Harlan Perry Howard (September 8, 1927--March 3, 2002) was a prolific American songwriter, principally in country music. In a career spanning six decades, Howard wrote a large number of popular and enduring songs, recorded by a variety of different artists. Howard was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1997. Howard was born on September 8, 1927 in Detroit, Michigan, and grew up on a farm in Kentucky. As a child he listened to the Grand Ole Opry radio show. In later years Howard recalled the personal formative influence of country music: I was captured by the songs as much as the singer. They grabbed my heart. The reality of country music moved me. Even when I was a kid, I liked the sad songs songs that talked about true life. I recognized this music as a simple plea. It beckoned me. Howard completed only nine-years of formal education, though he was an avid reader.
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