Big band vocalist and commercial photographer Gene Howard was born Howard Eugene Johnson in Nashville, Tennessee. He joined Francis Craig's orchestra in 1939, replacing Snooky Lanson. His first recordings were with Bob Chester's band in 1942-3. For six months in 1943 he sang with Gene Krupa's band, then with Teddy Powell before joining the Stan Kenton band in 1944. During the next two years, Gene made numerous recordings with the Kenton band, including duet work with Anita O'Day and June Christy. Gene left the Kenton band in 1946, becoming the band's publicity director before free-lancing. He later formed the commercial photography studio of Garrett-Howard
, a career that was to last the rest of Gene's professional life. He died in Los Angeles of a heart attack on April 28, 1993, at the age of 72.