Paul Mason Howard

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Songwriter Paul Mason Howard most often worked as part of a team, his most well-known and prolifically recorded ditty being "Shrimp Boats." This appetizing song sizzled its way up the charts in 1951,…
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Songwriter Paul Mason Howard most often worked as part of a team, his most well-known and prolifically recorded ditty being "Shrimp Boats." This appetizing song sizzled its way up the charts in 1951, recorded by Jo Stafford, among many others. Howard's partner on this number was another Paul, Paul Weston to be exact. Another of his regular co-writers was Billy Mills, with whom he became a permanent resident of the so-called "magic kingdom" of Walt Disney after the team supplied Mickey Mouse with "A Cowboy Needs a Horse," a song quite basic in its logic.

Speaking of striking gold as a songwriter, Howard's relationship with the talented performer Buddy Ebsen should also be mentioned. While Ebsen's fame normally rests on his involvement with the Beverly Hillbillies television series, if not the fact that he lost out on the role of the Tin Man in the Wizard of Oz because of skin allergies, he also had success as a songwriter. Ebsen published eight tunes during one period including "Whispering Pines," written in collaboration with Howard. As a performing musician, Howard had an interesting sideline involving strange hybrid stringed instruments such as the Dolceola and the Cithare. He used both instruments to accompany the great bluesman Leadbelly on several recordings issued by the Capitol label.