Friday, June 12, 2015

Remembering Jim Ed Brown

     Jim Ed Brown went home to be with the Lord on June 11, 2015.  He was 81 years old.  Jim Ed Brown was recently inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame, and was a member of the Grand Ole Opry.  He had recently been battling cancer, and announced the remission of the cancer in early 2015.  Unfortunately, the cancer fought back, and Jim passed away on June 11.

     Jim Ed Brown was born April 1st, 1934 in Arkansas.  Jim and his two sisters formed their own band, The Browns, in 1955.  They had a few major hits, even as Jim served in the military.  The Browns earned national recognition in 1959 with their biggest hit, "The Three Bells" hit number one on both the pop and country charts.  They had a few more years of success, eventually joining the cast of the Grand Ole Opry in 1963 before breaking up as a group in 1967.

      Jim went on to have a successful and rewarding solo career that saw him at or near the top of the charts for years, specifically as a result of his duets with Helen Cornelius.  His biggest hit came in 1967, "Pop A Top".  It was his first solo single, and it was also his biggest.  The song was a big hit on the charts, and eventually found new life when Alan Jackson rerecorded it and released it as a single.

     Jim Ed Brown's most recognized and biggest contribution to country music will probably be remembered as his time as a member of the Grand Ole Opry.  For many years, he served as host to the crowds that came to visit.  Many young fans, there to see the latest superstar, were introduced to some classic country sounds by the great Jim Ed Brown.  As a young country fan myself, I saw Jim host the Opry in person on numerous occasions.  Each time, he treated that show as if it was the biggest show of his life.  He never grew tired of the grind, and he never under appreciated the crowd that heard him sing.  He was a class act among legends, and his presence will surely be missed.

     In 2015, he was nominated to the Country Music Hall of Fame.  His induction was set for the fall, but was moved up to early June when Jim's cancer reappeared.  He was able to be present for his induction.  As a fan, I can't express how happy that makes me.  Not to be outdone by the cancer that he was battling, he released the album In Style Again.  He also continued to host at the Opry and make appearances.  He was country right up until the end.  Jim Ed Brown was one of the last of his breed.  He WAS country music history. He truly saw it all, and was a great link to the past of our genre.  He sang songs that will truly stand the test of time.  Most importantly, he was an amazing human being who treated others kindly, always performed with a smile, and loved country music his whole life.  Keep It Country, Kids would like to offer condolences to his family.  Jim Ed Brown, you were a class act, a legend, and the kind of person that makes sites like this one tick.  You were the embodiment of "keeping it country."  You will be sorely missed.

"Pop A Top"

"The Three Bells"

From the village hidden deep in the valley
One rainy morning dark and gray
A soul winged its way to heaven
Jimmy Brown had passed away

Just a lonely bell was ringing
In the little valley town
Twas farewell that it was singing
To our good old Jimmy Brown

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