Maxine Brown

The pioneering Country Music star with "The Browns" – Jim Ed, Maxine and Bonnie

The Browns at the Country Music Hall of Fame Ceremony

Table of Contents:

1. A Dream Fulfilled, by Maxine Brown
2. Linda Haymes of Arkansas Democrat Gazette
3. Recipes

A Dream Fulfilled
By Maxine Brown
Jody Williams Master of Ceremonies, Maxine Brown, Becky Brown and Bonnie Ring

Jody Williams Master of Ceremonies, Maxine Brown, Becky Brown and Bonnie Ring

On October 25, 2015 Jim Ed Brown and The Browns were formally inducted into the Country Music Hall Of Fame in Nashville, Tennessee.  This was the highest honor anyone could ever achieve in country music and one we had dreamed of for decades.

The hospitality shown by the entire CMA staff is beyond my wildest imagination.  Everything was carefully planned and carried out to perfection.  My sincere thanks to Kyle Young, CEO, Sarah Trahern, CEO, Ben Hall, Director, Peter Cooper, Public Relations, Michael Manning, our special tour guides, and to the Master of Ceremony, Jody Williams  for making this a reality for the Browns.


The Medallion Ceremony was both bittersweet and emotional.  Jim Ed not being there to enjoy this special moment was probably the hardest experience I have ever had.  Bonnie and I had never been on stage alone without our brother by our side. Jim Ed had died only a few months earlier, on June 11th.


The Browns represented The Veterans Era Category  and became the 125th entry in the Hall of Fame. Having the bronze medal hung around our neck by our long time friend and Hall of Fame member Bobby Bare; to see our picture in bronze and knowing it would be hung on the coveted wall of the CMA Hall of Fame forever; to see the exhibit and the video of our long career was all emotional.

I was extremely proud of the great artist and musicians who performed in our honor.  Looking Back To See performed by Carolyn Martin and Chris Scruggs, The Three Bells (Little Jimmy Brown) performed by The Isaacs, Pop A Top, performed by Dierks Bently.  Jimmy Capps and Ben Hall rounded out some of the greatness of the performances. The entire Medallion Ceremony was special and one to remember.  I am extremely proud to be inducted with one of my all time favorite groups, The Oak Ridge Boys, also guitarist Grady Martin.  It was a week end of fun and excitement.  My family and the entire Brown clan was present to share this special occasion for Jim Ed, Bonnie and myself.
Maxine on the Red Carpet

Maxine on the Red Carpet

A lot of good things have happened during our career.  Just prior to the CMA event,  I was notified by Nick Fedor of the Canadian Hall of Fame that our recording of I Heard The Bluebirds Sing had been selected for their 2015 Song Writers Award.  It was written by Canadian Hod Pharis. We recorded it in December, 1956 and it had been one of our most requested Country Songs.

The Browns signature song, The Three Bells (Little Jimmy Brown) not only sold millions and still selling to this day.  But the one thing that impressed me the most was hearing the announcement that it had held the record for 56 years on the Billboard country charts. It held the record as being on the charts for 10 weeks.  That record was broken this year by Little Big Town for their rendition of Girl Crush which topped us at 14 weeks.


I have a list of Awards and Achievements listed under the biography section of my website. Click here for listI am proud of all those awards and achievements. There is one award we all strive for and that is the Country Music Hall of Fame Award. This award will forever be displayed n the Country Music Hall of Fame, for all the fans, friends and family to see and know that Jim Ed Brown and The Browns did indeed exist.   I am forever mindful of all the support of our many fans worldwide who stuck with us all those years, and especially to the Disc Jockeys who played our music then and now and always promoted us for this huge honor.


Now, I can sit back, relax, and enjoy those memories of singing harmony with my brother and sister, Jim Ed and Bonnie. Thank you CMA staff and all those who make this event ³A DREAM FULFILLED.


Letter received (click here) from Kyle Young, CEO of the Country Music Hall of Fame.

Article by LINDA S. HAYMES of Arkansas Democrat Gazette
By special invitation Linda traveled from Little Rock to attend personally the Hall of Fame Ceremony in Nashville.

The three siblings from Sparkman had dreamed of this day for decades.

Last Sunday, the late Jim Ed Brown and surviving sisters Maxine and Bonnie were formally inducted into the Country Music Association’s Hall of Fame. Maxine Russell of North Little Rock and Bonnie Ring of Dardanelle attended the medal ceremony; their brother Jim Ed died of lung cancer in June.

As country singers who gained fame in the 1950s and 1960s, the Browns watched as their song “The Three Bells” rose to No. 1 on the Billboard country chart. It and some of their other songs crossed over to the pop chart.

The Oak Ridge Boys and late guitarist Grady Martin also were inducted during the ceremony. The Browns, representing the Veterans Era Artist category, became the 125th entry into the Hall of Fame. Arkansans honored in past years were Johnny Cash, Patsy Montana and Glen Campbell.

Before the Browns’ induction, other musicians performed their songs — Dierks Bentley sang Jim Ed’s “Pop a Top,” The Isaacs performed “The Three Bells,” and Carolyn Martin and Chris Scruggs sang “Looking Back to See.” The latter was Maxine’s favorite performance. She wrote the song, and it’s the name of her autobiography.

“Everyone expects me to say ‘The Three Bells,’ and it was good, but ‘Looking Back’ has special meaning to me,” Maxine told Paper Trails. “Those two did an excellent job.”

After the Browns recorded “The Three Bells” in 1959 over a single microphone in RCA’s studio, the single rose to No. 1 on Billboard’s country chart, where it stayed for 10 weeks, setting a record for a country group. The record stood for nearly 56 years until Little Big Town’s “Girl Crush” recently held the top spot for 13 weeks.

In introducing Maxine and Bonnie, Hall of Fame member Bobby Bare said that in the early days, “everyone fell in love with Bonnie — me, Elvis and everyone else.”

