Hailing from Monroe City, Missouri, American country artist Helen Cornelius was born in December of 1941 into a family filled with musical talent. Her older brothers played in country bands while she formed a singing trio with her two sisters. Eventually, Helen began touring solo with The Crossroads, her own backup band. She signed with Screen Gems Music as a songwriter in 1970 and, when the company closed down, she was offered a contract with MCA Records. She eventually moved onto both Columbia Records and then RCA Records.
Her big success came in 1976 when she recorded a duet with Jim Ed Brown, “I Don’t Want to Have to Marry You.” The song was a huge success in the United States and the start of a series of duets with Brown. Following their first collaboration, they worked together to release “Saying Hello, Saying I Love You, Saying Goodbye,” “If the World Ran Out of Love Tonight,” “You Don’t Bring Me Flowers,” “Lying in Love with You,” “Fools” and “Morning Comes Too Early,” among others. Together, the two have released albums, toured and performed on the stage of the Grand Ole Opry.
She has also released five singles on her own that have reached the U.S. Country charts’ Top 100. These songs include “Whatcha Doin’ After Midnight, Baby,” “It Started with a Smile” and “Love Never Comes Easy.”
In 1984, Cornelius moved on from just recording and touring and appeared in a revival of Annie Get Your Gun. In 1990, she opened her own theatre in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. In 2002 and 2003 she returned back to her home state of Missouri to perform at the Jim Stafford Theatre.
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