The Browns + The Three Bells

by

Riley Johnson

Updated

January 18, 2024

Updated

January 18, 2024

Updated

January 18, 2024

In 1959, The Browns released one of their iconic holiday songs, “The Three Bells,” as part of their album Sweet Sounds by the Browns. According to some reports, upon its release, the song immediately topped the country charts, landing at no. 1 on both “US Billboard Hot 100” and “Canada (CHUM Hit Parade)”. 

Although the song first received public recognition after the Browns performed it, it was originally an adaptation of the French language song “Les Trois Cloches,” written by Jean Villard. 

RELATED: Jim Ed Brown’s Musical Success With and Without The Browns

It was first introduced in 1947 during Piaf and Les Compagnons American tour. But even though the song was well-received by Billboard, the original version still didn’t manage to land any charts during that time. 

However, when they recorded their English version, the song promptly charted, reaching no. 14 in the United States in 1952 and no. 21 in the UK charts in 1959.

Since then, the song has been covered by countless artists, but the most notable one was the version of the American country and folk vocal trio, The Browns. Not only did they carry the song to the number one spot, but their rendition also garnered them a Grammy Award nomination

RELATED: The Carter Family’s “Can the Circle Be Unbroken” Was The Biggest Seller Of 1935 

According to sources, Bonnie Brown first heard the song on a local radio station. Since the song’s tempo and message drew his interest, the Browns’ main vocalist immediately did everything he could to ensure they got their hands on the song’s copy.  

Meaning Behind the Song

“The Three Bells” is also known as “Jimm Brown” or “Little Jimmy Brown” since it describes three phases of Jimmy Brown’s life: his birth, marriage, and death. It represents positive thinking, freedom, success, a taste of a wonderful life, and authority, feelings that listeners have experienced throughout the song. 

So, if you want to listen to The Browns’ version of the song “The Three Bells,” you can do so by watching the video below. 


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