"The Browns" were an American family singing group from Sparkman, Arkansas made up of Jim Ed Brown and his sisters, Maxine Brown and Bonnie Brown.
Country music singers, they sang individually at rural venues until 1954 when Maxine Brown, and younger brother Jim Ed, signed a record contract as a singing duo. Eighteen-year-old Bonnie joined the group in 1955, and the following year they were signed by Chet Atkins, RCA Victor Records producer in Nashville, Tennessee. The family trio recorded several songs that met with only modest success until 1959, when their 45 rpm folk single called "The Three Bells" was a no. 1 hit on both the Billboard Hot 100 pop music and country music charts. Based on a song called "Les trois cloches," the song was originally a hit in France for both the group Les Compagnons de la chanson and Édith Piaf.
The Browns followed up the success of "The Three Bells" with "Scarlet Ribbons" and "The Old Lamplighter," recordings that also did very well on both the pop and country music charts. With an international following, The Browns toured Europe extensively and recorded further moderate successes on the country music charts. In 1963, they became part...