Longtime Grand Ole Opry member Jim Ed Brown died Thursday of cancer at Williamson Medical Center in Franklin, Tennessee, Webster Public Relations announced. He was 81.
Brown had hits as a solo singer and part of a duet and trio, according to Webster PR, and featured prominently on country music television shows in the 1970s and 1980s. He was set to be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame this year and this will now be done posthumously.
Brown and his two sisters, who performed as the Browns, scored the No. 1 hit “The Three Bells” on both the pop and country charts in 1959, according to the Associated Press. The trio recorded for RCA Records from 1954-67.
Bonnie and Maxine Brown exited the group in the mid-1960s, after which Jim Ed Brown pursued a solo career, delivering the hit “Pop-A-Top Again” in 1967. Other hits included “Morning” in 1970 and “Southern Living” in 1973.