very beginning, HELEN CORNELIUS has had a vision of her
destiny. As she told
Bill Littleton of Performance
"Belief in oneself is probably the most important
ingredient to success that there is, because if you believe
in yourself, then nothing is
gonna knock you down. I'm ready to fly."
If he had known her, Mark Twain would have liked a lot of the
traits deeply ingrained In
HELEN’S character. The kind of spirit of adventure he
so often wrote about; the
determination to meet life's challenges head-on; the
character and positive belief In
herself that Joseph and Lu Elsie Johnson imparted to Helen
Lorene and her seven
brothers and sisters.
Helen grew up on a farm in Missouri, where she listened to
radio's Grand Ole Opry and
sang with her sisters, accompanied by her brothers who played
in country bands. Since
her musical debut at the age of five, HELEN has won numerous
talent contests, including
three winning appearances on The Ted Mack Amateur
her songwriting that initially swung open the doors along the
corridors of Nashville's Music Row. By the
HELEN had songs recorded by a number of major artists,
Including The Oak Ridge Boys, Reba McEntire, Jeannie
Riley, Connie Smith, Charlie Louvin and Melba Montgomery,
LaCosta, and Dottsy... just to mention a few. While it
her writing that first won her major credibility, It was the
voice that RCA Record executives heard that won
CORNELIUS her first major recording contract in 1975.
With it, history was about to be made.
HELEN’S teaming on record with Jim Ed Brown was further
crowned with success by her individual nomination as
Promising Female vocalist" by Music City News in 1977.
Following this win, the West Coast based Academy of
Music gave her their prestigious nod in the "Best New Female
Vocalist" category. Also in 1977, Jim Ed Brown and
HELEN CORNELIUS won the coveted CMA Award for "Vocal Duo Of
The Year", Single Of The Year", and "Album Of The
For four and a half years HELEN was an integral part of the
Jim Ed Brown Show, and was seen weekly by seven
viewers as a regular on the Nashville On The Road
shows. The results of this association,
including HELEN'S first number one record
Want to Have To Marry You" were astounding and Helen would
the very last to underestimate the impact of those years.
But there was always the desire to do more than just stand in
front of a microphone and sing her half of a duet. She
capable of much more, and anyone who has seen her perform
lately knows just how much!
October 1980 HELEN assembled a five piece band, worked up an
energetic, entertaining show, taking full advantage
the freedom to display all sides of her talent. She
immediately began touring with Conway Twitty for the next
year and a
half. Her experience has grown to match her tremendous
self-confidence. She says, "With me, it's never a
question of if
I do a certain thing, it's always a matter of when I do it."
HELEN and her band, Southern Spirit, toured year round
developed a reputation as one of the most dependable acts in
January 1984 HELEN prepared to add a new and very exciting
chapter not only to her own career, but to the course
country music as well. Bill Fegan Attractions chose
HELEN to play the lead in a road show revival of Irving
Get Your Gun".
On the heels of closing in "Annie Get Your
HELEN shifted gears to tour with The Statler Brothers on
concert series for the next two years along with the demands
of her own individual concert dates. Notes from
reviewers caught the impact of what was happening. As
one reviewer deftly pinpointed... "HELEN CORNELIUS
grown into a performer who can walk on-stage, grab a crowd,
and hold it right where she wants it... in the palm of
March 19,1998 at The Little Nashville Opry in Nashville,
Indiana... two sold-out performances for the much heralded
teaming in concert of Jim Ed Brown and HELEN CORNELIUS in a
flurry of media attention, country music’s
winning duo launched a reunion tour that emblazoned a clear
message... Brown and CORNELIUS still possessed that
certain magic to ignite a song and an audience when they
walked on-stage together.
In 1991, ready for a new challenge HELEN opened a dinner
theater in Gatlinburg, TN. She performed nightly
"Nashville South" through December 1996. As she stated, "I
loved getting to sing different songs each night,
requests, and do such a variety of music. I also loved
hiking the mountains and becoming a part of the beautiful
In 1997, HELEN joined with Jim Ed Brown to perform in the
Eagle Mountain Theater In Pigeon Forge, TN., along with
Hunley. "I loved that show, and having great voices
surrounding the blend of Jim Ed and myself was such a
HELEN performed in Branson, MO at the 76 Music Hall with the
Grand Ladies of Country Music show (featuring Jan
Howard, Margo Smith, Leona Williams, Jean Shepard, and
others) until May of 2003. At that time, HELEN
accepting road dates and started touring the country
HELEN continues to perform with Jim Ed Brown periodically on
the Grand Ole Opry, as well as county and state fairs,
addition to her own solo appearances.
"I feel so blessed to be able to make a living doing
something I love so much".
In May of 2005, HELEN was honored by the State of Missouri
when she was inducted into the Missouri Country
Hall of Fame during a ceremony in Springfield, MO.
With her present day country music honors and
accomplishments, many feel HELEN has done as much as Mark
to put their mutual hometown of Hannibal, MO in the mental
map of America!
getting to know Helen