Jean Shepard's autobiography "Down Through the Years" details her personal and professional life. It tells stories about her friendships with stars, including Hank Williams Jr. and Charlie Louvin, her marriages, and her rise to fame as the first female country music artist to sell more than 1 million albums.
Shepard's autobiography includes a foreword by former U.S. Senator Steve Faris, WSM Grand Ole Opry announcer Eddie Stubbs and Gus Arrendale, president of Springer Mountain Farms. Her book features commentary from other country music stars, including Bill Anderson, Garth Brooks, Reba McEntire, Vince Gill, Jim Ed Brown, George Hamilton IV, Del McCoury, Jimmy C. Newman, Connie Smith, Marty Stuart and Mel Tillis.
Shepard details her success, including her induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2011. Now the oldest living member of the Opry, she recalls Hank Williams' remarks about her chances of success: "There ain't many women in country music." She replied, "I know sir, I’m fixin' to change that."
She delves into her personal life, including the accident that claimed the life of her husband, Hawkshaw Hawkins, when she was pregnant with their second child. That plane crash also claimed the lives of Patsy Cline and Cowboy Copas.