Jim Ed Brown – Jim Ed Brown (April 1, 1934 – June 11, 2015) was born in Sparkman, Arkansas, to Floyd and Birdie Brown. His parents owned a farm and his father also worked at a sawmill. As small children, Jim and his sisters, Maxine and Bonnie, moved with their parents to Pine Bluff, Arkansas. As young adults, the three siblings sang together and individually. This changed in 1954 when Jim Ed and Maxine signed a recording contract as a 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.
In 1967, Jim Ed released his first solo top ten hit, “Pop a Top”, which became his signature song. Beginning in 1969, he also gained his own syndicated TV series “The Country Place”, which would become famous for introducing Crystal Gayle. The show ended in 1971. In 1970, he gained a crossover hit with “Morning” which went to No. 4 on the country charts and No. 47 on the pop charts. Other hits included “Angel’s Sunday” (1971), “Southern Loving” (1973), “Sometime Sunshine” (1974) and “It’s That Time Of Night” (1974).
Beginning in 1976, Brown released a string of major duet hits with Helen Cornelius starting with the No. 1 hit, “I Don’t Want to Have to Marry You”. Other hits for the duo included “Saying Hello, Saying I Love You, Saying Goodbye” (1977), “Born Believer” (1977), “I’ll Never Be Free” (1978), “If the World Ran Out of Love Tonight” (1978), “You Don’t Bring Me Flowers” (a cover of the then-recent Neil Diamond-Barbra Streisand hit) (1979), “Lying In Love With You” (1979), “Fools” (1979), “Morning Comes Too Early” (1980) and “Don’t Bother to Knock” (1981).
Fun Fact: Beginning in 1975, Brown became a national spokesperson for the Dollar General Stores discount retailer. He appeared in frequent TV advertisements using the slogan, “Every day is dollar day at your Dollar General Store,” and an autographed photo hung behind the cash register at many stores.