Funeral for Jim Ed Brown held at Ryman Auditorium - WSMV News 4

Funeral for Jim Ed Brown held at Ryman Auditorium

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Jim Ed Brown (Photo credit: Amanda Van Sandt) Jim Ed Brown (Photo credit: Amanda Van Sandt)

Jim Ed Brown, one of the Grand Ole Opry's most beloved artists, was laid to rest Monday afternoon in Berry Hill.

Brown's country family gathered Monday morning at the Ryman Auditorium for a celebration of his life.

The Ryman, the mother church of country music, was a place Brown dreamed about as a young man in Arkansas.

The stage on Monday was filled with his musical friends.

The Oak Ridge Boys sang Life's Railway to Heaven, setting the Southern Gospel theme for Brown's celebration of life.

Lady Antebellum sang it better than anyone could say it.

"May the angels protect you and heaven accept you."

Brown was remembered as being very kind to new acts.

He was remembered as a man who understood the concept of forgiveness by old friends like Brenda Lee and Crystal Gayle, an early opening act.

Gaylord Entertainment CEO Colin Reed said Brown would be missed by anyone who had contact with him.

Opry manager Pete Fisher and CMA CEO Sarah Trahern all spoke of Brown's long service to the Opry and the country music industry.

Brown was most proud of the Hall of Fame medallion worn around his neck in his last days.

Brown died at age 81 on Thursday at Williamson Medical Center after battling cancer.

Brown rose to fame in the late 1950s and early '60s as the member of a trio with his two sisters, Maxine and Bonnie. He then went on to become a solo artist with the hit song Pop a Top. In the 1970s, he formed a duo with with Helen Cornelius. Brown became a member of the Opry in 1963.

Earlier this year, the announcement was made that Brown and his sisters would be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.

Brown is survived by his wife, Becky, and his children and grandchildren. 

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