Randy Howard first joined the country music industry in 1983 with an indecent “All-American Redneck” song, which country radio stations negated to play. The song composition mentions “smoking grass” and kicking. However, that did not stop the song to exaggerate in the markets. His record label chose to bypass the radios and go to jukeboxes instead. Later on, “All-American Redneck” bumper stickers were seen all across the South. This song made Howard rich and famous, at least likened to the crowds he entranced in rowdy bars. He went on to release six more records and perform with country music legends Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, and Hank Williams, Jr.

Was It A Life Well-Lived?

Howard is one of those singers who, like Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings and Kris Kristofferson, is not going to win awards for vocal expertise, yet succeeds to force you to listen. But, as Howard did in his music, alcohol and drug abuse took its toll. His famous song, “My Nose Don’t Work No More”, summarizes Howard’s character as a lovable loser who damaged his own success. In addition, his songs, “My Drinking Problem”, “Whiskey Talkin’”, and “I’m Gonna Find a Woman”, dispensed the other two problems in his life: love and alcohol. Obviously, Howard did act out his songs in his life a little too closely.

Aside from two recorded hit-and-runs, on March 16, 2014, he hit a car while driving without a license in Georgia. He escaped the scene. He was penalized to a year of trial for the offense, in November by Howard. Back home in Tennessee, he was wanted, too, due to possession of drug paraphernalia and a firearm while drunk then driving on a rejected license. In the middle of singing for outlaw country music, Randy Howard also lived like one, besetting drug, drinking and gun charges from Tennessee to Georgia.

Therefore, it is no surprise that Howard died like an outlaw, too.

Killed By a Bounty Hunter

The riotous crooner, Randy Howard, died on June 9, 2015. That evening in a quiet country street, in his log cabin, Howard met a standoff with a seasoned bounty hunter. He was critically shot after opening fire on the bounty hunter.  Howard’s neighbor, Terry Dodson, shared that he tried offering Howard a ride to his court date. Howard, who broke both his leg and foot, refused to leave his house despite Terry’s assertion. Dodson regretted that his friend had to die this way. He said asking him to arbitrate the condition would have saved Howard’s life.

Howard died inside the “Johnny Walker Home” he had crooned about. That night, the gunfight was a timely end to a life full of bawdy lyrics and hasty living.

Nevertheless, we remember Randy Howard as a country outlaw who brought great songs to our ears.

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