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INDUCTED : 2015

Jim Ed Brown

For more than sixty years, Jim Ed Brown built an enduring reputation as a versatile performer, radio and TV host, and recording artist.

Birth: April 1, 1934 - Death: June 11, 2015
Birthplace: Sparkman, Arkansas

In each of his musical roles, Brown extended the smooth-singing tradition established by country stars such as Red Foley, Eddy Arnold, and Jim Reeves.

James Edward Brown rose to fame with his sisters Bonnie and Maxine recording for RCA Records as The Browns trio from 1954 until 1967. Jim Ed’s success was not limited to the trio, however. As a solo act for RCA, he began placing records on the charts in 1965 with “I Just Heard from a Memory Last Night.” His Top Ten country hits include “Pop A Top” (1967), “Morning” (1970), Southern Loving” (1973), “Sometime Sunshine” (1973), and “It’s That Time of Night” (1974).

In 1976 he began recording duets with Helen Cornelius (b. Hannibal, Missouri, December 6, 1941). A year later they became CMA’s Vocal Duo of the Year. Their best-known hits are “I Don’t Want to Have to Marry You” (1976), “Saying Hello, Saying I Love You, Saying Goodbye” (1976), “Lying in Love with You” (1979), and “Fools” (1979). In addition to joining the Grand Ole Opry as a member of the Browns in 1963, Jim Ed hosted TNN’s You Can Be a Startalent show in the 1980s, and the syndicated radio program Country Music Greats Radio Show in the early 2000s.

In 2014 Brown disclosed that he had been diagnosed with cancer. In January 2015, his disease evidently in remission, he returned to a warm reception on the Opry, at the Ryman Auditorium. Also in January, Plowboy Records released In Style Again, Brown’s first album in thirty-five years. In March, CMA announced that the Browns would be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in the fall.

On June 3, Brown’s family revealed that his cancer had returned. On June 4, Brown’s fellow Opry star Bill Anderson, already a Country Music Hall of Fame member, joined a small group—including Country Music Association CEO Sarah Trahern and Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum CEO Kyle Young—who visited Brown in his hospital room. Anderson presented Brown with his Hall of Fame medallion, five months before the official ceremony. Brown died June 11, 2015.

— Adapted from the Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum’s Encyclopedia of Country Music (including bio written by Stacey Wolfe), published by Oxford University Press.

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