Of her sister, he noted, “Maxine has a mouth on her,” drawing laughter. “If you don’t really want to know the answer to a question, don’t ever ask Maxine. She’s going to give you the full answer. That’s why we love her.”

During her acceptance speech, Bonnie, overcome by emotion, struggled to make it through.

“I was so glad to have all of my family there, and Jim Ed’s and Maxine’s, also,” she told Paper Trails afterward. “Wasn’t it so nice to have so many of our old friends turn out for the event?”

Jim Ed’s wife Becky represented him at the induction. Shortly before he died, CMA officials went to the hospital to present him with his commemorative medallion.

“I shall never be able to thank them enough for this honor,” Maxine said. “It is a dream come true. I shall wear my medallion with great honor.”

The celebration was bittersweet.

“Jim Ed not being there to enjoy this with us was probably the hardest thing I have ever experienced,” Maxine said. “Bonnie and I have never been alone on stage without our brother by our side.”

With the Hall of Fame induction, it’s time for a feast, some serious eatin! Enjoy! These come from my mother’s cookbook. I know she is with us today. We never had a bigger fan.
The best medicine in the world is Potato Soup.  This is the recipe Momma Brown used when any of her kids started feeling puny.
4     Med. Irish Potatoes, peeled & cut up
1     Onion, chopped
1     Pint Water
1     Teaspoon Salt
l/4   Cup Butter or Margarine
4     Heaping Tablespoons Flour
1     Quart Milk
1/2  Teaspoon Black Pepper

(This is Jim Ed’s favorite)
1     Pie Shell (Graham Cracker, 9 inch) or baked Pie Shell
3     Egg Yokes
1     Can Eagle Brand Milk
1/2  Cup Real Lime Juice  (from concentrate)
Mix Eagle Brand Milk, Egg Yokes & Lime Juice.  If desired you may want to add some yellow food coloring.  Pour into prepared pastry shell.  Bake about 35 minutes.  Chill.  Top with COOL WHIP.

1     Box Vanilla Waffers
1     Can Crushed Pineapple with juice
1/4  Cup Lemon Juice
1     Can Eagle Brand Milk
1     Small :Package Coconut
1     8 oz. Cool Whip
1     Small Jar Maraschino Cherries
1     Cup Chopped Pecans


ENCHILADAS  (Momma Brown Style)
(This is a dish concocted by Momma Brown in the 50s & 60s when she fed many musicians who stopped by The Trio Club or our home in Pine Bluff, AR, when they were dead broke & hungry.  This was Elvis Presley’s favorite dish.
4     Lbs. Lean Ground Beef.   (cooked & drained)
3     Cans Tomato Soup
1/2  Can Water
1     Small Can Taco Sauce
1/4  Bottle Louisiana Hot Sauce  (more or less, depending on your taste)
1     Lb. Sharp Cheddar Cheese, (grated)
2     Onions, (chopped)
4     Tomatoes  (peeled & chopped)
l/2   Head Iceberg Lettuce  (Chopped)

       CORN TORTILLAS  (as many as needed, fried in hot Oil.
Add Soup, water, Taco Sauce & Hot Sauce to cooked & drained beef.   Simmer about 20 minutes.  Meanwhile, in separate bowls, put cheese, onions, tomatoes & lettuce.  Fry Tortillas & drain on paper towel.   Let everyone fix their own.  Start by placing cheese on a hot Tortilla so cheese can melt.  Layer beef mixture on top, then alternate with onions, tomatoes & lettuce. If you are hungry, make a double.  This makes a lot, but Momma Brown served a lot of hungry folks including her own family.


(Using left-over creamed Irish Potatoes, recipe to follow for Creamed Potatoes)
2     Cups Left over Creamed (mashed) Potatoes
1     Small Can English Peas  (drained)
1     Egg, (beaten)
1/2  Cup Evaporated Milk
       Salt & Pepper to taste
l/4   Cup Flour
Mix all ingredients together.  Drop by Tablespoons into hot oil, fry until golden brown on both sides.  Note, crumbled Bacon can be added to mixture if desired.

Peel and quarter about 5 med. size Irish Potatoes.  Boil until tender. Remove from heat, drain off most of water, but not all.  Add one-half stick butter, mash until creamy.  Add one small can Evaporated Milk, or if needed to make creamy, add more.  Add Salt & Pepper to suit your taste.

MAXINE BROWN – A DREAM COME TRUE! The Country Music Hall of Fame


by Maxine Brown
2. Recipes
B. QUICK & EASY ROLLS, (With Mayonnaise)

By Maxine Brown

A Dream came true on  March 25th, for Jim Ed Brown and The Browns, Maxine and Bonnie when it was announced that the three of us were the newest members of the CMA Hall of Fame, in the Veterans Era Category. If you missed the live internet announcement, you can watch the recording click here.

The CMA Association was created in 1961 to recognize noteworthy individuals for their outstanding contributions to the format and its is considered country music’s highest honor.  With the three of us, the total now stands at 125 members in the Hall of Fame, and 47 are no longer still with us.

The Medallion Ceremony will be held on October 25th at the CMA Theater.  This is an annual re-union of all the Hall of Fame memberships.  To have this Medallion hung around our neck by one of the Hall of Fame members is one of the biggest thrills an artist could ever hope or dream of.

The Browns career started eight years before the creation of the CMA Association.  It has been a long hard struggle.  We stayed and endured all those hardships because of our love for country music, and the respect of other artists who were experiencing the same difficulties we were.

Fame is fleeting.  Hit records and awards are nice and appreciated.  But they are Here Today and Gone Tomorrow.   The CMA Hall of Fame Award will be here forever. Thank you to all our peers and to CMA for your vote.  The Browns are grateful for your choice in making us the 2015 recipient of the highest honor we could ever achieve.  To have our picture hung in bronze alongside some of the greatest artist, song writers, musicians and others involved in the music business, is the biggest honor we could ever hope for.

