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  • Writer's pictureMelanie Howard

"Busted" Comes Home!

Updated: Apr 3, 2019

It’s exciting times around Harlan Howard Songs!

On June 15th, 2018, the classic and perennial favorite Harlan Howard song, “Busted” is

coming home! It’s been a storied journey of 58 years from the date the song was created, but the story is much older than that. It’s a story of Harlan’s childhood. It a story of the Great Depression. It’s a story of the American Gold Rush. It’s a story of post-World War II. “Busted” is a mid-century American tale told in the format of a three-minute vignette from the pen of one of the most prolific country tunesmith’s, Harlan Howard.

Harlan Howard is “Busted” He was busted as a child coming of age in an orphanage in Detroit. He was busted as a teenager when he was detained by the state of Michigan for tom foolery. He was busted as an adult by way of many divorces. “Busted” and Harlan Howard are synonyms. Harlan knew “Busted.” He was “Busted,” literally and figuratively.

When Harlan wrote the two minute twelve second song, he had no idea what fate the song would have. He just knew he wrote it from his heart for himself. It was the only way he knew to positively channel his lonely childhood. He loved words. He loved reading the written word. He didn’t think he could make a living as a poet or a novelist with an eighth-grade education; however, he thought he was clever enough to put pen to paper and write simple lyrics and put a little melody to them. He dreamed he could make a living writing songs for other singers to sing.

“Busted” is as old as I am. Though, I’m not busted, I’m busting with joy to welcome home one of my favorite Harlan Howard tunes, “Busted!”

Some of my favorite artists who recorded “Busted” are Ray Charles, George Jones, John Conlee, Johnny Cash, Wanda Jackson, Burl Ives, Tim O’Brien. Heck, I even love the Harlan Howard version of “Busted!” Check out the newly redesigned Harlan Howard website to learn more about Harlan Howard and his country music legacy.

The bills are all due and babies needs shoes but I’m busted…welcome home, “Busted!”

Melanie Smith-Howard

June 12, 2018

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