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Sharing and Caring Annual Boat Ride for Hospitalized Veterans

On Friday, September 5, 2008, Jan had the pleasure of participating in the Sharing and Caring Annual Boat Ride for Hospitalized Veterans held onboard the Gateway Clipper in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Jan was invited to participate in the event by musicians Perry Pinto and Dale Vincent, and she had a wonderful time meeting with and performing for the Veterans group. Dale and his wife Randy graciously hosted Jan's stay for the weekend and provided her with a tour of several local landmarks.

Dale and his wife Randy are shown in a photo with Jan at the Fallingwater home designed by architect Frank Lloyd Wright. Bass player Perry Pinto is also shown with Jan at the magnificent home which was built, partly over a waterfall, in the 1930's. In addition to the Veterans group and to Dale, Randy, and Perry, Jan also extends her thanks to Karen Jones from the North Hills School District who is shown in a photo with Jan aboard the Gateway Clipper.

Recording “Those Were The Days”

At the invitation of Dolly Parton and as part of the ‘Opry Gang’, Jan had the pleasure of recording the fun song “Those Were The Days”. The recording session was held on July 1, 2005, at the The Tracking Room located at 2 Music Circle East in Nashville. The song is the title track on Dolly’s CD which was released on October 11, 2005. Some of you may remember that Mary Hopkin had a big hit and gold record with “Those Were The Days” in 1968. The melody of the song is actually based on the traditional Russian folk song “Dear For Me”.

The photo below was taken at Dolly’s recording session. In the photo are (top row, left to right) Porter Wagoner, engineer Patrick Murphy, Billy Walker, Mel McDaniel, Jimmy C. Newman, Jack Greene, George Hamilton IV, (bottom row, left to right) session leader Kent Wells, George Jones, Pam Tillis, Jeannie Seely, Dolly Parton, Brenda Lee, and Jan Howard. Dolly provided each artist with a signed copy of the photo and CD.

Scenes From 2004 “Jan Howard Day” In West Plains, Missouri

Around The World With Jan

Jan’s music has been included frequently on the playlists of FM radio station 103.8 BREST in France. (Please check out www.frequencemutine.fr.st). Thanks to DJ Alain Demers at the radio station.

Jan’s boxed set containing 81 recordings was reviewed (with four stars) in the November 2003 issue of Country Music People magazine which is published in London, England. (Please check out www.countrymusicpeople.com.) Thanks to Al Moir for the review and to Ivan Martin for sending a copy of the magazine. Al described the boxed set as “a must-have item for all Jan Howard fans.”

Shown to the right is a poster promoting Jan’s appearance in Norway when she performed there in January and February of 2003 with Jack Greene and Jeannie Seely. Jan has traveled overseas on numerous tours throughout her career Thanks to all the fans who have attended Jan’s shows in foreign countries, as well as right here in the USA.

Jan recently received a very complimentary letter from Sheldon Olson, a fan who lives in Ontario, Canada. Sheldon recently read Jan’s autobiography Sunshine and Shadow and highly praised Jan for her book. He also recalled how he and his sister Kelly used to sing ”Dis-Satisfied” to an eight-track tape copy of Jan and Bill’s duet hit. He even found the eight-track tape and kindly sent it to Jan who didn’t have her own copy. Thanks Sheldon.

Jan at Dollywood

Jan performed for several weeks at Dollywood in 2003. Shown below are a couple photos from Randy Parton's 'Country State of Mind' show during which Jan sang a fun duet of "Dis-Satisfied" with Jimmy Bryant. The photos were taken by Ann Allen (shown with Jan) who lives in nearby Sevierville. Ann attended many of Jan's Dollywood shows throughout the season and has been a longtime fan and friend.


A Salute to Goldie Hill Smith

At the 5th Annual Golden Voice Awards held on June 5, 2003, during Fan Fair, Jan Howard received the Female Vocalist Golden Voice Award.

Although she was extremely honored to be named Female Vocalist, Jan felt compelled to call Goldie Hill Smith to the stage and present the award to her instead. “She’s one of my favorite people and a very close friend,” noted Jan, “and I think she deserves some much overdue recognition.”

Goldie Hill got her start on the Louisiana Hayride in 1953 as part of her older brother Tommy’s band. Billed as “The Golden Hillbilly,” she scored a huge hit on Decca with her single, “I Let The Stars Get In My Eyes” (the answer song to “Don’t Let The Stars Get In Your Eyes” by Slim Willet and by Skeets McDonald). Goldie’s record stayed at No. 1 for three weeks on the Billboard country charts.