I would like to congratulate the Oak Ridge Boys for their many years of dedication to the country music industry and their induction in the Modern Era. Also congratulations to Musician, Grady Martin who played guitar on many of the Hall of Fame inductees recordings.

We owe a great deal of gratitude to our many fans & friends worldwide who have supported us for the past 64 years.  They never forgot us and we shall never forget them. Thanks once again CMA!  This is indeed a DREAM COME TRUE.


6       Pork Chops
6       Irish Potatoes, peeled & sliced
4       Carrots, sliced
1       Onion, chopped
6       Slices Cheddar Cheese
1       Can Cream of Mushroom Soup
1       Cup Milk
         Salt & Black Pepper to taste
Coat pork chops in flour, salt & pepper, brown on both sides until done.
In a large casserole dish, alternate layers of potatoes, carrots & onion & cheese.
Mix soup with milk, pour over.  Place the browned Pork Chops on top.  Place in 350 degree oven & cook approximately an hour & a half.
Note:  A lot of time I like to place one can of diced tomatoes in bottom of casserole before adding rest of ingredients.


B. QUICK & EASY ROLLS, (With Mayonnaise)

2       Cups Self Rising Flour
1       Cup Milk
3       Tablespoon’s Mayonnaise
MIX ALL TOGETHER, FILL MUFFIN CUPS your 2/3rd full.  Bake in a 400 degree oven until done & golden Brown.


1       Package Noodles (small package)
1       Large Can Tuna Fish
1       Onion, chopped
1       Large Can English Peas, or Peas & Carrot’s (drained)
1       Can Cream of Mushroom Soup
         Buttered Bread Crumbs or Croutons.
         Grated Cheddar Cheese
Cook Noodles according to package directions, Drain.  Layer each of the above ingredients in  buttered casserole dish.
Top with buttered bread crumbs or croutons. Place grated cheese on top.  Cover.  Bake until bubbly & cheese has melted.


 1       Box Yellow Cake Mix
1       Package Orange Gelatin, (small)
1       Cup Orange Juice, or Apricot Nector
2/3   Cup Oil
4      Eggs


1       9 inch Baked Pie Shell
1       Cup Water
1       Cup Sugar
4       Tablespoons Flour, or Cornstarch
1       Package Strawberry Jello, (small size)
         Fresh Strawberries
         Whipped Cream, or Cool Whip
Combine Water, Sugar & Cornstarch in saucepan, cook until thick.  Set aside for about 5 minutes.  Add Jello.  Stir until dissolved.  Add some sliced Strawberries to mixture. Pour into Baked Pie Shell & let it stay in refrigerator until pie sets.  Serve with whipped Cream or Cool Whip.  Place some sliced Strawberries on top of Whipped Cream.


1      Box White Cake Mix
3      Eggs
1/2  Cup Vegetable Oil
1      Cup Milk
1      Small box Vanilla Pudding Mix, or Almond
1      Tablespoon Vanilla, or Almond
Mix all the above in sheet pan, bake according to box directions.
Mix together:
1      Can Cream of Coconut Milk
1      Can Sweetened Condensed Milk
Poke holes in cake & pour over cake.
When cool, spread
8      Oz. carton Cool.
Sprinkle top with Coconut. Keep in refridgerator 8 hours.

Maxine Brown Christmas Season Newsletter & Recipes

I am proud to let my family and friends know that the T’s are crossed and the I’s are dotted in an Agreement The Browns have made with The Butler Center of Arkansas Studies. Arkansas has long been among the most significant contributors to the nation’s musical foundation, country, pop, folk, rock & jazz. The special music collection is an open and growing collection which is continually adding relevant materials.

In 1980, I converted a room in my home into a Brown’s Museum where I displayed The Browns career dating all the way back to 1953.

I spent months, even years searching for the perfect place that would appreciate our devotion to the life we lived and loved. A place that would store, preserve and protect for years to come for the benefit of our children, grandchildren and great children. Also a place where everyone could come and view all the efforts I have so carefully tried to preserve. I am proud to say, “I have found the perfect place”. Read more

Maxine Brown – Spring 2014

By Maxine Brown

Everyone keeps asking for more of Momma Brown’s recipes. They’re in this newsletter, and I hope you enjoy them. It’s fun to hear back from those who try the recipes. Here’s a few simple words first.

I have good news. I just celebrated my 83rd birthday. I never dreamed that I would live this long and never in my life would I have revealed my age to anyone. What the heck!! I don’t get any propositions or whistles anymore. At this stage of my life there isn’t much to do except sit around and wander what it is that I need to do next, then wind up doing absolutely nothing. I guess you could say that I have reached the age when it takes longer to rest than it does to get tired.

I spend a lot of time on my computer, still learning how to turn it on and off. I have a past time, and that is Facebook. I have been called a Facebook junkie, but that isn’t quite true, I have never learned how to post anything. I have a Facebook friend in Scotland named Emma Robertson who tries to teach me this, that and the other, but by the time I learn one thing, its changed and here we go again. Emma was so happy that I finally learned where the lock box was located. I can’t remember now what is behind it but you can bet she does.

FACEBOOK has a way of bringing old friends together, and making new ones. I have been re-acquainted with some class mates I knew in the third grade. Not many of those old friends are living now but they have other friends or relatives who say they are related to us, in some way or the other. Maybe they are. I never realized that The Browns had so many cousins. I always wondered if perhaps there was “one” in the woodpile, maybe two, or three, who knows? I am glad to meet some of my fist, second, third, fourth, and fifth cousins. I also enjoy the friendship of my Italian, German, UK, Canadian, and Australia friends as well as those in the U.S. I know I will never meet them or Emma in person but Facebook has brought us all together in a special way.
When you go to my WEBSITE and read this story in the NEWS section, the first thing you will see is a picture of me sitting in the middle of two rows of sugar cane, with the title “Sugar Cane County”.

