Birth name: Ralna Eve English
Born: June 19, 1942 (age 74)
Origin: Haskell, Texas, USA
Genres: Southern gospel, big band, pop, country
Years active: 1969–present
Website: Ralna English.com
Ralna Eve English is an American-born singer (born June 19, 1942, Haskell, Texas) who gained fame as half of the husband-and-wife singing duo of Guy & Ralna with then-husband Guy Hovis, both of whom were featured performers on The Lawrence Welk Show.
She was reared in Lubbock, Texas, where, as a teenager, won a local battle of the bands competition with her group “Ralna and the Ad-Libs”. One of her competitors was legendary rock star Buddy Holly, a Lubbock native. After attending Texas Tech University, and singing jingles for television commercials in Dallas, she relocated to California in the late 1960s, where she performed regularly at The Horn nightclub in Santa Monica.
It was there that she met fellow aspiring performer Guy Hovis, a native of Mississippi. They were married on January 25, 1969.
Later that year, she joined Lawrence Welk on his television program originally as a soloist. In the first year, husband Guy joined the program, and for the next thirteen years, until the show ended its run in 1982, Guy & Ralna became one of the most popular acts on the show.
Although they divorced in 1984, they are still good friends and often perform together in concert venues. They are the parents of a daughter Julie (born 1977). English remained single, but Hovis has since remarried. Ralna also stood at the bedside of fellow performer Jo Ann Castle after Castle suffered a drug overdose and stroke in 2005.
In March 2007, Ralna’s solo TV special, Ralna English: From My Heart premiered nationally on PBS. In the special, a fundraiser for PBS, she performed with a 75-piece orchestra and 100-voice choir.
In 2007, Ralna also published a “Ralna English Family Cookbook”, which was offered to viewers who purchased DVDs of her TV special. Recipes are from her two sisters, Sharon and Jane, as well as her aunts, grandmother, mother and other relatives.
Now living in Scottsdale, Arizona, Ralna still maintains a busy concert schedule, either performing as a solo act, or with her ex-husband, Guy Hovis, who was an aide, based in Jackson, Mississippi, to his longtime friend, former Republican U.S. Senator Trent Lott.