SCOTTSDALE, AZ - Jane Dowden Grams passed away at her home
on Thursday, March 24, 2022.
Born Jane Elizabeth Clabough in Cleveland, Tennessee on February 1, 1932 to Helen Franklin and Allen Harper Clabough. She was an older sister to Mitchell Allen (Buck) Clabough, Sr. and the granddaughter of the late Senator Walter Franklin and Mrs. Franklin, one time owner and publisher of the Cleveland Banner.
Jane loved growing up in East Tennessee with Fort Loudoun Lake in her backyard and the Great Smoky Mountains not far away. She graduated from Maryville High School, class of 1950.
A First In Her Field, in 1975 Jane Dowden was named President and General Manager of WTVC, the ABC television station in Chattanooga. The first woman general manager of a network affiliated TV station in the United States. While at WTVC she served four years on the ABC Affiliates Board of Directors (another first in the industry).
Jane Clabough began her career at WGAP radio in Maryville, Tennessee. After marrying Robert Dowden in 1951 she moved to Nashville and joined WSM-TV (now WSMV).
Her ambition and strong work ethic would ultimately lead her to careers in advertising, sales and management. In the 1950s, she became one of the Souths most influential women in advertising while serving as Vice President - Media Director at Noble-Dury & Associates in Nashville. In 1959 she produced her first country music television program followed later by 1200 more and helped establish country music as a significant force in American entertainment culture.
In 1965, she co-founded and was President of Show Biz, Inc. which became the largest producer and syndicator of country music television programs in the United States. The Porter Wagoner Show, with Dolly Parton, The Wilburn Brothers Show, with Loretta Lynn, and The Bobby Goldsboro Show. to name a few. During the early years, Jane co-produced the movie Nashville Rebel, starring a young Waylon Jennings and before leaving Show Biz, the nationally syndicated TV show Pop Goes the Country, with popular country host, Ralph Emery.
By 1968 TV Guide would refer to Show Biz as the General Motors of Country Music Television.
In the early 70s, Show Biz expanded country musics reach, producing Nashville at the Garden, two live concerts from New Yorks Madison Square Garden.
Jane left Show Biz in 1975 to be General Manager of WTVC TV9 in Chattanooga, Tennessee, entering what she often referred to as her favorite years in broadcasting. With a plan in place and a can do spirit WTVC became the #1 station in Chattanooga. Jane married Harold (Hod) Grams in September, 1977 at home on Lookout Mountain. She loved her TV station family and the friendships she made in the Chattanooga community. While living there she was involved in the Chattanooga Symphony, Chancellors Roundtable at the University of Tennessee, Chattanooga, Chamber of Commerce, and Chattanooga Public Television.
She returned to Nashville 1984 and joined Opryland USA as Vice President in charge of Gaylord Syndicom, forming a new division to develop and syndicate television shows. While at Gaylord Jane was a recipient of the Silver Circle Award from The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. A salute to her 46 years in the television and entertainment business.
In 2006 Jane was one of recipients of the Source Foundation Award honoring women who played a part in the success of music row and the Nashville Entertainment Industry.
Jane was an avid gardener her entire life and after retiring in 2006 and moving to Sedona she achieved Emeritus Master Gardener status. Living under the shadow of Coffee Pot Rock, she had finally found a rock she couldnt move! She enjoyed watching the hummingbirds in her courtyard and the changing colors of the surrounding red rocks. Moving to Sedona offered her a new experience with nature, introducing her to red rocks of all sizes, javelina and quail.
You would often see Jane with her gardening apron and tools working at Park Ysabel in her Shadow Estates community, outside doing what she loved and visiting with neighbors.
She loved traveling with her two daughters, meeting people and enjoying new experiences. Although she traveled to many distant places her annual trip to historic Longmeadow, Massachusetts last fall was a favorite - enjoying the garden with her Iris and Lilies transplanted from Tennessee, visiting with neighbors, and spending time with family and Kitty Carl.
She is survived by her two daughters: Jane Dail Janie Dowden of Scottsdale, AZ, and Jennifer Jen Dowden Burritt(John) of Longmeadow, MA. nephew: Jonathan David Clabough (Stephanie) children Connor and Kaylee Clabough, of Hartselle, AL. nephew: Mitchell Allen Clabough, Jr. of Birmingham, AL. and their mother Viola Clabough.