Dear John Letter: Jean Shepard, Ferlin Husky

Jean Shepard and Ferlin Husky singing Dear John Letter in 1953. Jean is shown with Skeeter Davis the former wife of country music disc jockey Ralph Emery and Hawkshaw Hawkins her late husband who died in the plane crash that also took the lives of Patsy Cline and Cowboy Copas.

Jean and Ferlin singing Dear John Letter 47 years later in 2000 at a reunion of country music stars.

Dear John letters seemed to have originated during World War II when a girlfriend of a soldier would send a letter informing the soldier that they had found another man back home after growing impatient over the long wait for their soldier boyfriend to come home.

With so many women serving overseas during World War II they would receive Dear Jane letters from boyfriends.

Sometimes Dear John letters would only have the salutation of Dear John and nothing else causing the expression “That’s all she wrote” when questioned about the contents of the letter.

Can you imagine a soldier in the European theater who had been part of the D-Day invasion at Normandy and survived and then a few days later receive a Dear John letter?

I don’t know for a fact but I doubt if soldiers during wartime left the war zone to return home for leave so their girlfriends became impatient after not seeing her boyfriend for several years and started looking around for male companionship in their own hometown.

I am sure that almost 70 years later Dear John and Dear Jane letters are still being written to our soliers in Iraq and Afghanistan and will be written in wars not yet fought.


Author: Andrew Godfrey

Retired from newspaper work after 38 years. Had served in the Army in Hawaii and Vietnam in the 60's. Am now retired and living in Sulphur, Louisiana.

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