Oklahomans are mourning the death of a country music legend from our state. Jean Shepard was considered a trailblazer for women in country music. She was born in Pauls Valley.
She spent 60 years of her career with the Grand Ole Opry. The Opry said on its website that she was the first female singer to reach the 50-year milestone as an Opry member. Her hit "A Dear John Letter," sung with Ferlin Husky, was the first post-World War II country record by a woman to sell a million copies.
"Jean's most lasting breakthroughs can't be measured in numbers," the website states. "When she began recording for Ken Nelson at Capitol Records in 1952, there was really no precedent in country music for a young woman recording and touring on her own rather than as a member of a family team, couple, or as a band's "girl singer."
Shepard was 82 years old.