It was a hot day in August, 1968 when I made the trip with a photographer, to a little town just outside of Nashville, Tennessee called White Bluff. The photographer obviously knew about this sugar cane field and the owners, Howard and Margaret Deal. When we arrived they treated us with royalty. They showed us the perfect place in the middle of the sugar cane rows for some photos. One of those was near a little shed where Mr. Deal said they manufactured their sugar cane into sorghum.

It must have been a hundred degrees in the shade that day. All of a sudden, here came Mrs. Deal and their son Eric with a huge pitcher of ice cold Lemonade. I remember it being a bit windy that day and Mrs. Deal helped me with my hair and makeup right out in the middle of that sugar cane patch.
We had been out In the hot sun all afternoon and both of us needed to go to the restroom. The Deals said we could use their facilities, but it was too far away. I have a bladder about the size of a hickory hut and I had failed to bring along my wide-mouth fruit far so I told the photographer to hide his eyes, I had to get out of those overalls before it was too late. He said, “don’t worry, I need to go also”, so he disappeared. He didn’t have to go far, as those rows of cane was to thick no one could see us. As a matter of fact, Mrs. Deal had trouble finding where we were when they brought the Lemonade. I have wondered a lot of times why we didn’t get lost ourselves, he was good looking, sexy, and single. Now, that would have been more than just a “Photo Shoot”.

We sat around the Deal’s kitchen table for hours, talking about this, that and the other. I told them that the way they made sorghum was a far cry from the way we had to make it when I was about the age of Eric. I always hated to watch that old black mule go ’round and ’round a pot of hot boiling cane until it got thick enough to pour into jugs. It would take all day and every once in a while we would let the poor thing stop, rest and drink some water. Mrs. Deal served us with some cookies she had made using sorghum. It reminded me of our Mom having to use it in place of sugar when we wanted something sweet to eat. Sugar was rationed, and since we lived so far away from a little place called Sparkman, we failed to get our allotted amount every month, which was only one pound. World War Two was ragging in the world and our dad had been drafted in the Navy. Many nights we went to bed hungry but we always had sorghum and a cat head biscuit.

Sorghum is a staple in my home. I love it and so does my son Tommy, who runs my website from Arizona. One time I sent him a bucket of sorghum on Southwest Airlines. During flight the lid came off. I don’t need to tell you what a sticky mess they had to clean up. To make matters worse, UPS then delivered the bucket to Tommy’s home with no lid. Tommy and his wife Colleen were not as upset over the mess on their porch ,as they were about not having any sorghum.

One day about three months ago, Eric Deal was scanning the web. He saw something that looked familiar. It was their cane field. He recognized my picture right away and remembered his parents had kept it on their piano for years. They would tell everyone about Maxine Brown coming to their home and making that photograph in their sugar cane field. I kept up with the Deals for years but as time went by, we sorta lost touch with each other.
Go to the search bar on Facebook, look for “DEAL SORGHUM”. They now ship all over the country. You will enjoy seeing their manufacturing plant. The Deals have promised me and my son some of this years crop when its harvested. I am looking forward to it and most of all, keeping in touch with Eric, Donna, his wife, and all of their family

This has been 46 years ago. I would say this is a “DONE DEAL”.

I am proud that FACEBOOK had brought me right back to where it all originated, “SUGAR CANE COUNTY”
Thanks Everyone. I hope you will enjoy some more of Momma Browns recipes.

Maxine Brown


(Note written by Momma Brown about the following recipe: “This is one of the recipes I remember from my early childhood. It seems to have been forgotten by everyone except me.  They are just as tasty today as they were then.  I hope you will share my memory of “Old Fashioned Sorghum Molasses Pie”.)

l 1/4     Cups Sorghum Molasses

1          Tablespoon Butter or Margarine

3          Eggs, beaten

1          Tablespoon Flour

2/3       Cup Sugar

1          Un-baked Pie Shell


Place Sorghum and Butter in saucepan & let come to a boil.  Remove from heat and add beaten eggs and remaining ingredients.  Beat until light and fluffy.  Pour into Pie Shell, bake about 15 minutes at 425.  Reduce heat to 375 and continue cooking for another 45 minutes, or until knife inserted in center comes out clean.





3         Eggs, beaten

1 2/3   Cup Sugar

l/4       Cup Flour

l/2       Teaspoon Salt

l          Cup Buttermilk

1         Tablespoon Vanilla

1/2      Cup Butter, melted


Mix all ingredients together, adding melted butter last.  Pour into un-baked Pie Shell.  Bake at 400 degrees for l5 minutes.   Reduce heat to 325 & continue baking for one hour.  (Note:  A puddle of butter may form in center, but don’t worry, it will absorb into the filling.  (This pie is Delicious).




10     Twinkies, sliced in one-half

3     Bananas, sliced

1     Large Can Crushed Pineapple, drained

1     Can Coconut, divided

1     Can Eagle Brand Milk

1     Large container Cool whip

Chopped Nuts for garnish


Slice Twinkies in half, lengthwise.  Place in bottom of a 9 x 3 inch casserole dish.  Layer sliced Banana slices, Pineapple and one half of the Coconut.  Mix Eagle Brand Milk with whipped Cool Whip. Pour over.  Sprinkle the rest of Coconut and nuts on top.  (Easy and so delicious).Note:  You can use Strawberries instead of the Bananas, for a variety.




1       Box Yellow Cake Mix

1       Package Orange Gelatin (small)

3/4    Cup Orange Juice, or Apricot Nector

2/3    Cup Oil

4       Eggs


Mix all together & pour into a greased & floured tube pan. Cook according to cake box directions.   Mix 3/4 cup Orange Juice and 1 cup sugar. Cook together for 5 minutes.  Punch holes in cake with fork or ice pick.  Pour the hot juice all down through cake and on top.  Use all of juice, this makes it moist and delicious.




