Brenda Lee coming to Grand Casino, tickets on sale today

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Tickets for Brenda Lee's two March 19th performances at Grand Casino Mille Lacs go on sale today, with prices starting at $15 (plus a $5 discount for "Grand Rewards" members), and performances planned for both 2 and 6PM (so's you can eat yer buffet and head on down to bed right early, Graaaaaaaanmaw).

Sure, your grandmother would probably really enjoy a Saturday afternoon spent in the company of her favorite grandchild (you), her favorite 4'9" now 66-year-old Little Miss Dynamite (Brenda), and the sound of slot machines a-ringin'. But what would Brenda Lee do for you? Could you get as turned on (non-sexually) by Brenda Lee as your grandma (to clarify, as your grandma does, not Could you get as turned on by Brenda Lee as you do by your grandma?)

Hm. This is getting a little complicated.

My question - would Brenda Lee hold any appeal for you, my presumably under 70-year-old reader? I've not done much listening beyond her hits "I'm Sorry," (a favorite of my grandma's) and "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree" (thanks, Home Alone). When I last visited Nashville's Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, their Brenda Lee exhibit scared the bejesus out of me as the elevator doors opened, I turned a corner and - HONK! Mah bay bee whisp uhs in mah eee-uh - I was met by a life-size, full-size (oh so tiny) photograph of Brenda, then just a child yet dressed like, well, like how my grandma once dressed, and that song blaring overhead.

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Photo by Nikki Miller, at Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum

My boyfriend sure likes her, so maybe she is capable still after all these years of whispering her sweet nothin's to... guys like my boyfriend. He spins that song every time we play records together, anyway. So I figured I'd ask him:

"What do you like about Brenda Lee, Alex?"

"Well, I'd have to remember which one Brenda Lee is."

"Sweet Nothings."

"Oh, right. I guess I'd say it's how odd but cool her voice is. Also the songs I know and like are really well-written."

Fair enough, Alex, and while I tend to agree with you, seeing her museum exhibit with its tiny Brenda Lee Christmas diorama, paper doll set "with over 20 gorgeous Rub 'n Stay clothes" and, most of all, creepy signed photograph from Keith Richards (one of her biggest fans) kinda, well, rubbed me over 20 kinds of the wrong way. I'm sure it had something to do with my discomfort over how she and others like her have been marketed so extensively at such a young age, then in many ways cast aside when their time was through (read: puberty).

Not to say she's been forgotten. She's still recognized as one of the most popular female musicians in both rockabilly and in the territory of country-pop crossovers. She had a bit role as the "Nice Lady" in 1980's Smokey and the Bandit II. And, of course, she's huge in Japan. Not a pun - she truly is big in Japan.

Well worth a trip up north to the casino with your grandma, don't you think?

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Nikki Miller, from the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum

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Nikki Miller, from the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum

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Nikki Miller, from the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum

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