Saturday, March 28, 2020
– Jan Howard, a member of the Grand Ole Opry with many hits in the '60s and '70s, died on Saturday at her home in Gallatin, Tenn. from pneumonia.
Originally a demo singer for Kitty Wells and Patsy Cline, Howard enjoyed 20 hit singles from 1960-72. Owen Bradley was typically her producer on the songs for Decca Records.
Howard had four duet hits with Bill Anderson. "For Loving You" hit number one on the Billboard country chart in 1967.
Jan Howard was born Lula Grace Johnson on March 13, 1929, in West Plains, Mo., the eighth of Rolla and Linnie (Shirley) Johnson's 11 children.
She recounted being raped by a friend of her father's when she was eight. She experienced trauma later as well with the deaths of two her sons - one in the Viet Nam War and the second by suicide.
Howard was married at 16, had three children by the time she was 20 and divorced by 24. She later married songwriter Harlan Howard, although they later divorced.
Howard heard her singing in their kitchen and soon she was signed to Gene Autry's label with two hit singles. She later moved to Nashville and enjoyed success with Decca Records.
Howard had major hits with the singles "Evil on Your Mind" (1966) and "My Son" (1968). She also recorded four albums with Anderson.
Howard was a member of the Grand Ole Opry for 49 years.