Sunshine and Shadow

Howard, Jan

Published by Earthwise Pubns, 1989
ISBN 10: 0931933781 / ISBN 13: 9780931933783
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Synopsis: A successful country singer/songwriter, Jan Howard was born in desperate poverty in Birch Tree, Missouri, she was one of 11 children; she often went hungry and skipped school because she had no clothes to wear. At eight she was raped by a 'friendly' neighbour, an incident that affected her relationships with men into adulthood. At 15 she married a man she didn't love just to get out of the house. She bore three sons in four years and suffered a nervous breakdown after he stole money (sent by her sister to pay the rent) and lost it playing poker. When she expressed concern he tried to kill her. Borrowing 10 dollars she fled with her sons. Her second marriage to an Air Force sergeant ended when she learned he was already married to someone else. Jan, seven months pregnant at the time went into shock and lost the child. Her third marriage was to a struggling songwriter, Harlan Howard. A demo record she cut for him launched her career as a country singer. Harlan's extra-marital affairs ended this marriage. One of her sons was killed in Vietnam, the second, a Vietnam veteran, committed suicide. She is now a tireless worker to benefit Vietnam veterans.

From Publishers Weekly: A Depression baby (born Lula Grace Johnson in 1930), Howard knew poverty throughout her childhood in various small towns in Missouri and Oklahoma before becoming a Grand Old Opry star in the 1960s. Despite her success as an entertainer, her personal life, as recounted here, has been almost unrelieved tragedy. Recalling her first marriage, she writes that she had three sons by an immature and selfish husband whom she finally divorced after he threatened to kill her. Her second husband, unbeknownst to her, was already married; she had two miscarriages before she discovered the truth and left him. Her third marriage, to a songwriter, brought her to Nashville where she triumphed professionally, but their marriage broke up because of his womanizing. Later years presented more sorrow: her oldest son was killed in Vietnam, her youngest became a drug addict and killed himself, and her long affair with a married man ended. Howard's account of her storm-tossed life is readable but sloppily edited. 15,000 first printing; $30,000 ad/promo; author tour.
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Bibliographic Details

Title: Sunshine and Shadow
Publisher: Earthwise Pubns
Publication Date: 1989
Binding: Paperback
Book Condition: Good

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Jan Howard
Published by Earthwise Pubns (1989)
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