Goldie later scored hit duets with Justin Tubb (including the Top 5 “Looking Back To See) and with Red Sovine (including “Yankee, Go Home” – which was also recorded by Wynn Steward and Jan Howard).

In 1957 Goldie married country singer Carl Smith. She made a comeback in the late 1960s as Goldie Hill Smith and recorded two albums for Epic. Following Carl’s retirement from music in the late 1970s, he and Goldie stayed on their horse farm outside Franklin, Tennessee and the two began to show horses professionally during the course of the decade. Goldie and Carl had three children together – Carl Jr., Larry, and Lori.

Although her career was far too short in the opinion of many fans, Goldie Hill Smith nevertheless etched an indelible mark in country music history and is remembered by Jan and countless others as a great singer – as well as a beautiful and warm person.

Changing Hearts

The independent feature film Changing Hearts - in which Jan Howard appears as Mrs. Jenkins of the Women's Baptist League - is now available on Video and DVD.

Proceeds from the movie will help non-profit organizations dedicated to cancer research, education, and support.

Fan Trivia

Current Trivia Questions:

Question: In the 2003 book titled Finding Her Voice: Women In Country Music by Mary A. Bufwack and Robert K. Oermann, a listing is provided of female artists with the most Top 10 records. Jan Howard is included on the list with a No. 25 ranking, tied with Lee Ann Womack, Suzy Bogguss, Jody Miller, and Jeannie C. Riley. What is the number of Top 10 records that all of these ladies share?

Answer: Jan Howard, Lee Ann Womack, Suzy Bogguss, Jody Miller, and Jeannie C. Riley have each accumulated six Top 10 records on the Billboard country singles charts.

Question: In the same book, Jan is included among a list of female country performers who made the national charts past the age of forty. How old was Jan Howard when her last record charted?

Answer: Jan was 48 years old when her last charted single, “To Love A Rolling Stone”, debuted on the Billboard charts.

Previous Trivia Questions and Answers:

Question: Jan was looking through some old photos and found this one taken with her good friend Jeannie Seely. The photo was actually part of a Christmas card that was sent by Jeannie to Jan. Can you identify the location where the photo was taken, as well as the year?

Answer: The photo was taken in 1987 at the Bull Pen Lounge, part of the famous Stock-Yard Restaurant that is still located on Second Avenue in Nashville. (To those who have been there, the stone wall in the photo is a good clue to the location.) The unique building was the former home of a bank, a barbershop, a saloon, livestock trading companies, and many other interesting endeavors.


Question: On January 13, 1971, Jan Howard was a special guest on “The Johnny Cash Show”. What Canadian-born artist was also a guest on that same show?

Answer: Gordon Lightfoot, born in Orilla, Ontario, Canada, was a guest on the same Johnny Cash TV show. Although known mainly as a folk-pop singer, songwriter, and guitarist, Gordon placed several songs on the Billboard country charts from 1974-86, including the Top 15 hit "Sundown", a gold single that went to No. 1 on the pop charts.

Question: Can you identify the location where this photo was taken of Jan sometime in 2003?

Answer: The photo was taken on May 4, 2003, during a red carpet ceremony at the entrance to the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. The evening event was a Medallion Ceremony to honor the 2002 Hall of Fame inductees, Bill Carlisle and Porter Wagoner. The building in the background was the clue – it is the Hilton Hotel located across from the Hall of Fame in downtown Nashville.

Question: With what vocal group did Jan record a 1961 Capitol 45 rpm record containing the songs “Looking Back” and “See One Broken Heart”?

Answer: Jan recorded that record – along with many others – with The Jordannaires, members of the Country Music Hall of Fame.

Question: Many country artists – including Patsy Cline, Hank Snow, Floyd Cramer, Earl Scruggs, and Jan Howard – have lived in the Nashville suburb of Madison. What street address in Madison was the former home of Jan Howard?

Answer: As noted in her autobiography, Jan’s former address was 1017 South Graycroft, just a couple doors down from George and Anna Morgan.

Fan Questions

Following are questions that Jan has received:

I saw a “Jan Howard, Realtor” business card for sale on e-bay. Was that you on the card?

