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BMI NASHVILLE: HITMAKER HARLAN HOWARD CELEBRATES 10 YEARS OF STAR-STUDDED BASHES

 NASHVILLE, Tenn., Aug. 23 /PRNewswire/ -- Harlan Howard is to songwriting what George Jones is to singing -- and Howard (who lays claim to writing more than 4,000 country songs) is equally as respected among his peers, according to BMI Nashville. Who else could host his own birthday party concert, which is the hottest ticket in town (drawing upwards of 1,500 people), and be serenaded by the likes of Loretta Lynn, Rodney Crowell, Tammy Wynette, Vince Gill, Lyle Lovett, Rosanne Cash, Emmylou Harris, Hal Ketchum, Bill Monroe and John Hiatt, not to mention any songwriter of consequence in country music?
 The annual Harlan Howard Birthday Bash, slated for Sept. 14, 1993 in the BMI Nashville parking lot, blows out the candles on 10 years of great "guitar pulls," and it's for a good cause: proceeds benefit the Nashville Songwriters Association International. Over the past decade, the event's performers and guests have read like an industry who's who; this year, superstar Ronnie Milsap and Pat Alger (writer of many Garth Brooks hits) share hosting duties with Howard. In a town famous for music parties and celebrity watching, the Harlan Howard Birthday Bash has set the standard by which others are measured, just as Howard has set the standard for country songwriting.
 Howard has become a legend by his songs: "I Fall To Pieces," "Life Turned Her That Way," "I've Got A Tiger By The Tail," "Somewhere Tonight," "Above And Beyond," "Busted," "Heartaches By The Number," and, most recently, "Blame It On Your Heart." In a career spanning five active decades, the "Dean of Nashville Songwriters" has proved himself one of the greatest and most prolific living songwriters. One critic daringly dubbed him the "Irving Berlin of Country" because of the number of classics he has contributed.
 More than 100 of his tunes have hit the Top 10, and his compositions have become chart-toppers for artists such as Patsy Cline, Ricky Van Shelton, Buck Owens, The Judds, Rodney Crowell, Patty Loveless, Reba McEntire, Ray Charles and Conway Twitty. For his efforts he is enshrined in the Songwriters Hall of Fame and his trophy case is overflowing with over 50 BMI awards, among numerous accolades. His most recent honor is nomination for induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame. People don't merely like Harlan Howard -- they revere him.
 Howard gives new meaning to the expression "self-made man," for he is a product of Depression-era Detroit who began writing songs when he was 12. Although he completed just nine years of formal schooling, he educated himself by reading voraciously. He first moved to Los Angeles to work in the factories, where he wrote songs obsessively (as many as six per day). His first hit came in 1959; he has scored hits in every decade since. Moving to Nashville in 1960, his career soared. In 1961, Howard simultaneously had 15 songs in the Top 40 of the country charts -- an amazing feat not yet equaled.
 Although he has influenced several generations, his greatest sense of accomplishment still comes from helping the "juveniles" (his term for young writers) -- thus the Harlan Howard Birthday Bash benefit. Now in his sixth decade of life, long after other writers have relaxed on their royalties, Howard has no intentions of putting aside his pen. "I can't imagine not wanting to writer one more good song, get one more great record, or work with one more great young singer," he sums up. "Songwriting is both my living and my pleasure, so I'm a happy man.
 -0- 8/23/93
 /NOTE TO EDITORS: Photo available./
 /CONTACT: Ellen Wood or Caroline Newcomb of BMI Nashville, 615-291-6728/


CO: BMI Nashville ST: Tennessee IN: ENT SU:

MP-PS -- NY036 -- 5062 08/23/93 12:52 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Aug 23, 1993
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