The ‘outlaw’ country singer Randy Howard has died in a shoot-out.
He was being pursued by a bounty hunter for failing to show up at court. The charge of driving under the influence had led the bounty hunter to the singer’s house where an exchange of gunfire led to Howard’s death. He had been charged earlier for drink-driving, related driving offences and illegal possessions.
Howard was a member of the ‘outlaw’ movement in country music. His style was more rough and ready and tinged with red neck flavours. The 65-year-old singer had earlier told friends that he was not going back to jail.
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation is looking into the circumstances of the shoot-out at Howard’s home on Tuesday, according to their spokesman Josh DeVine.
Reports released on Thursday say that the bounty hunter was himself injured in the shoot-out and had to undergo surgery.
The Guardian reports:
He had shared the stage with Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings and Hank Williams Jr.
The Facebook page of country artist Hank Williams III carried a picture on Thursday of Williams and Howard smiling with the text: “RIP Randy Howard.”
Howard had missed a court appearance, DeVine said, after being charged with his fourth drink-driving offence, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of a firearm while intoxicated and driving on a revoked license.
Howard’s friend, Terry Dotson, told Nashville TV station WSMV that he had tried to drive Howard to his court appearance but the singer brushed him off.
“He said he wasn’t going back to jail. That’s what he told me,” Dotson said.
On Tuesday night bounty hunter Jackie Shell showed up at Howard’s home to take him into custody, DeVine said. Howard opened fire, Shell shot back and Howard was killed.
DeVine said Shell was injured in the shooting but did not say how badly. Shell’s mother, Mary Jane, told the Chattanooga Times Free Press that her son underwent surgery.
When asked if authorities were investigating whether Shell had the right to enter Howard’s home, DeVine said he couldn’t discuss specifics but the “investigation includes all aspects of the incident”.
Howard made seven records including All American Redneck for Warner Bros in 1983 and the self-titled Randy Howard for Atlantic in 1988.
He embraced the term “redneck”. In an interview with the Associated Press in 1983 he said redneck – a derogatory term for poor, white rural Southerners – did not have to be offensive.
“It can be positive,” he said. “When I play clubs I ask if there are any rednecks out there. I get a good response whether I’m in New York or Miami.”
Randy Howard – God Don’t Live in Nashville, Tennessee (Live)
randylhoward YouTube video
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