It is tempting to say the name of this singer sounds like a description of life downwind from a lilac bush, yet the name Bud Brees is also uniquely suited to two of the different musical styles this vocalist worked in, big band jazz and rockabilly. The feel of a breeze could be evoked in terms of the type of smooth singers who performed vocal features for the former organizations, while Bud Brees itself could be a stage name that would make a rockabilly cat purr. Only this was not a stage name at all but the real name of a singer who was best known, in fact practically only known, for his records with the Art Mooney big band. He filled the role of what is called a "stand-up" singer, originating in the fact that Brees and others of his ilk would spend a large part of the set seated to the side of the stage, waiting for a chance to stand up, walk to the front of the stage, and sing. Considering that Brees got into rockabilly later on, his career can be studied as commentary on both the posture and politics of vocalists in modern music.
With Mooney in the '40s, Brees assumed an erect posture for numbers such as "Bluebird of Happiness," "On the Avenue," and "The Night Has a Thousand Eyes." The requisite female portion of the show belonged to the Galli Sisters, and recordings by Mooney such as the late-'40s sides for MGM tend to feature various combinations of all this vocal talent. Brees didn't stay with Mooney long enough, apparently, because the band only really struck it big in the early '50s with the jaunty "I'm Looking Over a Four Leaf Clover," recorded without the benefit of any vocal Brees blowing. Vocalists had become much more powerful following a musician's union strike the decade before, meaning Brees could have possibly risen to some prominence from an almost constant position of standing center stage that crooners now enjoyed. Instead he re-emerged as a rockabilly performer, not just satisfied with standing but intent on wiggling as well. He never seemed to get much farther than the acetate, test-demo stage. When advertising for the Buffallo Bop compilation Rockabilly Acetates lists the "most well known names" on the record, Brees is not included. In a typical music business bit of irony, though, his track is entitled "The Big Hit." In 1951, Brees also cut a children's record in collaboration with Paul Taubman, releasing "Toyland Jubilee" paired with "Circus on Parade" as part of record producer Joe Davis' dabbling with the early kiddie record market. In the mid-'50s, Brees began working as a disc jockey, and in the '70s was still holding down a popular slot on Philadelphia's WPEN.