1      Small Package Noodles (medium or small size)

1      Can Tuna (Large can)

1      Can Cream of Mushroom Soup

1      Can English Peas (or large can English Peas & Carrots)

I       Onion, chopped

Grated Cheddar Cheese

Buttered Bread Crumbs, or Croutons


Cook Noodles as directed on package.  Drain.  Mix all together. Top with buttered bread crumbs, and cheese.  Bake until bubbly and cheese has all melted. (about 30 minutes) in 350 degree oven.




l       Can Red Salmon (with juice)

1      Small Onion, chopped

1      Egg, beaten

1      Cup Cracker Crumbs,( or more if needed, also same some to roll the patties in.)

1      Tablespoon Flour

l/2    Teaspoon each of Salt & Pepper

Juice of one Lemon

1/2    Teaspoon Celery Salt (optional)


Mix all ingredients together.  Shape into patties.  Roll patties in cracker crumbs.  Fry in hot oil, turning to brown on each side.




1      1 LB. package Pinto Beans

Cook Beans until tender:  Season with

1      Tablespoon Salt

1      Tablespoon Oil

3      Tablespoons Sugar


Cook 2 lbs. ground Beef with 1 chopped Onion until brown.  Drain well.

Add to cooked Beans along with the following:

1      Can Ro-Tel

1      Can Tomatoes, diced

1      Teaspoon Chili Power (or more to suit your taste)

1      Teaspoon Cumin (or more to suit your taste)

2      Cloves Garlic, crushed (Optional)


Simmer Beans & all ingredients together for about 45 minutes or until thick.  Serve with some good Old Fashioned Cornbread.


November 2013 Recipes and News

Table of Contents

1. Gold and Silver, by Maxine Brown
2. The Browns Appear Live on the Eddie Stubbs Show, by Randy Francis
3. The Bus, by Maxine Brown
4. Fall Recipes

Gold and Silver
by Maxine Brown

A dream came true on August 3, 1963 when then Grand Ole Opry manager, Ott Divine invited The Browns to become Opry members. Little did we ever dream that we would be celebrating a golden anniversary with our brother Jim Ed.

In 1967, Bonnie and I more or less retired because of family ties which limited our Opry appearances. Jim Ed remained with the Opry and became a legend on his own merits. Bonnie and I made several guest appearances during the past fifty years–here we were, still living with a touch of silver now in our hair, celebrating Jim Ed’s golden anniversary on stage of the greatest show in the world, the Grand Ole Opry. Read more

Maxine Brown News – Summer 2013

Feeling Good, Listening to the Browns
By John Dersham

Have you wondered why most people tend to have a special, enduring bond with the music they first liked early in their lives? I think it is because when you are growing up, and especially when you become a teenager, the sights and sounds around you have a lasting impression on your senses. You are sensitive to your surroundings physically and emotionally, and opinions are forming within you for the first time. You begin enjoying your first freedom to travel and to make decisions. It is now you fall in love for the first time. Everything you do is new and exciting, and it clings to you and evolves and grows into who you are. You are in full-speed development during these formable years, and the impact lingers all of your life. Read more

Maxine Brown News and Outdoor Cooking Recipes

Personal Note from Maxine

I wish to thank all those who have worked so hard and diligently with me these past years, promoting The Browns and trying to restore some memories for those who may have forgotten.

The Browns have been Lifetime Members of the CMA since the beginning. Our numbers are 79, 80 & 8l. The membership card is signed by Tex Ritter. We have had a great career in spite of all we had to endure. We never set out to conquer the world of success. All we ever wanted was to record a good tempered harmony song and a good listening audience to sing to. But success often came our way, with 68 Awards and Achievements from all fields of music, and the several million selling records.

I wish to congratulate our very good friend, Bobby Bare for winning the 2013 Hall of Fame Award. We think the CMA made a wise choice. Bobby is one of the nicest people we ever had the pleasure of knowing. I have a story about him in my book, on pages 186 & 187. I hope you will read what I wrote about one of the greats of country music.

The three of us have not been just sitting around day dreaming all these years. This month (April), The Browns will be inducted into the Missouri Walk Of Fame in Marshfield during the Cherry Blossom Festival. Bonnie: Awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Beaux Art Academy in Russellville, AR as its first VP, with over 30 years of service to the community and the Arts. Jim Ed: Honored by the State of TN Senate celebrating his magnificent career and accomplishments to country music, including 50 years as a member of the Grand Ole Opry. I am happy to report that my book, “Looking Back To See” is now a KINDLE book, on the Amazon Kindle Book Store. I received this nice note from Mike Bieker at the University of Arkansas Press:

“Hi Maxine, Just wanted to let you and your fans know that the University of Arkansas Press Spring 2013 catalog is out and, once again, ‘Looking Back to See’ is included in the Selected Backlist section. Why? Because, after 7 years in print and 7,000 copies sold people still can’t get enough of a good thing! The book is still selling well and we’re releasing an electronic edition into various markets as we speak. It’s currently in the Apple and Google e-bookstores and will be available as a kindle edition soon. Take care my dear!! Warm regards, Mike Bieker” Available now! View Kindle Edition

Outdoor Recipes

Remove shucks and silks from fresh ears of corn. (or you may use frozen ears). Wrap each ear with foil, twisting the ends. First, spread corn with salt, pepper and melted butter, then wrap. Place on grill & roast 15 to 20 minutes or until corn is tender, turning ears frequently. NOTE: Whipped butter flavored with Horseradish makes a good seasoning for CORN ON COB. The Brown’s all time favorite is Mayonnaise or Miracle Whip Salad Dressing.

Select the steak of your choice. Choose tender steaks at least one-inch thick. Sprinkle each with salt & pepper & a dash of meat tenderizer. This helps hold in the juices & tenderizer never hurts a steak. (this is what I do and everyone says that mine are without a doubt the best). It is best to grease the top of grill. Then, put on the seasoned steaks. Handle with tongs and an egg turner. Never stick with a fork, this lets out the good juices. When you see a little bubble on top, its ready to turn. Heat forces the juices to the uncooked surface.

