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    Jean Shepard

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    Most Popular Songs (more)

    1Mysteries of Life lyrics
    2Your Forevers Don't Last Very Long lyrics
    3I Washed My Face in the Morning Dew lyrics
    4Shadows on the Wall lyrics
    5It's Enough To Make A Woman Lose Her Mind lyrics
    6Lonely Together lyrics
    7Too Many Rivers lyrics
    8Born a Woman lyrics
    9All Right (I'll Sign the Papers) lyrics
    10Heart to Heart (And Fool to Fool) lyrics

    Most Popular Albums (more)

    1This Is Jean Shepard [1959]
    2The Best of Jean Shepard [1963]
    3Heartaches and Tears [1962]
    Greatest Gospel Favorites
    5Lighthearted and Blue [1964]
    6I'll Take the Dog (w/Ray Pillow) [1966]
    7It's a Man Everytime [1965]
    8Got You on My Mind [1961]
    9Songs of a Love Affair [1956]
    10Lonesome Love [1959]


    Few country singers — let alone female country singers — working
    since the 1950s have produced a large body of work as enduring
    as Jean Shepard's. Her voice is pure country — accent on both
    words. Born in Oklahoma, she grew up in Southern California,
    where Hank Thompson discovered her. She had her first Top Ten
    hit in 1953, and her last almost exactly 20 years later. In between,
    she cut one great record after another, mostly on Capitol Records.
    Nearly all of them crackle, no matter the topic, with honky tonk
    angel spunk.

    Born in Oklahoma, Shepard grew up in the area surrounding
    Bakersfield, CA. As a teenager, she began her musical career
    by playing bass in the Melody Ranch Girls, an all-female band
    formed in 1948. Hank Thompson discovered Shepard a few
    years after the group formed. Impressed by her talents, he
    helped her set up a record deal at Capitol Records, where she
    worked with Thompson's producer, Ken Nelson.

    Shepard's first chart appearance was in 1953 as a duet partner
    with Ferlin Husky, with "A Dear John Letter" and its sequel,
    "Forgive Me John." Shepard and Husky toured the country
    following their hit singles. In 1955, she had her first solo Top
    Ten single, "A Satisfied Mind," which was backed by the
    number 13 hit "Take Possession." Later in the year, she had
    another Top Ten hit with "Beautiful Lies"/"I Thought of You." Her
    streak of hit singles led to an invitation to join the Grand Ole
    Opry in 1956. That same year, she joined Red Foley's Ozark
    Jubilee and recorded Songs of a Love Affair, arguably the first
    concept album in country music history. Its 12 songs — which
    were all written by Shepard — depict a marriage torn apart by a
    love affair; one side of the album is written from the dissolution
    of a romance.

    For nearly ten years after the release of "Beautiful Lies," Shepard
    wasn't able to get a song into the Top Ten. In fact, she had only
    two Top 40 hits during that period — "I Want to Go Where No One
    Knows Me" (number 18, 1958) and "Have Heart, Will Love"
    (number 30, 1959). She continued to record and tour — she was
    even named the Top Female Singer of 1959 by Cash Box — but
    nothing was breaking through to the public. This was primarily
    because she was a hardcore honky tonk singer in a time that
    country-pop was ruling the charts. In 1963, her husband
    Hawkshaw Hawkins died in the same plane crash that killed Patsy
    Cline. The following year, she returned to the Top Ten with
    "Second Fiddle (To an Old Guitar)." The song began a string of
    hits for Shepard. Although many of them failed to chart in the
    Top 20, she racked up 15 Top 40 hits between 1965 and 1970,
    including the Top Ten hits "I'll Take the Dog" (a duet with Ray
    Pillow, 1966), "If Teardrops Were Silver" (1966), and "Then He
    Touched Me" (1970).

    Shepard's hits continued throughout the '70s, though as the decade
    wore on she hit the Top 40 with less and less frequency. Her last
    hit single was 1978's "The Real Thing," which peaked at number 85.
    During the '80s and '90s, Shepard didn't record, but she continued to
    perform at the Grand Ole Opry and tour, particularly in the U.K.,
    where she had a strong fan base.

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