NEW DIRECTIONS, NEW DIMENSIONS
In the early 1970s Teresa became reacquainted with Bob Thiele. Thiele was a pop music and jazz pioneer in the recording industry, and was instrumental in launching the careers of Buddy Holly and Jackie Wilson, and produced for a diverse roster of artists including John Coltrane, Pat Boone, Jack Kerouac and Judy Garland - just to name a few. Most importantly, he had produced most of Teresa Brewer's hits at Coral in the 1950s. Teresa's passion for singing, and Thiele's enthusiasm for it, prompted Teresa to return to recording full time once again - this time for Thiele's label - Flying Dutchman Records.

In 1972, Teresa was divorced from Bill Monahan and was remarried to Bob Thiele -- his third marriage. Following this pairing, an entire new Teresa Brewer catalog began to develop. The only Brewer material available at the time was an assortment of compilations of her older hits. Beginning in the 1970s, Teresa began a new and prolific recording phase of her career, sampling many musical styles - jazz, rock, pop, country - and performing with some of the best known and loved musicians in each of these fields.

  • TERESA: "MY DAUGHTERS INTRODUCED ME TO THE NEW MUSIC AND MY HUSBAND TAUGHT ME TO LISTEN TO JAZZ. IT'S A WHOLE NEW WORLD OF MUSIC FOR ME. I LOVE IT AND WANT TO BE A PART OF IT."

During the 1970s and 1980s Teresa recorded albums with jazz greats such as Count Basie (The Songs of Bessie Smith), Earl "Fatha" Hines (We Love You, Fats), Bobby Hackett (What a Wonderful World), the World's Greatest Jazz Band (Good News), Stephane Grappelli (On the Road Again), Slam Stewart and Ruby Braff (Midnight Café) and more.

When Duke Ellington heard Teresa singing The Songs of Bessie Smith, he asked her pointblank: "When are we, you and I, going to do an album together?" The result was It Don't Mean a Thing If It Ain't Got That Swing, the Duke's last recording. Brewer enjoyed singing Ellington's music so much that she recorded and released another set of his songs with Shelly Manne (A Sophisticated Lady). Later, with the Duke's son Mercer, Teresa sang hits of the Cotton Club era on an album titled The Cotton Connection.

The "new Miss Brewer" received warm reviews for her jazz entries. Jazz aficionado Nat Hentoff probably said it best: "Teresa Brewer is irrepressibly herself, constantly evolving, constantly enjoying the surprise of herself. The woman is a phenomenon. You think you know her style and, all of a sudden, she's moved in a new direction. Teresa is uncategorizable, perennially surprising. She is, in sum, a marvelous performer!"

Other albums released in the 1970s and 1980s represented a wide range of musical sounds. Teresa's rock entry Teresa Brewer in London included a rock version of Music Music Music, with Chas Hodges and Dave Peacock - a version that reached the top ten charts in countries in the Orient. Teresa appeared as guest artist in three songs of George Segal's A Touch of Ragtime. Songs of the 1940's, performed as medleys, were featured in I Dig Big Band Singers. In 1983, Teresa's recording No Way Conway was a brief hit on the country charts. Throughout the period, there were several additional reissues of Teresa's "greatest hits" in various combinations and formats. Teresa also made guest appearances on several albums recorded by other artists.

Until the early 1990s, Teresa continued to make live performances. Highlights include her concert at Carnegie Hall in New York on April 5, 1978 with guest stars Dizzy Gillespie and Stephane Grappelli, and the Montreux Jazz Festival in 1983. Teresa was invited to appear at the famed Palace Theatre in London's West End in a UK commemoration honoring world peace on Sunday, May 5, 1985. The gala, "A Royal Celebration - Forty Years of Peace", was broadcast on live television and featured a host of international entertainers. Teresa opened the "Nifty Fifties" segment of the show with a performance of - what else -- Music Music Music.

On April 29, 1986, the US Postal Service issued a commemorative postage stamp honoring Duke Ellington. Teresa and Bob Thiele attended the issuance ceremony and the Ellington sacred concert at the Church of Saint John the Divine in New York. A first day cover, featuring a photo of Teresa and Duke Ellington in the recording studio - and autographed by Teresa and the Duke's son Mercer -- was also issued.

In 1991, Teresa returned to the recording studio to create a jazz tribute to Louis Armstrong, which was released as Memories of Louis. The recording includes trumpeters Wynton Marsalis, Dizzy Gillespie, Ruby Braff, Yank Lawson, Roy Hargrove and more.

Teresa Brewer's husband and creative partner Bob Thiele died at age 73 on January 30, 1996 following several months of declining health. He prided himself in being Teresa's biggest fan, and favored the world by bringing us Teresa's music.

After Bob's death, Teresa's interest in stage appearances and recording waned. She continued to live in New York -- close to her daughters and their families, including four grandsons and five great-grand children! She told fans that she enjoyed "antiquing," "gardening," and just "generally spending time with the family."

During the last decade of her life, Teresa stayed engaged with her worldwide fans through her long-time Fan Club, and -- from early 2005 until her death -- through Ask Teresa!, a monthly Q&A feature on the Teresa Brewer Center website.

In the last years of her life, Teresa was stricken by progressive supranuclear palsy, a rare brain disorder. Ms. Brewer died at her home in New Rochelle, N.Y. on October 17, 2007. Teresa’s four daughters were at her side just prior to her death. When announcing her death, one of Teresa's daughters said that “the angels in heaven are singing more strongly now.” How very true.

[ More About Teresa's Illness and Final Services ]

[ TBC Memorial News Feature from Nov 2007 ]

[ Contact Info for the Fan Club and the Website ]


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