An American country and folk music vocal trio best known for their 1959 Grammy-nominated hit, "The Three Bells".
The group, composed of Jim Ed Brown and his sisters Maxine and Bonnie Brown, had a close, smooth harmony characteristic of the Nashville sound, though their music also combined elements of folk and pop. They disbanded in 1967.
James Edward, older sister Maxine, and younger sister Bonnie Brown sang individually in Pine Bluff, Arkansas until 1954, when Maxine and Jim Ed signed a record contract as a singing duo. They earned national recognition and a guest spot on Ernest Tubb's radio show for their humorous song "Looking Back to See", which hit the top ten and stayed on the charts through the summer of 1954.
They were joined in 1955 by then-recent high school graduate, 18-year-old Bonnie, and began performing on Louisiana Hayride in Shreveport, Louisiana.
Producer Si Siman signed them with RCA Victor in 1956, and soon they had two major hits, "I Take the Chance" (a cover of a Louvin Brothers composition that showed the Browns' close harmony).
In 1959, The Browns scored their biggest hit when their folk-pop single "The Three Bells" reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 pop and country charts. The song also peaked at No. 10 on Billboard's Rhythm and Blues listing.
The recording sold over one million copies, and was nominated for both Record of the Year and the Best Group or Vocal Performance in the Grammy award categories in 1959.
In 1963, they joined the Grand Ole Opry; in 1967, the trio disbanded as the popularity of folk music faded.
In 2006, the Browns reunited to perform "The Old Lamplighter" and "The Three Bells" for the PBS special, Country Pop Legends.
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