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"Forgotten" country star Jean Shepard writes about her life.

A life brought back
Author's collection

Country Music Hall of Fame member Jean Shepard has had quite a story to tell about her life and career . . . but never had the right opportunity.
Until now.
Understanding its potential historic significance, Gus Arrendale, President of Springer Mountain Farms Chicken (!), and Larry Black, Executive Producer of Country’s Family Reunion put their heads together to help her publish and distribute her long-awaited autobiography, Down Through the Years.
Matriarch of the Grand Ole Opry and its longest-standing female member, Shepard presents a first-hand account of her life and 60+-year iconic career in her own words (spanning back to the "golden age of Country Music," through her 2011 induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame and beyond), as a "personal conversation with every reader of this book." It's all there a 224-page, beautifully-bound hardback.
Regarded as a pioneer for women in country music, Shepard was signed to Capitol Records at a time when it was thought women could not sell records. Discovered by Hank Thompson following the success of Kitty Wells, Shepard appeared on the first network Country Music television show, The Ozark Jubilee. Jean was also the first female in Country Music to sell a million records, to make a color television commercial and to overdub her voice on recordings. Shepard’s career has yielded over 45 albums and 70 singles, including "A Dear John Letter," "Second Fiddle (To an Old Guitar)," "Tips of My Fingers" and "Slipping Away," to name a few. She regularly performs at the Grand Ole Opry and maintains a busy road performance schedule.
Down Through the Years also features commentary from other country music stars including (among others) Bill Anderson, Garth Brooks, Reba McEntire, Vince Gill, Jim Ed Brown, George Hamilton IV, Del McCoury, Jimmy C. Newman, Connie Smith,Marty Stuart and Mel Tillis.
Here are a few excerpted facts that you may not have known about Jean Shepard:

‣ At age 19, Jean couldn't legally travel through the states without a guardian, so Ferlin Husky was granted guardianship. Jean went on to record the duet with Husky “A Dear John Letter” which became a #1 single.

‣ Shepard started out in an all-girl band called the Melody Ranch Girlswith whom she’s stayed in touch throughout her career.

‣ Johnny Horton was one of Jean’s first boyfriends. She continued to be a close friend until his death in 1960.

‣ Jean was in a near-fatal bus accident while traveling with Hank Williams Jr. When Jean was eight months pregnant, Jean’s husband, Hawkshaw Hawkins, was killed in a fatal plane crash that also claimed the lives of Patsy Cline and Cowboy Copas.

Admired by her peers and emulated by countless up-and-coming female Country Music singers, Jean Shepard continues to be a strong influence in traditional music. Down Through the Years finally provides a female artist’s perspective on the "golden age of Country Music."
The book may be purchased exclusively at or by calling 800.820.5405.

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