|Birth: ||Oct. 12, 1924|
|Death: ||Jan. 16, 2007|
One of thirteen children of Mattie Lou Darsey and Lewis Milton Fellows. She grew up in and around Dodge and Laurens County, Georgia with her siblings: Rufus, Blanton C., Dorine, Kathy Lou, Laverne, Sallie, Roger, Robbie Faye, Barbara, Sara Lucille, Billy, and Joe. She married Johnny Howard and in 1951, opened a nightclub, Ann's Tic Toc, in Macon, Georgia. Among the notable entertainers to perform on her stage in the 1950's and 1960's were Little Richard, Otis Redding, and James Brown. Through her connections with them and other nightclub owners, she knew a host of entertainers, like Aretha Franklin. She was a warm, caring, and generous person and was instrumental in giving Little Richard his start. She hired him to sing and to work in the kitchen and reportedly took him in to stay at her home. His song, Miss Ann, was dedicated to her and his song Long Tall Sally was dedicated to her sister, Sallie Cox. The Tic Toc was Macon's first openly gay bar but it closed in 1975 when Ann's health forced her to retire. At the time of her death, she was survived by one brother, Joe Fellows of Byron, Georgia and three of her sisters, Sallie Cox and Sara Lucille Ashley of Macon, Georgia and Barbara Dennis of North Augusta, South Carolina. "Miss Ann" and her bar attained a degree of legendary status. She is remembered fondly by 24 years of patrons. The piano from her bar is displayed in the Georgia Music Hall of Fame in Macon.
Obituary, The Macon Telegraph (Georgia), January 18, 2007
Ann Howard: Little Richard benefactor dies at 82. The woman who helped give rock legend Little Richard one of his earliest breaks will be buried today in Dodge County.
Ann Howard, 82, was the owner of Ann's Tick-Tock Club and gave a young Little Richard the opportunity to perform in her Macon nightclub as well as a place to stay in the mid-1950s. "She allowed Little Richard to do what he did," said Joseph Johnson, curator at the Georgia Music Hall of Fame. "She was almost like a second mama to him."
Howard, who died Tuesday after a prolonged illness, had been living at a retirement home for the past 27 years, said her brother, Joe Fellows of Byron. "She was always friendly with people," Fellows said. "She tried to help folks."
In a telephone interview Wednesday, Little Richard, whose real name is Richard Penniman, recalled Howard and her late husband, Johnny, with fond memories.
"She was a good lady," he said. "When racism was real strong down there, she was always real nice. Her husband was a good man, and she was a good woman who opened the door for a lot of black people."
Considered to be Macon's first openly gay bar, Ann's Tick-Tock Club was located at 408 Martin Luther King Blvd. That's the site of the current Tic Toc Room, which has no affiliation with the earlier nightclub that closed many years ago.
In the early 1950s, Little Richard was washing dishes and cleaning at Macon's Greyhound bus station, trying to make ends meet.
"He would come after (the bus station) closed down to work for me," Howard told The Telegraph in a 1990 interview. "He would work in the kitchen, and then he would go on stage and play for 45 minutes or an hour and then go back in the kitchen."
In that same interview, Little Richard's one-time manager, Percy Welch, recalled the singer's relationship with Howard.
"We started playing at Ann's Tick-Tock, and (Howard) was crazy about him," Welch said in that interview. "She wanted to bring him home with her. Of course, he was bringing all these people into the place. ... Six nights a week it was packed from 6 o'clock to whenever they went home. ... He was singing 'Tutti Frutti' right there."
Howard is survived by her brother and three sisters, Sallie Cox and Sarah Ashley of Macon, and Barbara Dennis of North Augusta, S.C. She had no children.
Her funeral will be at 2 p.m. today in the Pleasant Olive Cemetery in Chester.
Information from The Telegraph's archives was used in this story.
Obituary, The Macon Telegraph (Georgia ), January 17, 2007
Ann Howard, 82, passed away Tuesday, January 16, 2007 in Macon. Graveside services will be held at 2 p.m. Thursday in the Pleasant Olive Cemetery in Chester, Georgia. Mrs. Howard was born in Dodge County, Georgia to the late Lewis M. and Mattie Lou Dorsey Fellows. She was also preceded in death by her husband Johnny Howard. She was a member of the Tabernacle Baptist Church in Macon and a retired restaurant operator. Survivors include her brother, Joe Fellows of Byron; sisters, Sallie Cox and Sara Ashley, both of Macon, Barbara Dennis of North Augusta, SC; and a number of nieces and nephews. Heritage Memorial Funeral Home has charge of arrangements.
Lewis Melton Fellows (1890 - 1960)
Mattie Lou Darsey Fellows (1895 - 1944)
Laverne Fellows (1922 - 1933)*
Ann Grace Fellows Howard (1924 - 2007)
Sara Lucille Fellows Ashley (1932 - 2010)*
Billy T. Fellows (1935 - 2001)*
Chester Baptist Church Cemetery
Maintained by: TenThousandYears
Originally Created by: Jack Johnson
Record added: Jan 17, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 46787589