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The autobiography of country-music singer Jan Howard, one of the Grand Ole Opry's regulars. Those used to nitty-gritty Nashville tales in the tradition of Coal Miner's Daughter will not be disappointed as Howard relates a life replete with poverty, early rape, child labor, teen-age marriage, multiple divorce, and the deaths of a baby, a son in Vietnam, and another son (by suicide). Is it any wonder that country music is steeped in pathos? But despite the kind of life that would have destroyed weaker people, Howard--after meeting songwriter Harlan Howard (""Heartaches By the Numbers,"" ""I Fall to Pieces"")--unexpectedly began a singing career at the ""late"" age of 26. After a slow start, the pace quickens when she gets into her singing career and the shenanigans of some famed country singers. The reader can laugh along with her as she tells of George Jones and Faron Young in a knock-down, drag-'em-out motel-room fight. Or of Jones, again, making a leap for Howard on her bed, only to fall flat and be shown the door. But with the suicide of her son David, Howard's life--and her book--ends on an almost solemn note as she feels drained of song, refusing to sing for any occasion. She finally relents for the opening night of the new Grand Ole Opry House, however, and winds up her book on an upbeat note. Sure to be appreciated by die-hard country fans, and by any who seek a tale of victory over despair.

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 1987
Publisher: Richardson & Steirman--dist. by Kampmann (9 East 40 St., New York, NY 10016)