Hall of Fame Inductees

We are proud of all Hall of Fame Inductees and their contribution to Canadian country music. Click on the Inductee name for more information.

"Papa" Joe Brown

  • Inducted into the CCMA Hall of Honor in 1986
  • Inducted into the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame in 1989
  • Birth: August 30, 1925 - West Leicester (Amherst), Nova Scotia
  • Death: May 30, 1986 - Chelsey, Ontario


Joseph William Brown is truly the patriarch of Canadian country music. His career spanned over five decades, starting with the Hillbilly Jewels, a group he formed when only in his teens with his sister, Vivian. The Hillbilly Jewels’ most successful period came in 1952, when they toured across Canada with the “Wilf Carter Show”.

After the demise of the Hillbilly Jewels, “Papa” Joe Brown moved to Ottawa, where in the mid-1950s he became a founding member of The Happy Wanderers, a mainstay on the Ottawa Valley scene for the next decade. In 1967, he decided to take it to the next level and form a group with himself on bass and vocals, his son Barry as the primary vocalist and guitarist, and daughters Tracey and Lawanda on vocals. Guitarist, Dave Dennison and drummer Ron Sparling, who also served as the band’s manager, also came on board. Family Brown went on to become Canadian country music’s most awarded group.

Affectionately known as “Papa” Joe, because of his talent, humour and affection, he will always be remembered for his unique recitations.

“Papa” Joe Brown passed away May 30, 1986 at the age of 60.


"Papa" Joe Brown was inducted into the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame at the 1989 Canadian Country Music Association Awards: