Family seeks help with medical bills of Football Friday Nite composer

Local News

Longtime Columbus musician Arnett Howard suffered a medical emergency recently, and now his family is asking for help from the city he loves so much.

Howard has been a fixture in the Columbus music scene for more than 50 years. From 1985 to 2002, he played with his “Creole Funk” band. During that time, he performed between 250 and 300 concerts a year. Arnett then played with “Arnett and Friends” until his retirement in 2018.

Howard has brought more than music to the city. He is also a journalist, historian, and teacher, along with what his family calls the unofficial ambassador for Columbus. Here at NBC4, we have a special connection to Arnett as he composed the toe-tapping theme song for our “Football Friday Nite” high school football show.

Howard cowrote the books, “Columbus: The Musical Crossroads, Listen for the Jazz: Key Notes in Columbus History,” and “Ohio Jazz: A History of Jazz in the Buckeye State.”

On Oct. 16, at age 70, Howard suffered a health emergency putting him in intensive care at Grant Medical Center for five days. He spent seven days on a ventilator.

After tests, doctors concluded he did not suffer a stroke or seizure. He has been moved to a Mount Carmel rehabilitation facility as more exploratory procedures are needed. It is expected that Howard will need long-term care.

Now, Howard’s family is calling on the city their brother loves so much to help give back. They have set up a GoFundMe page to assist with medical expenses.

On the page, Howard’s family has written, “His artistry has influenced generations of musicians and music lovers for half a century.  His compassion knows no limits. Now, Arnett needs our help in getting through his difficult time. We encourage everyone to contribute  what they can and support Arnett in his time of financial and spiritual need. We welcome all donations, prayers, and words of encouragement to pass on to Arnett.”

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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