1 Ring Bologna (whole or cut in one-half)
Whole Cloves
1 Cup Honey
5 Tablespoons Orange Juice
2 Tablespoons Catsup
Score Bologna in a diamond pattern. Stud with whole Clove. Heat the honey, Orange Juice & Catsup together. Brush on stick of Bologna. Place on hot grill, basting often during cooking. To serve, cut in desired size pieces. ( I never knew Bologna could taste this good. I hope you will try it sometimes).

1 Package Polish Sausage (usually 6 or 8 to a package)
1 Can Sauerkraut
1 Teaspoon Caraway Seed
1 Teaspoon Sugar
Mix the last three with Polish Sausage. Place in heavy duty foil. Wrap tight so it can be turned over at least once. Cook over coals for several minutes. This is good served as a main course, or good with a slice of Swiss Cheese and served as a sandwich.

Marinate as many chicken breast as you like in the following, for 4 hours.
1 Cup Pineapple Juice
1 Can Beer
1/2 Cup Honey
Dash of Salt & Pepper
Place marinated chicken breast on hot grill. Cook over coals for 15 to 20 minutes, basting often. Turn over and cook another 20 or so minutes. Brush with the sauce several times while cooking. Cook until they are tender.

January 2013 News and Recipes

Why The Browns Deserve Hall of Fame Induction
By Randy Francis

I see so many campaigns underway in support of favorite legends of country music for induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame. I happen to be an admirer of all of them and agree that each and every one of them deserves to receive the coveted honor. For some time now I’ve been devoted to the prospect of seeing one of the finest harmony groups of all time, The Browns–Jim Ed, Maxine and Bonnie finally having their immense contributions to Country Music wholly recognized by the ultimate accolade of the industry. I feel strongly, as do so many others…fans and peers alike, that The Browns deserve to be inducted and enshrined in the hallowed rotunda as much as any country music legends you may name; and they are alive to enjoy and cherish that prestigious status. I’d like to expand on why I feel they are so fully deserving.
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August 2012 Maxine Brown News and Crock Pot Recipes

1. Big sales numbers for Maxine Brown’s Book
2. Tribute to Dale Robertson
3. The Browns Meet David Letterman
4. Crock Pot Recipes

Maxine’s Book Sales nears 7000 copies!

From Mike Bieker at the University of Arkansas Press: “Last year’s sales of Looking Back to See, put the total number of copies sold just shy of 7,000, which is remarkable. Maxine’s popularity has turned this book into an “evergreen” for the U of A Press, it seems. We’ve just released the title as an e-book into several markets and will have a kindle edition very, very soon. I think the availability of the e-book could lead to another nice uptick in sales as a whole new segment of readers are exposed to Maxine and her story.” (Mike Bieker, U of A Press — Publisher)

Order your copy today, from the bookstore.

Tribute to Dale Robertson
By Maxine Brown

This is a short story of a VIP who made a huge impact on my life. His name is Dale Robertson. He played the role of Him Hardy in the famous Television Western series, “Tales of Wells Fargo”. He was famous for other roles as well, one of those was “The Iron Man”.

I was attending a party hosted by RCA honoring Chet Atkins. Even though it was Chet’s party, Chet was showing off the new LP he had just produced on Dale called “Western Classics”. This LP has some great cowboy and western songs. One of those is “High Noon” which The Browns were fortunate enough to record for RCA Victor.

RCA had an open bar and a buffet of all kinds of seafood. I was standing at the buffet fixing myself a plate and just about to sample one of those huge New Orleans shrimp. I had just put it in my mouth when someone tapped me on the shoulder and said, “young lady, I would love meeting you, my name is Dale Robertson”.

As I turned and looked into those crystal blue eyes, I swallowed the whole thing. I started choking, and ran into the bathroom. Minnie Pearl who was standing close by, saw what was happening and ran after me. I heard her holler, “Dale”. He said, “I’m right behind you Minnie”. He put a choke hold on me and finally got it up. Thank goodness he knew what to do, within a few minutes I would have choked to death. He and Minnie led me into the bedroom of RCA executive, George Parkhill, and stayed with me until I was alright. We went into the lounge and had a good laugh, or rather, they did. Little did they know, this was the most embarrassed moment of my life.

Dale is living on his ranch in Yukon, Oklahoma. I still have his “Western Classics” LP, and play it often because I love cowboy and western songs. Most of all, I think of the day my life was spared by Dale Robertson. Those crystal clear Blue eyes will haunt me for the rest of my life.

The Brown’s Meet David Letterman
By Maxine Brown

During The Browns show business career, we met so many influential people. Some only briefly but they made a lasting impression.

During the mid sixty’s we had so many dates booked we had to hire a pilot to get us from one city to the next in a chartered plane. We had a series of one-nighters in the heart land. In those days it was the norm for an artist to go by the local radio or television station, visit with the host, do a few songs and promote the up-coming show. Most of the time it was only the three of us singing with a guitar, but on occasions, we did a lip sync.

Bonnie and I would never do any kind of show without wearing our stage clothes. We were appearing in Indianapolis, Indiana when we met this comical, young weatherman. He was working part time at the local television station while attending college. He was so funny and so enjoyable to be with, we invited him to be our special guest at this swanky night club we were playing that night. He came early so he could watch us rehearse. He remained back stage with us until time for the show. We had a table reserved near the stage.

As Bonnie and I were getting dressed, she realized she had left her bra and black slip at the television dressing room. It was too late to go back and get them so we changed into a different costume than we had planned on wearing.

This was the hardest performance we had ever done in our lives. I have no explanation. We do not do anything out of the ordinary, we mostly do ballads and never tell jokes. But for some reason, every time we looked at this young, gap-toothed, comical young man, we would start laughing, and I don’t think we ever got all the way through one song. Before long, he had the entire audience laughing with us. During every song, he would smile that big broad gap-toothed smile of his and give his still famous laugh. He told us about his dream of becoming another Johnny Carson. There was never any doubt in our minds that this young man would someday be famous.

