The Old-Time Herald Volume 10, Number 4

Feature

Clint Howard:
From Cattle to Carnegie Hall
by Linda Shekinah

Fame and fortune are not the reasons Clint Howard sings and plays old-time music. He has farmed his land, raised his cattle and worked as a welder and school bus driver to support his family while making numerous albums and touring. He speaks often of his gratitude for his wife of 55 years, Betty, who took care of the farm and the children while he was traveling. Whether in Carnegie Hall, the community center in Mountain City, Tennessee or for the funeral of an old friend, Clint performs with the same natural charm. He plays for the love and traditions of these old songs and is one of a handful of living original old-time musicians.

Photo by Linda Shekinah

“I shouldn’t a got to thinking about them cows.”

So begins the introduction to Reuben’s Train on Clint Howard’s 2004 album Passing It On. The laughter that follows that remark comes from knowing that when Howard is not thinking about music he is thinking about his cows. The trouble begins when he is thinking about them at the same time.

Clint Howard has been thinking about cows and playing music for more than 60 years. The love for cattle began “when I was seven and my daddy told me I could have my first calf. It was red with a star on its forehead, I can see it still. He give 20 dollars for it. We was to go to the neighbors the next morning at 8:00 AM to get it. At 3:30 AM I was up fixing the fire. I believe that was the first time I had fixed the fire in our home. And I have had at least one cow ever since.”

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