The Browns The Complete Hits
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- by The Browns ~ I Heard The Bluebirds Sing / A Harvest of Country Songs ~ $8.48
- Released: May 27, 2008
- Originally Released: 2008
- Label: Collector's Choice
Description by OLDIES.com:
Every hit notched by the #1 country singing group of the late-'50s and early-'60s! The brother-and-sister trio of Jim Ed, Maxine and Bonnie Brown personified two trends in popular music at the time, the rise of the lush Nashville Sound and the national craze for folk music, and as a result they "crossed over" from the country charts into pop stardom. Never before had the homespun harmonies of country music sounded so smooth and downright commercial; add to that the Browns's clean-cut image and you had an act ripe for superstardom in late-'50s America. All 21 of their hits (billed variously as the Browns, Jim Edward & Maxine Brown, and the Browns Featuring Jim Edward Brown) are here, with pictures and annotation by Grammy-winner Colin Escott.
- 1. Looking Back to See
- 2. Here Today and Gone Tomorrow
- 3. I Take the Chance
- 4. Just as Long as You Love Me
- 5. Money
- 6. I Heard the Bluebirds Sing
- 7. Would You Care?
- 8. Beyond the Shadow
- 9. The Three Bells (Les Trios Cloches)
- 10. Scarlet Ribbons (for Her Hair)
- 11. The Old Lamplighter
- 12. Send Me the Pillow You Dream On
- 13. Oh No!
- 14. Then I ll Stop Loving You
- 15. Everybody's Darlin, Plus Mine
- 16. Meadowgreen
- 17. I'd Just Be Fool Enough
- 18. Coming Back to You
- 19. I Hear It Now
- 20. Big Daddy
- 21. I Will Bring You Water
The Complete Hits (2008) is a single-disc offering 21 of the best-loved and most popular country sides from siblings Jim Ed Brown, Maxine Brown, and Bonnie Brown -- known, suitably enough, as the Browns. This Collectors' Choice Music compile begins with their earliest recordings on the Fabor label -- notably, the fun "Looking Back to See" and "Here Today and Gone Tomorrow" -- as well as every one of the RCA Records titles to have made it as Top 100 Country and/or Pop Singles circa 1955 through 1967. From their humble Arkansas origins, and while still young adults the trio attained a degree of regional success with the upbeat and winsome "Looking Back to See" -- which had been penned by Maxine. It gave them a chance to perform on the weekly live music radio program the Louisiana Hayride. The exposure paid off as their subsequent ballad "Here Today and Gone Tomorrow" made it all the way to a respectable seven on the Country survey. The Browns soon outgrew the Fabor Records imprint, as the trio had gained enough clout to garner the interest of RCA. By the spring of 1956, brother Jim Ed Brown's time was increasingly being taken up by his duties in the Army. His extracurricular moments were devoted to recording new material. They returned in fine style, remaking the Louvin Brothers' "I Take the Chance," which landed at the penultimate notch on the Country Singles countdown. In September of 1956 came another Louvin's update with "Just as Long as You Love Me." The number only reached eleven and marked nearly a year before the Browns would return to the upper reaches of the singles survey. Their comeback yielded one of the group's signatures, "I Heard the Bluebirds Sing." They benefited greatly from the input of Chet Atkins, who was RCA's acting head of A&R. Under his direction the Browns created their first double-barrel classic as "The Three Bells" not only entered the Pop market, but made it all the way to the top of both the Country and Pop Singles charts. Sensing a good thing, "Scarlet Ribbons" followed two months later and "The Old Lamplighter" briefly sustained their crossover appeal. Their non-threatening, rural alternative to rock & roll had a tremendous amount to do with easy-on-the-ears vocal harmonies. Atkins would incorporate these perfectly into the Nashville sound that he was concurrently concocting by blending middle of the road pop and melodic country. Although their acclaim would never attain its former level, the Browns' last half-dozen survey entries were spread throughout the early to '60s. One of the primary pluses of this Collectors' Choice Music package is these latter era tunes. Their lovely interpretation of Roger Miller's "Meadowgreen," Chip Taylor's folkie "I Hear It Now," and the frisky update of John D. Loudermilk's "Big Daddy." The latter is a variant of "Alabama Bound" and actually dates back to 1908 with the earliest known recording known by Papa Charlie Jackson circa May of 1925. Fans of bawdy British comic Benny Hill will undoubtedly recognize the melody as it was frequently used as incidental music. While hardcore enthusiasts might want to spring for the pricey imports of their individual albums, many consumers will find enough of a healthy sampling here to satiate the casual listener. ~ Lindsay Planer
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