‘Outlaw’ Country Music is associated with country music starts such as Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings and Hank Williams Jr. Randy Howard has played with them all and written songs for Hank III, he was part of the country music ‘Outlaw’ movement, which rejected Nashville’s polished music in favor of a rougher sound. Howard, wanted for failure to appear in court on a DUI charge, was reportedly killed in a shootout with a bounty hunter looking to bring him in on the warrant.
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation is looking into the Tuesday night shooting of 65-year-old Randy Howard in Lynchburg, TN according to agency spokesman Josh DeVine. Howard had been charged with fourth-offense DUI, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of a firearm while intoxicated and driving on a revoked license, but he missed a court appearance, DeVine said.
According to Terry Dotson, friend of Howard’s, 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.
TBI spokesman DeVine said that on Tuesday night, bounty hunter Jackie Shell showed up at Howard’s home to take him into custody and Howard opened fire. Shell shot back and Howard was killed. DeVine said Shell was injured in the shooting, but didn’t say how badly, however Shell’s mother, Mary Jane told reporters that her son underwent surgery.
When asked if authorities are investigating whether Shell had the right to enter Howard’s home, DeVine said he couldn’t discuss specifics, but that 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 AP in 1983, he said redneck — a derogatory term for poor, white rural Southerners — doesn’t 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.”