2015 has definitely seen many different emotions for the legendary country trio The Browns. During the first few months of the year, the family rejoiced at the news that brother and lead singer Jim Ed had gained the upper hand in his battle with cancer, with the disease being in remission. Jim Ed — along with Maxine and Bonnie — were present in March at the Country Music Hall of Fame when it was announced that the trio would be among three new members of the Hall.
Then, just a few weeks later, Brown’s cancer returned, which the singer succumbed to on June 11. And, now it appears that the family’s struggles are not over. Bonnie Brown, the youngest of the family trio, announced Monday that she has also been diagnosed with the disease.
“I have been diagnosed with Stage 4 Adenocarcinoma right lung cancer,” Brown said. “I have recently undergone tests to determine the best type of treatment for this horrible disease. This news came as a shock to our family as we are still mourning the loss of my big brother, Jim Ed.”
Brown — who made the announcement at a Medallion Luncheon for the media at the Hall — said she was reminded of her brother’s words at the March induction announcement ceremony. “As Jim Ed said at the announcement of our induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame earlier this year, ‘Cancer is no fun.’ I agree.”
Brown is very optimistic about her prognosis. “I have full faith in my oncologist and the many specialists at CARTI in Little Rock, and I trust in them to determine the best path to my full recovery. I am surrounded by the love and support of my family and I am determined to live many more years.”
The Browns were originally a duo featuring Jim Ed and older sibling Maxine. The two hit No. 8 on the Country Singles chart in 1954 with “Looking Back To See.” Bonnie joined in 1955, making The Browns a trio. Future hits included “Here Today and Gone Tomorrow,” “The Old Lamplighter,” and “The Three Bells,” which topped not only the country charts, but the Hot 100 — and even hit No. 10 on the Hot R&B Sides listing. Both Bonnie and Maxine stepped away from the limelight in 1967, leaving Jim Ed to carry on as a solo act. However, the sisters would join their brother from time to time on the stage of the Grand Ole Opry — as well as a 1985 album for MCA/Dot. The Browns’ final recording together, “When the Sun Says Hello to the Mountain,” appeared on Jim Ed’s final album, In Style Again, which was released in January.
Brown added that if fans wanted to send prayers or good wishes, they would be welcome. Cards can be mailed to P.O. Box 233, Dardanelle, Arkansas, 72834-0233.