The Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum is getting ready to pay tribute to “Little Miss Dynamite,” Brenda Lee, with the cameo exhibition Brenda Lee: Dynamite, Presented by Great American Country Television Network, which will open in the Museum’s East Gallery on August 7 and run through June 2010. Born Brenda Mae Tarpley on December 11, 1944, the Atlanta native sang from the time she could talk and won her first talent show at the age of four. With influences ranging from Judy Garland to Edith Piaf to Frank Sinatra, Lee’s explosive voice and bubbly personality made her incredibly popular at home and also overseas. Throughout the ‘60s Lee performed regularly in Europe, South America and Japan, at one point touring Germany with the Beatles as her opening act.
As her Owen Bradley-produced pop hits began to dwindle in the late 1960s, Lee recorded Kris Kristofferson’s “Nobody Wins” in 1973, and her country career was off and running. She scored eight more Top 10 country hits, including “Big Four Poster Bed” in 1974 and “Broken Trust” in 1980. In 1997, Lee was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame, and in 2002, she was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the only female ever to be inducted into both prestigious Halls of Fame. Also in 2002, Lee bowed her autobiography, Little Miss Dynamite: The Life and Times of Brenda Lee, co-written with MusicRow’s Robert K. Oermann and Lee’s daughter Julie Clay. In February 2009, she received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award for her creative contributions to the field of recording. Although she has scaled back her personal appearances and recordings in recent years to spend more time with her family, Lee continues to write and perform.
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