Country music legend Jim Ed Brown passed on June 11 in Franklin after his battle with cancer. Yet, his light will shine on country music for ages to come.
Brown was a member of the Grand Ole Opry and Country Music Hall of Fame and originally a singer in a band with his sisters Maxine and Bonnie called ‘The Browns’. Their song The Three Bells was on Billboard’s country chart for ten straight weeks. ‘The Browns’ also had multiple top twenty hits with Here Today and Gone Tomorrow, I Take the Chance, and Just As Long As You Love Me.
In 1967, Maxine and Bonnie retired, which brought on a new chapter in their brother’s career. Brown stayed in Nashville as a solo artist on RCA records where he recorded his signature solo song Pop A Top. Alan Jackson later remade the song. For years to come, Brown continued reaching the Top Ten in country charts. He also hosted the Opry and multiple television shows.
After learning that he had lung cancer in 2014, Plowboy Records released Brown’s first album in over 30 years while he was undergoing treatment. Vince Gill and Sharon and Cheryl White joined him on the critically acclaimed album. ‘The Browns’ official Country Music Hall of Fame induction will be in October, but CMA CEO Sarah Trahern, Country Music Hall of Famer Bill Anderson, and Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum CEO Kyle Young visited Brown in the hospital on June 4 to present him with a medallion honoring his Hall of Fame membership.
The funeral was yesterday at the Ryman Auditorium with participants including The Oak Ridge Boys, Crystal Gayle, Brenda Lee, Lady Antebellum, Craig Morgan, and more.
Brown died at peace with his accomplishments and what he left behind.
“I’ve always loved to sing,” he said. “My grandmother nicknamed me ‘Jaybird,’ because I’d go around singing all the time. I’ve gone through some hard times, but some good times, too. If push comes to shove, I’ll do it again.”