My Kind of Country

Country music from a fan's point of view since 2008

In Memoriam: Jean Shepard (1933-2016)

This morning we mourn the loss of the legendary Jean Shepard, who passed away at age 82. Her importance to the history of country music, as Paul W. Dennis pointed out, cannot be overstated. She was inducted to the Country Music Hall of Fame, along with Bobby Braddock and Reba McEntire, in 2011.

Second Fiddle (To An Old Guitar) (#5, 1964):

Slippin’ Away (#4, 1973):




11 responses to “In Memoriam: Jean Shepard (1933-2016)

  1. Ken September 25, 2016 at 1:39 pm

    Very talented and sweet lady who suffered more than her share of heartbreak. Her first husband singer Hawkshaw Hawkins died in the March 1963 plane crash with Patsy Cline, Cowboy Copas and Randy Hughes. Jean was eight months pregnant with their second child when he died. Though her list of big hit records is rather short she recorded some great country music during her long career. The Tennessean has published an excellent tribute online with a photo gallery from her long career.

  2. Razor X September 25, 2016 at 5:51 pm

    I’m so sorry to hear this. She was a great lady and true trailblazer for women in country music.

  3. Paul W Dennis September 25, 2016 at 9:21 pm

    I have known many people who thought that Jean Shepard was the greatest female country singer of all time, including many of the British country music press of the 1970s such as David Allen and Bob Powel. While I am not sure that I agree, I cannot say that I disagree either . Jean was a tremendous performer and made some of the finest country records of all time. Fortunately quite a bit of her material is available, especially from some foreign labels

    I am terribly disheartened to hear of her passing

  4. luckyoldsun September 25, 2016 at 10:04 pm

    I probably first heard of Jean Shepard about 20 years ago when I bought a deluxe but single-CD Capitol records compilation on her that was issued then. I thought she was quite good–certainly belonged with the top ’50s honkytonkers like Faron and Webb and Ray.

    Like Warren Zevon, who passed away on the same day as one John R. Cash, and Farrah Fawcett, who passed on the same day as certain singer known for wearing one glove, I expect Miss Shepard’s demise to be somewhat eclipsed in tomorrow’s newspapers (and on the web) by that of Arnie from Latrobe, Pa.

    • Ken September 26, 2016 at 10:10 am

      To say that coverage of Jean Shepard’s passing would be “eclipsed” by coverage of the death of Arnold Palmer is completely ridiculous. Though Jean was a beloved country music performer to her many fans her fame extended beyond the country genre just once. Her 1953 duet with Ferlin Husky on “A Dear John Letter” was a huge country & pop hit at that time but that song is all but forgotten today. Since then she has not scored any solo crossover hits to keep her name in the consciousness of the mainstream American audience. Even her country hits were rather minimal with the last one coming over 40 years ago in 1973 with “Slippin’ Away.” Sadly she has not had her recordings aired on most country radio stations for almost four decades. Regardless of what else was occurring in the news cycle I would expect her passing to get minimal mainstream press coverage outside of Nashville and some country music websites. Except for the big superstars most musical artists receive minimal press coverage upon their passing. Singer/songwriter John D. Loudermilk died last week and it was barely mentioned. I would expect a celebrity of Arnold Palmer’s magnitude to receive extensive coverage. Proportionately I always expected Jean Shepard to get far less.

      • luckyoldsun September 27, 2016 at 12:29 am

        Yes, the post you responded to was meant with complete seriousness, with not a tinge of levity or facetiousness. Thank you for informing us that Arnold Palmer was a more prominent American personage than was Jean Shepard. I never joke. You can take that to the bank. So you know I’m being completely serious now, when I say that you’re not a horse’s petunia.

        • Ken September 27, 2016 at 10:11 am

          Given the consistently erroneous or misinformed nature of the majority of your oddball posts it is difficult if not impossible to understand their context. I take your comments at face value which I’m sure is what most others do that read your absurd ramblings. When you are attempting some type of ironic humor perhaps you need to state so because it is difficult to separate those comments from all rest of your off-base perceptions.

  5. luckyoldsun September 25, 2016 at 10:10 pm

    OK, so who’s the guy playing the “old guitar” and accompanying Jean in the video?

  6. Erik North September 26, 2016 at 10:09 am

    This really has been a terrible year for the music business, not only in the number of artists we keep losing, but also the artists themselves, and the reputations and their work that we will remember. Jean’s passing is just the latest; but as with all the artists we’ve lost, they will always live forever in what they leave behind. We can only hope that more enterprising artists can take up where they left off (IMHO).

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