Jan’s Reply:
Yes, that was me. In the late 70's I obtained my real estate license. Since I had to have a broker and Corky knew some people at Lakeside Realtors in Hendersonville, that's where the license was placed. I actually sold a few houses (including Jimmy Capp's home in Mt. Juliet) but it didn't take me long to realize that selling homes was not for me – especially when people would bring me sacks of tapes to listen to. My license is in retirement and will stay there, but I still pay my dues. As Tammy said when asked why she kept her cosmetology dues paid..."you never know when this job will be end". A funny thing though is that I was so determined to pass that really hard test, I took a real estate course for three months. Then the week before the exam I studied five hours a night for seven nights then took a weekend crash course. The test was supposed to last about two hours with no break. Well, I was in there for four hours. Since most everyone had gone by then, I felt really stupid. Later I found out I had taken the Broker's test as well as the Affiliate Broker's. Then I got called to appear before the Grand Jury because I had received the fourth highest score ever.

Do you have a favorite memory of June Carter Cash as either an entertainer or a person?

Jan’s Reply:
My favorite memories of June Carter Cash are as a kind, caring person…a fun-loving individual who always had a smile and a helping hand. As an entertainer she was unbeatable. She was definitely loved by audiences all over the world.

One of my favorite recordings is "Where No One Stands Alone". How did you choose that song to record?

Jan’s Reply:
The first time I heard “Where No One Stands Alone”, I knew that song was special. It was a Don Gibson recording. It was a favorite of all three of my sons, and if they asked me to sing a song – whether it was on stage or at home – it was always “Where No One Stands Alone”. The lyrics have helped me through many bad times in my life. When I was deciding on songs for the “For God And Country” album, that song was a MUST.

Where did you make your first demo recording?

Jan’s Reply:
Actually the demo for “Mommy For A Day” was made in the bathroom of our little apartment in Gardena, CA. The echo was better there. Harlan stood with one foot propped on the commode, played his three chords on the guitar, and I stood in the shower. We had a Wolensack tape recorder. The demo was pretty bad, but it got the job done. Kitty Wells recorded the song and the rest is history.

During what years did you perform on Bill Anderson’s television show?

Jan’s Reply:
I think it was 1966 to 1973. When I first began the show it was done in Charlotte, NC. After that we filmed in Windsor, Ontario for six months. The last location was at WSIX in Nashville.

While taking a Grayline tour in Nashville and going by the National Cemetery, the bus driver said he thought Jan Howard’s son was the last soldier buried there. Is that correct?

Jan’s Reply:
Yes, that's what I was told. It was meant to be. When Jimmy was home on leave before going to Vietnam we were in his car and stopped for a red light at the corner of the cemetery. He looked over at a big tree standing there and said “that's got to be the most peaceful spot on earth”. He's buried about twenty feet from that tree.

I read that you’ve received several awards associated with your Veterans efforts including the “Distinguished Patriot Medal”. Were you involved with the Veterans Memorial?

Jan’s Reply:
I’ve received awards from many different veterans organizations, each of which I'm honored. Most are associated with Vietnam Veterans. I was contacted when the idea of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington first began. I and many military figures did press conferences for Time, Newsweek, The Washington Post, New York Times, and other media for support of the idea. Letters about the Memorial were sent out on my personal stationary asking for donations. I also did many radiothons all over the country. After many meetings the design was chosen. I don't want this to sound as if I was the only one involved....there were many who gave their time, support and money to achieve the end result...an awesome sight. Over fifty-eight thousand names are on the Wall, each of whom paid the ultimate price for freedom.

When was the “Jan Howard Expressway” dedicated in West Plains?

Jan’s Reply:
The Jan Howard Expressway was dedicated in September of 1971. Bill Anderson and I did a complete show that night at the fairgrounds...it was a kind of "This is your life...JAN HOWARD". Many of my family members were there. And a man in the audience taped the whole show and sent it to me. I even have congratulation cassettes from people who couldn't be there including Tex Ritter.

Do you remember the first time you sang in front of a live audience?

Jan’s Reply:
I had never sung in front of a live audience before Wynn Stewart and I recorded “Yankee Go Home”. After that when Harlan and I went to see Wynn perform he'd always ask if I'd sing with him. I had such horrible stage fright it got to where about the time I knew he was going to ask me to sing, I'd make some excuse to leave. Then when I recorded “Pick Me Up On Your Way Down” and it began to get some local air play It happened more often. I was afraid to go anywhere. Even after I recorded “The One You Slip Around With”. Then one night while visiting Town Hall party where many of our friends were performing I heard my name called...it was Joe Maphis introducing me. Someone pushed me toward the stage but I swear I don't remember singing.

