The BrownsâMaxine, Bonnie, and Jim Edâare a trio of siblings that had tremendous success in the 1950s and 60s. Following in the tradition of the best of such books, such as Lorettaâs Lynnâs Coal Minerâs Daughter, this memoir, told in Maxineâs own plucky, spirited style, delves deeply into the Brownsâ remarkable past, beginning with a Depression-era childhood in rural south Arkansas. From it emerged a duo, Maxine and Jim Ed, and in 1954 they had a Top Ten hit with âLooking Back to See.â Sister Bonnie later joined them, and strengthened by shared experience they sang their way on to Little Rockâs Barnyard Frolic in 1952, and were soon regulars on the well-known Louisiana Hayride. They would eventually help a young Elvis Presley get started on the show and toured with him as their opening act, and it wasnât long before he became a close friend of the family. Other hits followed, including âI Take the Chanceâ and âI Heard the Bluebirds Sing.â
Early mismanagement (which Maxine describes quite graphically in her own gutsy style) couldnât prevent the Brownsâ careers from soaring. The group began a long relationship with RCA, and with Chet Atkins, and later joined the Grand Ole Opry cast. In 1959 their rendition of Edith Piafâs song, âThe Three Bellsâ not only went to the top of the country charts but spent weeks at number one on the pop charts, and led to appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show and American Bandstand.
A vocal group without peer, The Browns were central artists in the changing sound of country and American popular music at mid-century. They were part of major changes in the entertainment business and American culture, participated in the folk music movement in the â60âs, and saw the steady birth of rock ânâ roll up close as they worked with Presley and others. Illustrated with many never-before-published photographs, Looking Back to See is a remarkable story told here for the first time.
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A revealing, entertaining, and first-hand story of the American music business in the 50's and 60'sFrom the Inside Flap:
"Looking Back to See is a good book. It touches my heart to hear her story and to think back to my boyhood. Her story is real."--EDDY ARNOLD
"Fascinating. . . . She's warm, honest, gossipy, and outrageously funny. . . . Maxine wasn't just present at the birth of rock 'n' roll, she was one of its midwives."--EDWARD MORRIS, former country music editor, Billboard
"An irreplaceable narrative by a participant in the golden age of country and 'hillbilly' music who witnessed and made its history."--CHARLES McGOVERN, former curator, Smithsonian's National Museum of American History
"The Browns became leading exponents of what was then developing as the 'Nashville Sound.' That sound was making musical history and increasing the popularity of country music wordwide. Maxine was right in the middle of it."--RALPH EMERY
"I never considered The Browns to be anything except the perfect ambassadors of our music, , , , You guys opened many doors for 'country.'"--BILL MACK, The Satellite Cowboy on XM Radio
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Book Description University of Arkansas Press, 2005. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # P111557287902
Book Description University of Arkansas Press. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 1557287902 New Condition. Bookseller Inventory # NEW6.0728931