After the show he went with us to the airport where our pilot was waiting to take us to our next performance. He asked why we decided on the change of costumes, Bonnie told him she had left her undergarments in the dressing room. He said, “don’t worry, just give me your address and I will get them mailed to you tomorrow”. Sure enough, when we got back to our home in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, here was this package with all her belongings and a note which said; “here are your sexy un-mentionables from someone who thinks you are the greatest and the most beautiful lady I have ever met. Don’t forget me!” It was signed DAVID LETTERMAN.

I have followed the career of David Letterman. He not only achieved his goal but became one of the most loved comics of all time. As I watch his nightly show, I am reminded of May 8th, 1960 when The Browns were in the same theater with Ed Sullivan.

Everything and everybody changes with time. But we still have memories of those who made an impact on our lives. David Letterman no longer has that gap-tooth, but he is still the most comical person I have ever met.

Crock Pot Recipes

(Buy a 2 or 3 # Eye of Round, Rump, Tenderloin, or any good cut of Beef.)
Coat all over with Four, Salt & Pepper. Place in skillet with 2 or 3 tablespoons oil. Brown on all sides:
Peel and quarter 2 or 3 Irish Potatoes, 2 sliced Carrots, place in bottom of Crock Pot, then place the browned Roast on top.
Mix together:
1 Can Cream of Mushroom Soup
l Onion, diced.
l Can Coke
Pour over Roast. Cook on high for 6 to 8 hours until tender.
(Note: For all Crock Pot Cooking, make sure the Crock is at least l/2 to 3/4 full of liquid. These recipes are for a 4-7 quart Slow Cooker). Depending on size of Roast, you may need to add more than the one can of Coke so the Crock will be at least one half full. Coke makes any cut of meat very tender and delicious!!!

Chinese Pepper Steak
1 to 1 1/2 lbs. ROUND STEAK
Cut steak into strips. Brown in approximately 3 Tablespoons Oil. Drain on paper towel. Combine the next five ingredients with the strips & place in Crock.
1 Clove Garlic, minced
1/2 Teaspoons Salt
1/2 Teaspoons Black Pepper
1/4 Cup Soy Sauce
1 Tablespoon Sugar
1 Can Diced Tomatoes
Cook on low 6 to 8 hours. Turn control to high & add the following:
1 Can Bean Sprouts
2 Green Bell Peppers, seeded & cut into strips
Cook for about 30 to 40 minutes, or until very hot. Add:
1 Tablespoon Cornstarch mixed with 2 Tablespoons water. Add this to mixture and continue cooking for 15 more minutes, or until nice and thick. (You may need to add more cornstarch mixed with water to make it thicker.) Add:
4 or 5 Green Onions, cut up, for garnish.
This recipe was created by Momma Brown and her chef, John for the Trio Club. It was reduced to feed 4 or 5 hungry people and always a Brown and Brown Trio Club favorite.

Sweet Pepper Chicken
4 Boneless & skinless Chicken Breast
Roll each Breast in Flour, Salt & Pepper. Brown in hot Oil. Drain on paper towel.
Place in bottom of Crock Pot. Add the following:
1 Sweet Green Bell Pepper, seeded and cut in rounds, or strips.
1 Sweet Red Bell Pepper, seeded and cut into rounds, or strips.
1 Onion, chopped
1 Can Cream of Mushroom Soup
1 Can Cream of Chicken Soup.
Cook on high for 4 to 6 hours, or low for 6 to 8 hours, or until chicken is tender.

3 to 4 Pounds Lean Ground Beef, browned, drained & rinsed to remove all fat.
1 Onion, chopped
1 Clove Garlic, minced, or Garlic Juice
2 Cans Diced Tomatoes, (14 oz. size) or use one Large Can
1 Can Tomato Sauce, (8 oz.)
1 Can Tomato Paste, (12 oz.)
1 Cup Beef Bouillon
2 Tablespoons Minced Parsley
1/2 Cup Brown Sugar, packed
1 Teaspoon each of dried Oregano, Basil, Salt, Black Pepper
Cook Onion with Beef, when browned, I always like to drain through a colander to make sure there is not fat content, rinse with warm water.
Combine all ingredients together. Cook on high for 6 to 8 hours. (You will never find a better Spaghetti Sauce. Serve with spaghetti and Garlic Bread.) This is always good frozen, if you have any left over.

As always, let me know if you try one of the recipes. Always nice to hear from you.

My Brother Jim Ed, and Brown Family Recipes

It isn’t easy writing about one of your siblings, especially when you lived together, laughed together, loving and singing together all your life. When one of us hurt, we would all hurt. We were always a close knit family. We knew what the other was thinking before words were ever spoken. Singing was our entire life.

J.E. stopped singing after the loss of our brother, Raymond. We all did. We stopped listening to the radio and the Grand Ole Opry. We all suffered in silence. It was something we couldn’t talk about. It was devastating to all of us and not a day goes by that I don’t think about that dreadful Day. But J.E. suffered a severe trauma, after watching his brother take his last breath.

One day Momma said she heard J.E. whistling a tune. He took solace in whistling. He could imitate every kind of bird there was, especially the Bob White. Mom gave him the nickname Jay-Bird. He was so good that daddy would often take him along when he went bird hunting. They always came home with a big mess of quail. (See Brown Quail Recipe Below)

J.E.’s voice went unheard for years. When daddy moved our family to Pine Bluff, he joined the high school choir and started singing a little. Daddy gave him a Sears Roebuck guitar so he started strumming some tunes we sang as kids, but never any that we all sang together with Raymond. (To this day, we never sing those and turn off the radio if one happens to be played).

We started listening to the Grand Ole Opry again. Carl Smith had a huge record called “Hey Joe”. J.E. learned all the words and was so good, I thought, my brother can beat Carl Smith all to pieces singing that song, so I entered him in a talent show in Little Rock, AR called “The Barnyard Frolic”. When he sang his rendition of “Hey Joe”, the girls went wild. I knew he had the makings of being a star. Of course, his good looks, big brown eyes and flirtatious personality didn’t hurt.

