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Sunday, September 25, 2016
Jean Shepard has passed away and the Grand Ole Opry Mourns
Ferlin Husky & Jean Shepard
More than a
trailblazer, the Country Music Hall of Fame lady Jean Shepard has passed away
at the age of 82. She was known to be feisty
and a real people person. If there was a
wrong, she would help to right it. She passed away early this morning.
She was born on November 21, 1933
in Oklahoma. She came from a large family of nine
children. Her story is much like that of many of the old time country
stars. Her parents were poor but they
were abundant in love. Jean found she
loved singing and did so in church.
She dared to sing
songs about subject matter that was taboo in those times, songs about cheating
and breaking up. She went where no other
woman artist had gone before. One such song was “Act Like a Married Man.”
She put together an all girl band when she
was in High School and sang on Saturday mornings at her local radio station not
far from Bakersfield
after her family had moved west. She was
discovered on a local stage and signed to Capitol Records in 1952. That really only happened because of label
mate Hank Thompson’s belief in her talent.
Jean was asked to join the Grand Ole Opry
when she was 22. Her first husband Hawkshaw Hawkins died in the same plane
crash that took Patsy Clines life. Jean was
8 months pregnant with their second child at the time. She did her grieving, pushed
past the pain and got back to living so she could raise her 2 baby boys.
Marriage and love wasn’t easy for Shepard after the loss of her first
husband. She married her 4th husband
Benny Birchfield in 1968 and had a son they named Corey. She didn’t like today’s country music and she
spoke out against it when asked. She lived
her life her way and was always true to herself. In 2015, the Grand Ole Opry celebratedShepard’s 60th anniversaryas
a member. She is the only female member to
date to have lived to see a 60th Anniversary.
She has also written a book called “Down
Through the Years,” in 2014. Shepard’s
passing leaves Benny Birchfield a widower.
She has predeceased her 3 sons, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. RIP Jean Shepard. Rest in Peace
Funeral arrangements have not been
Best Noteworthy Songs.
“A Dear John Letter” Hit #1
1955: “A Satisfied Mind” Hit #4
1964: “Second Fiddle” Hit #5.
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