Jim Ed Brown Dead at 81

Photo by: Anna O’Conner

Longtime Grand Ole Opry member Jim Ed Brown has died.

He passed away Thursday at Williamson Medical Center in Franklin, Tennessee, after battling cancer, according to a news release from Webster Public Relations. He was 81.

Brown had hits as a solo artist and as part of a duet and trio. As a member of The Browns with sisters Maxine and Bonnie, he had country hits in the 1950s and 1960s like “The Three Bells,” “Here Today and Gone Tomorrow,” “I Take the Chance,” “Just As Long As You Love Me,” “Money,” “I Heard the Bluebirds Sing,” “Would You Care,” and “Beyond the Shadow.”  

Following their split, Brown became a solo artist and released singles like “Pop a Top,” “Morning,” “Southern Loving,” “Sometime Sunshine” and “It’s That Time of Night.”

He also recorded hits as a duo with Helen Cornelius, including the country chart topper “I Don’t Want to Have to Marry You.” The two were named CMA Vocal Duo of the Year in 1977.

Brown and his family trio are going into the Country Music Hall of Fame this year in the Veterans Era category.

Dierks Bentley commented on Brown Thursday night at the CMA Music Festival in Nashville. He calls Brown a “nice guy, a great singer, a great ambassador to the next generation of how country should be, even as it grows and leaves some of its roots behind.”

Charlie Daniels tweeted, “Sincere condolences to the family of Jim Ed Brown. We’re gonna miss you Buddy. Rest in peace.”

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