The Browns career had just taken off big time when WHAM!! J.E. got his greetings from Uncle Sam. He received his boot training in Ft. Smith, Arkansas. The army band happened to hear him singing (probably in the shower) and invited him to join their group. He called me at The Trio Club and had me bring his guitar to the army barracks. He made such a big hit with the Armed Forces Entertainment Group that they let him take his guitar with him when he was transferred to Germany. J.E.’s stint in Germany was short lived, however. Daddy was having severe problems with his one and only leg. (He had already lost one during a logging accident and here he was about to lose the other). We contacted our Congressman, Wilbur D. Mills, and he wasted no time getting J.E. transferred close to home. He was re-stationed at the Pine Bluff Arsenal. Mr. Mills offered J.E. an honorable discharge, but he refused. He served the reminder of his term with the Army Entertainment Group, stationed in Pine Bluff, Arkansas. He was granted permission from time to time to record record sessions in Nashville and TV shows for the Armed Services.

J.E. has had a very versatile career, and he has been successful in all endeavors. First and foremost, The Browns had several million selling records, including The Three Bells, and 346 singles for RCA Victor Records under the direction of producer Chet Atkins. J.E. was successful as a solo artist under the direction of Bob Ferguson with a huge hit “Pop A Top”. Later, Bob Ferguson produced a duet hit with J.E. and Helen Cornelius entitled “I Don’t Want To Have To Marry You”. He was host of his own TV shows, “You Can Be A Star” and “Nashville On The Road” with his beautiful and talented wife, Becky.

I will say this for my brother, he has perfect pitch. You will never her him go flat or sharp, or hit a bad note. He is the best the Opry has to offer, in my opinion. Maybe that’s because I’m a bit prejudiced. He sings his ass off. At his age, this is something to be proud of. You will never hear The Browns hit a bad note either. This has always been a no no. If we were recording and Bonnie or I went sharp or flat, Chet would stop the session, and if we were on stage and either one of us hit a sour note, we had to rehearse until J.E. made sure it never happened again. He has always been a perfectionist. He got this from our parents, “always be perfect” they would say. Not haphazard, but absolutely perfect!!

I am proud of the fact J.E. was able to hold it all together after the break up of The Browns. I know it wasn’t easy. To this day I miss the business more than anyone will ever know, and wished many times I was still up there on stage with my sister and brother singing our hearts out.

J.E. should probably retire, but we all know he never will. One thing for sure, if he ever loses his voice, he can always whistle.

We still have those family squabbles but they are forgotten the next day because by then, we can’t remember what we were arguing about in the first place. All three of us are aware we are no longer spring chickens. Most of all, we are all so very thankful for the love of a good family, named Brown, and those close knit family ties that has kept us strong and together all these years.

Keep on singing Jay-Bird.
Your sister,
Maxine Brown
Visit Jim Ed’s website.


(As many as you like). Soak in one teaspoon salted water and one teaspoon soda over night. Pat dry. Sprinkle each bird with salt and pepper. Roll in flour. Use a deep skillet with plenty of oil. Deep fry until nice and brown. Drain on paper towel.
Soak birds in salted water & soda overnight, same as Fried Quail. Roll each bird in four, salt and pepper. Brown slowly in a dutch oven, turning once. Top with 2 sliced onions. Pour one cup water over birds. Use a tight lid, place in oven for about one hour, at 325 degrees. Make gravy from drippings and serve with RICE.

(This is the way I prepare DUCK if I want to make good Cornbread Dressing. Duck makes the best dressing ever!!)
4 TO 6 Wild Ducks
Wash & make sure they are good and clean. Soak in cold water for at least 2 or 3 hours with a little salt. Pat dry. Rub Ducks with Salt & Pepper. Place in a large roasting pan. HALVE 2 APPLES, l SLICED ONION, 1/2 BUNCH CELERY, & l CARROT. Cover ducks and vegetables just barely with WATER. When Ducks are tender, lift out of pan & strain off broth. Reserve the broth for dressing. Discard all the vegetables. Place Duck back in casserole & brush with a little Butter. Leave cover off so Duck will brown and crust over a little. (The Brown family love the taste of Wild Duck. Or, you might like to use the Duck to make a DUCK CASSEROLE.

3 to 4 Wild Ducks, cooked according to the way I prepare Wild Duck, with apples, onion, celery & carrots).
1/2 Cup Onion, chopped
1/2 Cup Celery, chopped
1/2 Cup Butter or Margarine
1/4 Cup Flour
1 8 oz. can Sliced Mushrooms, with liquid
2 Cups Evaporated Milk
1 Tablespoon Parsley, chopped
1 Teaspoon Black Pepper
Dash of Salt
1 Package Long Grain & Wild Rice
1 Package Slivered Almonds

Cook rice according to directions. De bone Ducks. In deep skillet, melt butter and saute onions & celery. Stir in flour. Add mushroom & its liquid. milk, parsley, salt & pepper.Add cooked rice and duck chunks. Place in a 2 quart casserole, sprinkle with slivered almonds. Bake about 30 minutes at 350 degrees.

3 Cups Cooked Rice
1 Onion, chopped fine
1 Cup Butter or Margarine
1 Cup Celery, chopped fine
1 Sweet Bell Pepper, chopped fine
1 Teaspoon Salt
1/2 Teaspoon Black Pepper
1/2 Teaspoon Marjoram (optional)
1/2 Teaspoon Sage
2 Cup Duck Broth (more if needed)

Cook Onion, Celery & Bell Pepper in one cup Butter until tender. Add remaining ingredients until well blended. Add hot Broth to make it good and moist. Its now ready to serve, or you may wish to put in a casserole and bake about 20 minutes or until its nice and brown on top. Note: This is good with Duck, Quail, or any other kind of birds. It can also be used as a stuffing for Rock Cornish Hens.

That’s all for now. Always a pleasure to hear from you