Jan Howard

Grammy Flashback: Best Female Country Vocal Performance

January 25, 2009 // 23 Comments

Revised and Updated for 2009 While the Grammys have honored country music from the very first ceremony in 1959, they did not begin honoring by gender until 1965, when the country categories were expanded along with the other genre categories. This is a look back at the Best Female Country Vocal Performance category. It was first awarded in 1965, an included single competing with albums until the Best Country Album category was added in 1995. When an album is nominated, it is in italics, and a single track is in quotation marks. I’ve often made the case that female artists were making the best music in the 1990s, and the Grammys did a great job nominating songs and albums that were ignored at the CMA and ACM awards, which is not surprising, given that those shows have so few categories that are actually for songs and albums. As usual, we Read More

DVD Reviews: Marty Robbins, Legendary Performances; Tammy Wynette, Legendary Performances

November 16, 2008 // 2 Comments

Marty Robbins Legendary Performances Tammy Wynette Legendary Performances In coordination with the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, Shout Factory! has begun a new series of country music DVDs that collect archived performances of the genre’s legends, coupled with rare interview footage and Hall of Fame inductions.   The promise of this series cannot be overstated, both for fans of the artists profiled and the need for country music’s legacy to be preserved. Both of the debut entries in the series follow the same format.   Fifteen performance clips from old television shows are arranged chronologically, and provide the bulk of each set’s content.    The defining singles of both artists are included, and in watching the clips, viewers can get a sense of how each artist developed, along with a fascinating window into how country music itself was presented on television over the course of four decades. For a variety of Read More

Harlan Howard

August 23, 2008 // 0 Comments

“I like to give artists a song they have to sing the rest of their lives. Songwriting is both my living and my pleasure, so I’m a happy man.” ~ Harlan Howard The dean of country music songwriters, Harlan Howard paved the way for all future practitioners of his craft, lending an authenticity and eloquence to the music that will last for the ages. Through five decades of classic songs, Howard put his indelible stamp on the country music industry through sheer genius and, like many fellow artists and songwriters, rose through the ranks with country music as a constant love through a hardscrabble life. Born and raised in a Michigan farm town, Howard, an orphan, was first drawn to country music by his weekly appointments with the Grand Ole Opry radio shows on Nashville’s WSM radio. This love affair with the music continued when he traveled to Nashville on Read More

100 Greatest Women, #58: Jan Howard

May 8, 2008 // 9 Comments

100 Greatest Women #58 Jan Howard She’s been an Opry member for three decades, and by the time of her induction, she was already a presence on the Nashville music scene for eleven years. Jan Howard’s biography could have been its own country song, and even was at times, but her talent has always been coupled with grit. She was born in Missouri, and only fifteen when she married. Three children and two divorces later, she moved to California with her sons. In Los Angeles, she met a young songwriter named Harlan Howard. They quickly married in Vegas, a union that would last for ten years. One night, she began to sing while washing the dishes, and he discovered she had a vocal talent she’d been too shy to share. He asked her to sing the demo for a song he’d written called “Mommy For a Day.” The song became Read More