Country #Music legend Jim Ed Brown achieved his two final dreams before his death on June 11 - the release of his first album for 30 years, and his election into the Country Music Hall of Fame.


Brown, 81, was diagnosed with lung cancer in September last year but lived to see his final album, In Style Again, released this spring. Coinciding with the release was the announcement in March of Brown's election into the Hall of Fame as part of singing group The Browns.


The group's official induction alongside hit group The Oakridge Boys and session musician Grady Martin will come in October. But Sarah Trahern, CEO of the Country Music Association; Kyle Young, CEO of the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum; and singing star and existing Hall of Famer Bill Anderson visited Brown's hospital bedside a week before he passed away to present him with a medallion commemorating his Hall of Fame membership.


Classic country


Born in Sparkman, Arkansas on April 1, 1934, Brown first came to fame with his sisters Maxine and Bonnie in singing group, The Browns. The trio scored more than 20 hits between 1954 and 1968, including their biggest smash, The Three Bells, which topped the country chart for 10 weeks in 1959, spent four weeks atop the American pop charts and reached No.6 in the UK.


In 1965, Brown embarked on a solo career with songs including the classic honky tonk drinking song Pop A Top, which reached No.3 on the country chart in 1967. The song was later covered by Alan Jackson who had a hit with it in 1999. Brown placed nearly 40 solo hits on the country chart in the 1960s and 70s and also recorded more than a dozen hit duets with Helen Cornelius, including I Don't Want To Have To Marry You, which topped the chart for two weeks in 1976.


Although absent from the recording studio for the past three decades, Brown continued to make regular appearances on country music's iconic weekly radio show, the Grand Ole Opry. He also hosted two nationally syndicated radio shows that reached a weekly audience of three million listeners.


Elvis Presley and Taylor Swift


In perhaps his final in-depth interview, in the April issue of Country Music People, Brown recalled the part the Browns played in launching the career of Elvis Presley when they were asked to take the fledgling rock'n'roll star on tour in 1954. "We paid him $50 a night," said Brown.


Six decades later, Brown introduced Taylor Swift's first appearance on the Grand Ole Opry.


Plowboy Records said in a statement, "Jim Ed Brown's big dream was to be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. He achieved that dream. He also had a dream to record a new album and we're proud to say that Plowboy Records helped him to achieve that dream. His album In Style Again is quintessential Jim Ed Brown."


Of receiving country music's greatest honour, Brown said, "Fame is fleeting, hit records change every week, award show winners and nominees change every year, but being inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame will be forever."
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