A Musical Journey: Lynn Saunders story from the cotton field to the bright lights

By contributing writer Judy Wade
From a four-year-old singing in the cotton patch with sisters Peggy and Wilma to opening for many top country and western singers to singing in the Henrietta Cowboy Church band, Lynn Howard White Saunders’ musical journey has been an exciting one.
One of six children born to Elzie and Alma Howard on the banks of the Wichita River in Wichita Falls, she was her father’s “boy helper” in the hay fields while her mother went to work in a factory making bombs during World War II.
Her first public appearance was at age five or six when she and her sisters sang “Oh, How I Love Jesus” at the City View Baptist Church. One Christmas, her father, who also raised horses, traded a horse for a piano for sister Peggy, and the Howard Sisters’ musical career really began.
Local musician Buck White heard Lynn and Peggy sing and was instrumental in getting them a spot singing on The Dixie Boy Jordan radio show every week-day morning at 6:00 A.M. They recorded a noon show and then went to school. On Saturday they joined the Stamps Ozark Quartet for a noon show. They were 12 and 13 years old.
In 1952 Elvis Presley and the Howard Sisters were part of a show held at the old Spudder Park. They sang from the back of a flat-bed truck. It was just Elvis and his guitar and the sisters. In that same year the girls joined the Art Hobbs Band and opened for Ray Price at Municipal Auditorium and often sang at the Pavilion on Lake Wichita. They entered a talent contest at Horseshoe Lake in conjunction with a Lefty Frizzell concert and won first place.
To read more pick up the August 2014 issue of North Texas Farm & Ranch.

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