Mildred Howard

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Mildred Madison Miller Howard (born c. 1920-1923 in Dallas County - died July 12, 2009 in Cincinnati, Ohio) was a founding member and lead vocalist for the Gospel Harmonettes.

Madison moved with her family to Birmingham as a child and graduated from Parker High School in 1938. In high school she sang with the William Belvin Singers as a second soprano.

She and fellow singers Odessa Edwards and Evelyn Hardy created the "Gospel Hormoneers" around 1940. The group earned some notice from their appearance that year at the National Baptist Convention in Birmingham. Joined later by Willie Mae Newberry, Vera Kolb and Dorothy McGriff the group changed its name to the Gospel Harmonettes and was featured in a half-hour radio program on WSGN-AM. Their fame spread and earned them a national recording contract. Howard left the Harmonettes in the 1950s to become a teacher and McGriff, now known as Dorothy Love Coates, became the unquestioned leader of the group, which disbanded in 1958. (Coates later reformed the group, which continued in various forms through 1977)

Howard served as director of the mass choir at Trinity Baptist Church for many years. She moved to Cincinnati around 2004. Howard died in July 2009.


  • Garrison, Greg (July 14, 2009) "Original Gospel Harmonettes of Birmingham member Mildred Howard dies." Birmingham News

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