The first REAL audience was Lubbock, TX. In California I was working as a secretary earning $85.00 a week before taxes. One day someone called and asked me do a three day tour with Wynn in Texas and Colorado Springs. When they said they'd pay me $250.00 a day I said yes. But that first night in Lubbock Johnny Horton literally pushed me on stage. Seems like I was pushed a lot...but I was heading for the door. All I could think was" what am I doing here?" Archie Campbell was also on the show. When he was on I stood in the back of the auditorium and listened to him do “Trouble In The Amen Corner”...you could hear a pin drop. I was fascinated. The next night was Amarillo then Colorado Springs. Later two more shows were added...Kansas City, KS and Tulsa, OK. That was all in 1959. Upon returning to California I did another show with Buck Owens and Wynn...the disk jockey who was the MC introduced me as Mrs. Harlan Howard. He knew Harlan's name because by that time Ray Price had recorded “Heartaches By The Number” and Harlan was the writer.

Is that you singing “Mama sang tenor” on Johnny Cash’s No. 1 hit “Daddy Sang Bass”?

Jan’s Reply:
Yes. Carl Perkins wrote the song. He called one night at ten o'clock and asked if I'd come to the studio where Johnny Cash was recording and sing one line. Said he couldn't hear anyone but me doing it. Coming from Carl that was a great compliment. I rushed right over. The Statler Brothers were there and we all sang together...but that one line was mine alone. I understand there have been many contests on radio stations as to who sang that line....they've guessed everyone BUT me.

When you recorded “Evil On Your Mind”, did you think it would be as big of a hit record as it was? Congratulations on it being included in the new book as one of the 500 greatest country singles of all time. Wasn’t it also nominated for a Grammy Award?

Jan’s Reply:
I had a good feeling about the song when I first heard it. And after we made the demonstration record I took it immediately to Owen Bradley (my producer) and said "this is a hit"....he agreed. It was nominated for a Grammy in 1966.

I heard Jeannie Seely mention something on the Opry about the two of you being “centerfolds”. Was she just kidding?

Jan’s Reply:
Actually it’s true….our pictures and ads are in the center of the 2003 Ernest Tubb Record Shop Catalog. We said, "finally....we made the centerfold!”

If you had the opportunity to choose any artist(s) to become the newest member(s) of the Grand Ole Opry, who would you pick?

Jan’s Reply:
Now you've put me on the spot. But since my opinion wouldn't help or hurt anyone to be made a member of the Opry, I'll leave that to the "powers that be" and keep my fingers crossed.

Do you watch any of the shows like Star Search, American Idol, or Nashville Star? What advice would you give to anyone trying to get discovered?

Jan’s Reply:
I have never watched any of the shows you mentioned. And the business is so different from when I started it's hard to give advice. But I'd say make sure it's what you really want to do, have faith in yourself and your ability, work to be the best that you can be and don't take "no" for an answer. Sing every chance you get....you never know when the right person will be listening.

Do you have a favorite golf course?

Jan’s Reply:
Because of golf tournaments, I've had the opportunity to play on some really great courses. It's hard to choose just one. I belong to Springhouse (the Opryland Course) and really like Cole Park Golf Course on Fort Campbell, KY. But frankly, and I've said this before, I'm not that good a golfer. My handicap is two; my clubs and golf. But I love the game and keep trying!

I had the pleasure of seeing you perform on the Opry with Jeannie Seely and Rita Coolidge. The three of you have written some great songs and were previously married to three of country music’s most famous songwriters – Harlan Howard, Hank Cochran, and Kris Kristofferson. Have you ever thought about doing a movie or play together? It would be a great idea.

Jan’s Reply:
No, we haven't. But, I agree it would be one heck of a movie. Something to think about.

I enjoy the new recipe page on your web site. What’s your very favorite dessert?

Jan’s Reply:
My favorite dessert???? Let's see….coconut meringue pie, blackberry cobbler, custard pie....the list is way too long. I try not to eat any very often….once past the lips forever on the hips....or waist.

Do you have any favorite songs that you haven't recorded but would like to in the future?

