November 5

Remembering Johnny Horton Through 5 of His Remarkable Songs

Johnny Horton left us at the peak of his career on November 5, 1960. As a tribute, we are going to listen to 5 of his greatest hits today.

Johnny Horton

John Gale “Johnny” Horton was born in Los Angeles and was also known as “The Singing Fisherman.” He was reared in Rusk, Cherokee County, Texas. His family often traveled to California to work as migrant fruit pickers.

Johnny Horton, The Battle of New Orleans, When It's Springtime in Alaska, Sink the Bismarck, North to Alaska, Honky Tonk Man

He was a star athlete and was offered basketball scholarships by 26 schools.

Johnny Horton‘s music is honky-tonk infused with rockabilly. He based his songs on American historic themes. He was one of the most popular honky-tonk singers of the late 1950s.

His Greatest Hits

1. “The Battle of New Orleans”

It was written by Jimmy Driftwood from the perspective of an American soldier that tells the comical tale of the battle. He wrote the song in an attempt to get students interested in learning history.

The song is often played during North American sporting events and home games of the National Hockey League’s Calgary Flames.

2. “When It’s Springtime In Alaska (It’s Forty Below)”

The song was released as a single in 1959 by Johnny Horton and it spent twenty-three weeks on the country chart.

Johnny Horton’s close friend Johnny Cash stepped up during the early ‘60s when Columbia records issued a series of best releases by Horton, including covers recorded as a tribute to Johnny Horton.

3. “Sink the Bismarck”

“Sink the Bismarck” was written and performed by Johnny Horton. It was inspired and intended as a novelty song around the 1960 film Sink the Bismarck!

4. “North to Alaska”

“North to Alaska” is a 1960 hit song that was featured in the movie North to Alaska by John Wayne. The lyrics tell us about the Nome Gold Rush.

It was written by Tillman Franks and Johnny Horton and it reached No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and No.8 on Norway Singles Chart.

5. “Honky Tonk Man”

The song was released in 1956 as his debut single on Columbia Records. It reached No.9 on the U.S. country singles charts.


Johnny Horton

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