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Looking Back to SeeLooking Back to See

A Country Music Memoir

Maxine Brown


Book published by University of Arkansas Press


The Browns—Maxine, Bonnie, and Jim Ed—are 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 Loretta’s Lynn’s Coal Miner’s Daughter, this memoir, told in Maxine’s own plucky, spirited style, delves deeply into the Browns’ 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 “Looking Back to See.” Sister Bonnie later joined them, and strengthened by shared experience they sang their way on to Little Rock’s 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 wasn’t long before he became a close friend of the family. Other hits followed, including “I Take the Chance” and “I Heard the Bluebirds Sing.”

Maxine Brown lives in North Little Rock, Arkansas. The Browns are still performing.

REVIEWS:

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, legendary music star

“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 of 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 of twentieth century popular culture at the 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 worldwide. Maxine was right in the middle of it.”

—Ralph Emery, former host of TNN’s Country Homecoming





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University Press Audiobooks
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