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28th March. Sad to hear of the passing at 91 years of fine country singer Jan Howard (Lula Grace Johnson, Mar 13th, 1929 – Mar 28th, 2020). Born in Missouri she moved to LA in 1953, where she met and married songwriter Harlan Howard. Discovering she had a good voice (“Doing the washing up!”) Howard got her taping demos of his new songs – many of which went onto be be big hits including Mommy For A Day (Kitty Wells) and I Fall To Pieces (Patsy Cline). Then came a recording deal, first with the Challenge label and later Capital and Decca. She went on to have several country hits in the ’60s and 70s, many written by then husband Harlan Howard; also recorded several duets with Bill Andersen. BACM’s compilation features 26 songs from her early career (1959-62), including several Challenge recordings accompanied by Wynn Stewart’s band – fiddle and guitar abound! Most of the tracks are Harlan Howard compositions including the classic ‘Pick me up on your way down’ and Heartaches By The Number.
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