CD Limited Edition Box Set
Born Lula Grace Johnson on the 13th March 1930, in Missouri, U.S.A., the daughter of a Cherokee maid and an Irish immigrant, Jan Howard has contributed much to the success of country music. Not only is she a top class vocalist, but she is also respected for her songwriting ability. She won a BMI Award for the song "Love Is A Sometimes Thing," a song that Jan admits to writing in 10 minutes one Sunday afternoon .. after Bill Anderson recorded and had a big hit with it. Jan has been performing on the Grand Ole Opry since 1960 and lists her induction as a member on March 27, 1971 as the most memorable moment in her career.
Jan has received numerous trade magazine awards, including "Top Female Country Artist" and "Most Promising Female Artist" along with several awards for her songwriting. She was nominated for a Grammy for "My Son", a song she wrote for her own son, Jimmy, who was tragically killed in Vietnam, and the Harlan Howard penned "Evil On Your Mind." Harlan was of course Jan's third husband and wrote several of her hits including, "What Makes A Man Wander," "Wrong Company" and "I Don't Mind."
After the death of her son, Jan's marriage to Harlan broke up and then in the early 70s, following a further tragedy in her life, when her second son committed suicide, Jan decided to retire, but in 1985, she went back into the studio to cut an album for the newly reactivated MCA/Dot label.
"Through The Years" is a very well put together chronicle of Jan's career and is released as a limited edition, 4 CD, 77 track, box set, individually numbered and personally autographed. Included in the set is an album of photograph's that Jan say's were omitted from her autobiography "Sunshine And Shadow." The book, released in 1987, was 494 page's long, and something had to go, so it was decided at the time to leave out the pictures.
The set includes Jan's first solo hit "The One You Slip Around With" from January 1960, which incidentally, is still her most requested song today. Other hits are also included here with "What Makes A Man Wander", "I Wish I Was A Single Girl Again", "Evil On Your Mind", and a string of Top 10 hits which included "Bad Seed", "Any Old Way You Do" and "Rock Me Back To Little Rock."
Jan also recorded many duets in her career, and released 4 albums of duets with Bill Anderson, with whom she also did a television series for 7 years. But her first where a couple of moderately successful songs recorded with Wynn Stewart, "Yankee Go Home" and "Wrong Company." The latter is included in this set along with another duet they recorded, "We'll Never Love Again".
Of the Bill Anderson duet's I was pleased to see my favourite, the excellent, "For Loving You" included as well as "I Know You're Married," "Dissatisfied," "Satin Sheet's," "If It's All The Same To You," "We" and "Someday We'll Be Together."
Jan put together this box set in response to her many fans who were always asking were they could get hold of her out of print records and the radio stations who, as she puts it, have the courage to play her music. "Through The Years" is an excellent account of the career of one of Country Music's finest female artists and is a collection to treasure for all time. As I said at the beginning of this review, the set is a limited edition, so get hold of a copy now before it's too late.
The set is available from the Ernest Tubb Record Store, through the Website http://www.janhoward.com or from Jan personally at the Grand Ole Opry.