Jan's Reply:
I sure do. "Take Me As I Am" has always been a favorite. "Somebody's Always Saying Goodbye" and "Think I'll Go Somewhere And Cry Myself To Sleep" also come to mind. These are just three songs of many.

What are some of your favorite restaurants in the Nashville area?

Jan's Reply:
Mario's is a great Italian restaurant, as is Valentino's. Nick and Rudy's is also very good. Arnold's is a "meat and three" but you'll always get great home cookin'. I love the Belle Meade Buffet…good vegetables and salads. And I have to add Sperry's…it's probably among my top three choices.

We recently heard Tanya Tucker thank you during an interview for allowing her to sing on the last Opry show at the Ryman in 1974. What's the story behind that?

Jan's Reply:
Tanya was about thirteen or fourteen I believe, and Delta Dawn was getting a lot of airplay. She and her Dad were backstage at the Ryman. I asked if she was going to sing and when she said they didn't have room for her, I asked the manager if I could give her one of my spots. He said if it was okay with me it was okay with him. As I expected, the audience loved her. I'm honored that she remembers.

Do you have a most embarrassing moment on stage that is now funny to look back on?

Jan's Reply:
There have been several…most of which are SO embarrassing they don't need repeating. It's a case of "I guess you had to be there…".

What is your reaction to recently being voted among the Top 15 Most Influential Women in Country Music [by a Internet Poll conducted by www.takinthecountryback.com]?

Jan's Reply:
I didn't know I was. But if so, that's a great compliment and I'm truly honored!

Do you have any favorites among the current country recording artists?

Jan's Reply:
Several. But, the ones I like the most are the ones with their own style and sound…the ones I can identify the minute I hear their voice. One such new young artist is Josh Turner. I may adopt him.

What is your favorite vacation spot?

Jan's Reply:
For the past few years I've gone with Bobby and Jeannie Bare to Sanibel Island, Florida, for a week or so in January or February. I love it there. But, if possible, I try to make every trip a mini-vacation no matter where it is. I believe in making the most of every day...the place doesn't matter.

When did you first start playing golf and who got you interested in the game?

Jan's Reply:
I first began seriously learning to play golf about 1987. I had spent the previous year and a half writing my book and didn't have time for anything else. My son, Jimmy, was an avid (and very good) golfer...he had played since he was thirteen. One day I went with him to the course and tried to hit a ball now and then until he said "Mom, I have a great idea...why don't you go take a lesson and let me play golf". I knew I wasn't ready. But the first time I EVER hit(?) a ball was when we were taping The Bill Anderson Show from Hounds Ear, N.C. Bill and I decided to tackle the course. I purchased a box of twelve brand new balls. On the last hole the green was on the other side of a small lake into which I hit all twelve balls. That was the last of golf for several years. But, once I began to play I loved it and now spend every minute possible playing. Even though it's frustrating when I goof up, I love it.

Do you have a favorite memory or story regarding Patsy Cline?

Jan's Reply:
I was a Patsy Cline fan long before we ever met. We met in the women's dressing room ( which was the restroom) at the Ryman when I first came to Nashville and began appearing on the Opry. Because I was so shy (believe it or not) I wouldn't introduce myself. She thought I was conceited and told me so in no uncertain words. My shyness left and I fired back at her. She laughed as only Patsy could and said "You're alright, honey. We're gonna be good friends" - and from then on we were. I loved her for the person she was; good hearted and loyal. She loved her family, she loved to laugh and she loved to sing. I'm so glad her music is timeless.

In your book you talk about living in many different places. How many times would you estimate you moved before finally settling in Nashville?

Jan's Reply:
Heaven only knows. I went to a small school for a short time and can't count that high.

Have you ever appeared in any theater productions or musicals?

Jan's Reply:
I studied acting for two years and would really like to pursue that part of the business. I've auditioned several times and have come close, but close only counts in hand grenades and horseshoes. But the only time I've ever done anything of that sort was recently when Jeannie Seely, Rita Coolidge and I were cast in a movie now called "Changing Hearts" staring Faye Dunaway, Tom Skerritt, Lauren Holly, Ian Somerhalder and Janet Carroll. The last I heard it was to be released soon on the big screen, Lifetime Network, and DVD. It was fun, interesting and hard work, but I'd do it again in a New York minute. I learned a lot and have a new respect for the people "behind the scenes". I've thought about doing local theater and I may yet....who knows???

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