In January 1948, at age sixteen, Teresa and three other Toledo entertainers won a local competition and were flown to Manhattan to appear on the Adams Hat "Stairway to the Stars" talent show with Eddie Dowling. Teresa won a recording machine on which she could cut her own acetates and a week's engagement at the famed Latin Quarter -- a fortuitous booking that launched her adult career. The new talent, Teresa Brewer -- Brewer was thought to appear more theatrical on marquees than the Breuer spelling -- ran through a string of talent shows in New York, winning many and sweeping away all of the prizes on Eddie Dowling's "The Big Break" and Mutual's "Talent Jackpot." Teresa's work continued in and around New York and she worked into a singing and dancing role at the Latin Quarter.|
Teresa Brewer was making her mark in New York, but still lacked a good agent who could help her turn her ample talent into stardom. Another break for Teresa occurred one night while she was singing at the Sawdust Trail, a small night club just off of Times Square. To drum up business, the club manager would often place a portable speaker next to the open door and, during the floor show, turn up the volume as much as the law would allow. On one such night, agent Ritchie Lisella heard the sounds of Teresa Brewer on the sidewalk speaker and continued inside for a closer look and listen. By the time Lisella left the club that night, he and Teresa had signed a contract - Teresa had an agent, and Lisella had what was to become one of the hottest new voices in recording.
And the next stage of success was recordings. Teresa was soon signed with London Records, a fledgling label from England attempting to enter the American music market. After the release of three singles that went virtually unnoticed, Teresa recorded Copenhagen in late 1949 with the Dixieland All Stars. London considered the flip side a throw-away song - a song titled Music Music Music, by Stephen Weiss and Bernie Baum. Music eventually went gold, selling over a million copies - and, of course, became Teresa's signature title.
For jazz buffs, Teresa's session men for both Music and Copenhagen were The Dixieland All Stars: Jack Pleis, Ernie Casceres, Max Kaminsky, Cutty Cutshall, George Wettling, Ed Safranski and Danny Perri. No lightweights here!
Following the success of Music Music Music, London Records released another catchy, novelty-type song called Choo'n Gum (1950) which also made the Top 20 list. With the release of Molasses, Molasses, Teresa was cast into a brassy, bouncy, up-beat image, even though at the time she preferred Dixieland jazz, blues, and ballads. Teresa's only ballad to make the charts during her tenure with London Records was Longing for You (1951), a song based on Oskar Straus' Waltz Dream.