbers in 1951. The songs were Music Music Music, Ol' Man Mose, If You Want Some Lovin', I'm the Lonesomest Gal In Town, Copenhagen, I've Got the Craziest Feeling, Honky Tonkin'. They were shot on 16mm film in Los Angeles for use as filler on television stations, and many other singers did the same. They were called the Snader Telescriptions, and were backed by the Firehouse Five Plus 2 band or The Dixieland Allstars. She was still on the London label at the time, aged 19.
I have some questions and observations on these. It is said that these were all recorded live. However Ol' Man Mose sounds exactly like her 1949 recording.
The backing group in the Craziest Feeling film is the Dixieland Allstars with Jack Pleis on piano, an arranger for record labels.
Music! Music! Music! - alternate masters:
It seems the hit of Music was processed and mastered at the time to change the sound.
In 1976 London Records reissued 12 songs on the "World Of Teresa Brewer" LP. It has a London recording of Music that's about 20 seconds shorter with a different tone. Maybe they wanted to lower the pitch of the voice by slowing it down. I don't think they had tape at the time, so I don't know the method. The original master was apparently preserved by London and reissued here. Did they realize which edit they were reissuing? In other words the hit issue was slower and longer than what Teresa recorded. Or conversely, did Teresa want to speed up the song in the reissue?
Music! Music! Music! - master from World LP
Teresa first performed on a local radio show at age two, singing Take Me Out To the Ball Game. Then from age 7 to 12 she was a regular with the Major Bowes Amateur show on radio and on tour. From age twelve she was a regular on the local Toledo radio show Pic and Pat. Later she had her own radio show there - something we need more information about. So she was no novice when she hit New York at age 16.
Press here to hear her singing on Major Bowes: Darktown Strutters' Ball
This is found on the DVD The Original Amateur Hour hosted by Pat Boone.
Teresa's high school Yearbook entry 1947-48
Publicity photo in New York probably 1948.
Performing in a club in the early years, probably The Latin Quarter.
Teresa's home after marriage, in New Rochelle north of New York city.
Teresa in the mid-50s in a rare cheesecake pose (sometime before hair permanents).
Click here to link from this thumbnail sample to the full-size source at Getty Images.
Please comment if you have further knowledge.
her fan site is at teresafans.org