Book Review: Going Our Way
My Life W/ Jim Ed Brown
In this heartfelt, and achingly transparent biography, Jim Ed Brown's wife of 54 years Becky shares their journey into country music stardom, and faith. The book opens with a stirring scene from a page of Jim Ed Brown's life. The realization of a long held dream though not as expected, and somewhat bittersweet.
Becky takes us through her early life in Pine Bluffs, Ark, and Ida, Louisiana. In the latter is where she experiences her first brush with death. It marked and prepared her for what she would experience many decades later. We also get a glimpse into Jim Ed's amazing family. Momma Brown especially was a matriarch to many young struggling artists passing through Arkansas like Elvis, Bobby Bare, and Conway Twitty.
Unsurmountable tragedy struck J.E's family when Jim was a mere child. The heart-wrenching accident would shadow him through the entirety of his life. However, the family's devotion to each other was unshakeable, and strengthened.
There are various themes punctuated throughout the book. One such theme is the interconnectedness of people. Celebrities that were admired from the big screen, and or on the radio previously, were now friends. It is almost as if the admiration or respect for their talents was a magnet that ultimately attracted a connection. Tex Ritter, Gene Autry, and Eddy Arnold were a few of the luminaries the Browns were able to call friends.
Another theme throughout the book is the broadening appeal of country music. The high point culminating in the 70s with a critically acclaimed show at Madison Square Garden. A testament to country music's popularity is further underscored in 1973 when The Grammys were held in Nashville.
Becky also shares details concerning Jim Ed's affair w/ former duet partner Helen Cornelius. They did end up divorcing, but Jim never gave up on their marriage. Eventually he found his way back to God, and won Becky over again. They remarried five months later.
Overall, the book is a delight for fans of 60s, and 70s country music.
It is a book about family, heartbreak, human frailty, and forgiveness.
These are real life stories about perseverance, faith, and starting over.
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You can purchase the book here
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