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18th June – anniversary of Paul Howard (July 10, 1908- June 18, 1984), influential country and Western Swing musician, songwriter and bandleader – and popular Opry performer from the 1940s onwards. His shift away from old timey style to Western Swing began in the early ‘40s when he formed his Arkansas Cotton Pickers combo playing hot jazzy western swing. Line ups including future A-Lister guitarists Hank Garland and Grady Martin (both still teenagers when they joined) and Roy Wiggins as well as some of the hottest steel and fiddle maestros of the era. Nowadays sadly and undeservedly overlooked in all the country music histories.
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