July 11

Remembering the Browns’ Number 1 Hit “Three Bells”


This family of talented singers was introduced to the country scene when their performance of “Three Bells” topped the country charts. They were called The Browns and even though they did not have many songs as a group, they are still remembered.

Before Little Big Towns’ 11-week run at the top of the country charts, the Browns held the record for the longest reign by a group at the top charts.

three bells, the browns
via Screengrab from YouTube

Knowing The Browns

This amazing family consists of three members, namely Maxine, Bonnie, and Jim Ed Brown. Jim Ed leads the band with his baritone and soothing voice. As a group, they do harmonize really well and the sound that they produce is soothing to the ears.

The country music community acknowledged the influence that the Browns have during their run as a band. They were inducted into the prestigious Country Music Hall of Fame along with other country legends. Before they recorded their version of “Three Bells,” the group was about to disband; but thanks to Chet Atkins, he asked them to record one last song and so they did.

the browns, three bells
Credit: Elmer Williams/Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, via Getty Images

“Three Bells”

The track was originally in a French language tune “Les Trois Cloches” by Jean Villard Gilles and Marc Herrand. It was then noticed by the American producer Chet Atkins and he asked Jim Ed Brown to record the song for their band. Mr. Jim Ed Brown said:

“We recorded it, and after the session Chet said, ‘You kids may think you’re about to retire, but I think you’ve just recorded the biggest song we’ve ever done.”

The song is about a person called Jimmy Brown and the three stages of life that he has to go through, birth, marriage, and death. The Browns Band was able to sing the song really well, putting in the country music flare. It also became a cross over hit reaching the top of both the country and pop charts.

Listen to the song here:


chet atkins, Country Band, The Browns, three bells

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