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Kentucky Slim (James Audra Howard)
Born:  August 14, 1908
Died:  June 22, 1982
WBRT Bardstown, KY
WINN Louisville, KY
WJBC Bloomington, IL
WLAP Lexington, KY
WPAD Paducah, KY

About The Artist

James Audra Howard was an early hillbilly music entertainer who was known as "Kentucky Slim." Per Linnell Gentry's book, he was born in Fisher, Kentucky and his wife was the former Mabel Howard Armes.

The Paducah Sun-Democrat listed Kentucky Slim having a studio program over radio station WPAD in Paducah, KY from 10:00am to 10:15am in December 1937.

An article in the Bloomington (IL) newspaper in May of 1938 indicated he was part of a group that entertained "Fairview Sanatorium listeners." The emcee was Dave Ryden. Elvia Doerr and his six 'Drifting Swingsters' did several numbers. Autry Howard, sang to his own guitar accompaniment. He was billed as "Kentucky Slim." A Miss Ina Miller did some readings. The event was sponsored by the American Legion auxiliary.

In June of 1938, he was part of another group that provided an 'excellent concert' at the same venue. Audra Howard, 'known as Kentucky Slim', sang songs to his guitar accompaniment. Readings were given by Miss Sarah Jane Hubbard. Merle Edmunds Jr. played the violin with Miss Minerva Edmunds accompanying him. Duane SInclair did xylophone solos.

Kentucky Slim (James Audra Howard) was living in Fairdale, KY when he passed away in June of 1982. At the time of his passing, he was survived by his wife, the former Mabel Armes and two sons, Leroy and Larry. His second wife was born October 25, 1919 and passed away at the age of 94 on September 13, 2014. He was married previously to Emma Lucille Poole McMillin; she passed away in July of 1994.

Credits & Sources

  • A History and Encyclopedia of Country, Western, and Gospel Music (1st Edition); Howard, James; Kentucky Slim; Written by Linnell Gentry; 1961; 380pgs; McQuiddy Press; Nashville, TN
  • Fairview Hears Evening Program; May 11, 1938; The Pantagraph; Bloomington, IL
  • Fairview Listeners Are Given Concert; June 13, 1938; Pantagraph; Bloomington, IL
  • Daily Radio Programs - Station WPAD Paducah; December 27, 1937; The Paducah Sun-Democrat; Paducah, KY

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