Sassy 50’s recording artist Teresa Brewer, passed away October 17th, at the age of 76. Ms. Brewer succumbed to progressive supranuclear palsy, a brain disorder. She is survived by her four daughters, Kathleen Monahan-Granzen of Rye Brook, N.Y., Susan M. Dorot of White Plains, N.Y., Megan Ahearn of Port Chester, N.Y., and Michelle McCann of New Rochelle. Other survivors include stepson Bob Thiele Jr. of California, a brother, four grandsons and five great-grandchildren.
Theresa Veronica Breuer was born May 7, 1931, in Toledo, Ohio. Her mother took her to her first audition at age 2 – for a radio show called “Uncle August’s Kiddie Show.” Brewer sang “Take Me Out to The Ball Game” and performed for pay consisting of cupcakes and cookies from the show’s sponsor. She continued singing at talent competitions and from 1938 to 1943 made regular appearances on the “Major Bowes Amateur Hour” radio program.
She quit high school at seventeen and moved to New York. There, she started performing in a string of talent shows, which eventually led to a recording career. Ms. Brewer topped the charts over 40 times, with great songs like “Music, Music, Music”, “Till I Waltz Again With You”, and “A Sweet Old-Fashioned Girl”. In 1956, she co-wrote “I Love Mickey”, written for and sung with Yankee slugger, Mickey Mantle.
A multi-talented performer, Teresa found herself on many TV shows during the 50’s and even Hollywood came calling, when she co-starred in “Those Redheads from Seattle.” Due to rave reviews, Paramount offered her a seven-year contract, but she declined, choosing instead to stay home in New Rochelle and raise her children.
After her marriage to William Monahan ended, she revived her singing career by recording a series of jazz albums. She worked with many jazz greats, including Count Basie, Earl Hines and Duke Ellington. It was during this time, she met her second husband, jazz producer, Bob Thiele. Mr. Thiele died in 1996.
Teresa Brewer was one of my favorite pop singers. You’ll hear many of her Charted hits, and be sure to listen for “I Love Mickey” with Yankee great Mickey Mantle. Catch them in rotation at TUNEDEX MEMORIES.