Saturday, April 30, 2011

Remembering The Singing Fisherman - Johnny Horton

At the tail end of a rainy April, on a wet day in 1925, a baby was born to a Texas family who motored back and forth from their native East Texas to California following the crops.   The politically correct name for their occupation would be migrant workers but the Hortons themselves said they were fruit tramps.   That baby, youngest of the family, was named John Gale Horton but he would grow up to become Johnny Horton, legendary country music singer often billed as "the singing fisherman".

Today marks Johnny Horton's birthday although he left this world in a horrible car accident near Milano, Texas on a bridge on Highway 79 in November, 1960.  He is gone but never forgotten by his many fans worldwide, many who weren't even alive when he died.

The good-looking, Southern talking, sweet voiced Horton was a jack of all trades, master of none until his singing career began to take off.  Although his early records were cut in California, it was the Lousiana Hayride, kind of a baby sister to the Grand Old Opry, sponsored by radio station KWKH in Shreveport, Louisiana that made him famous.   From there, it was a short hop, skip, and a jump to national air play.

By the time of his death, his biggest hit, "The Battle of New Orleans" had sold milllions of copies and it is still the song that most people think of when his name is mentioned.

Johnny Horton is one of my favorite singers and I have a special place of my heart for the man.  One of my long running projects is a biography.  I've collected all kinds of information for it.  I've talked with people who knew Johnny, everyone from childhood friends to other famous artists.   I've made friends I might never have dreamed of making.   Since my husband's parents hail from Louisiana, I have made many trips down to the Shreveport area.   I've put flowers on Johnny's grave, eaten in some of the same little cafes, and driven by his last house many times.

So today, in remembrance of this talented man, my stereo will be rocking with his music, my personal favorites as much as the better known hits.....and like Johnny, you can take me like I am!


  1. So, write it, Missy. I am waiting.....Di

  2. Soon, I hope. And I want you to edit it!!!

  3. I loved his singing but hadn't thought about him in awhile. What a nice memory.


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