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Johnny Horton

From Academic Kids

John Gale "Johnny" Horton (April 30, 1925November 5, 1960) was an American country music singer. He was born in Los Angeles, California and raised in East Texas. After graduating from Gallatin High School in 1944, he worked in California and Alaska before returning to Texas. He won a talent contest hosted by then-radio announcer Jim Reeves at the Reo Palm Isle club in Longview, Texas and soon went on to star in the Louisiana Hayride in Shreveport, Louisiana.

Horton had several crossover hits, most notably in 1959 with "The Battle of New Orleans" which won the 1960 Grammy Award for Best Country & Western Recording. The song would be honored with a Grammy Hall of Fame Award and in 2001 was named one of the Songs of the Century. In 1960, Horton had another major crossover hit with "Sink the Bismarck."

In September 1953 he married Billie Jean Jones Eshliman, who, in late 1952, had been married to the late country music star Hank Williams for two and a half months prior to his death. Horton died returning home from a performance in Austin, Texas (Skyline Club) in a head-on collision on Highway 79 at Milano, Texas on November 5, 1960. He left behind his widow and two daughters.

Johnny Horton is interred in the Hill Crest Cemetery in Haughton, Louisiana.

1958 album: Johnny Horton Sings Free And Easy

Top 40 Country Hits

  • "Honky-Tonk Man" (1956)
  • "I'm a One-Woman Man" (1956)
  • "I'm Coming Home" (1957)
  • "The Woman I Need" (1957)
  • "All Grown Up" (1958)
  • "When It's Springtime in Alaska (It's Forty Below)" (1959)
  • "The Battle Of New Orleans" (1959)
  • "Johnny Reb" (1959)
  • "Sal's Got a Sugar Lip" (1959)
  • "Sink the Bismarck" (1960)
  • "North to Alaska" (1960)
  • "Sleepy-Eyed John" (1961)
  • "Honky-Tonk Man" (1962) repeat
  • "All Grown Up" (1963) repeat
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