From Concussion to Country Music Star
When the therapist asked Dale Howard about return to work prospects following his brain injury, his answer surprised her. Dale did not want to return to his former career. He wanted to begin again. This time as a professional country singer.
Nearly 15 years after his injury, Dale has two award winning albums, and has been inducted into the Old Time Country Music Hall of Fame. Sometimes lives must be rerouted after brain injury. With the onset of spring, Dale’s story is a touching reminder of man and nature’s ability to renew and begin again. He is truly inspirational.
In 2003 a harmless home improvement project turned out to be quite the opposite, as a shelving unit fell directly onto Dale’s head. He hit the ground where he lay unconscious for 20 minutes. His trip to the emergency room confirmed suspicions, and Dale was diagnosed with a severe concussion.
He came to Centre for Neuro Skills (CNS) with symptoms including tremors, severely impaired speech, poor memory, inability to swallow, and difficulty ambulating. As an outpatient, he underwent speech and language, occupational, and educational therapies. After seven months of intense therapy at CNS, Dale was back to “98% of his pre-injury capabilities,” he said. He walked out of CNS’ doors and into a budding music career.
“CNS was very supportive of my career change,” said Dale. “They even helped retrain me to sing during my speech therapy. That personalized attention and genuine care for my goals is what impressed me most about CNS.”
Dale was highly sought after at country music opry houses throughout Texas early into his singing pursuits. He travelled from city to city for performances, and eventually landed a major break – the opportunity to record his first album in the country music capitol, Nashville, TN.
His two albums, “Wings” in 2006 and “Honky Tonk Calling” in 2008, were well-received. Several songs played on radio stations. Three songs hit number one on the Independent Artists’ list, one of which, “Fight Naked,” stayed number one for an unprecedented four month span. In 2010 Dale’s massive achievements were recognized as he was inducted into the Old Time Country Music Hall of Fame.
Currently Dale is working on a third album with an anticipated release in the summer of 2017. He continues to perform throughout Tennessee, Kentucky, and Texas with audiences reaching upwards of 4,000 attendees.
“I was so scared at first to switch careers, but the support of my family and CNS kept me motivated,” said Dale. “I am grateful for that encouragement because I was gifted with the life of my dreams after my injury.”
Click here to learn more about Dale, and hear his music.