I hope you'll join me July 6th for the Sunday Morning Country Classic Spotlight as we feature Johnny Horton at 11 a.m.  The Country Classic Show kicks off at 9 a.m.  

Johnny Horton is best remembered for his historical songs. There's no doubt he was one of the best and most popular honky-tonk singers of the late 1950's.

His career was cut short by a fatal car crash November 5th, 1960 at age 35 near Milano, Texas at about 2 a.m.  The driver of the truck that hit Horton was a 19 year old, Texas A&M University student James Davis who was intoxicated.

Johnny's music reverberated throughout the next five decades.  In 1951, he became a regular on the Louisiana Hayride, a popular television show in the 1950's.  In 1952, Hank Williams rejoined the cast of Hayride and became a mentor for Horton.  After Williams died on New Years Eve1952, Horton became close with his widow, Billie Jean.  The couple married in September of 1953.

In 1959 the ballad When It's Springtime in Alaska, It's Forty Below hit the charts, the song went all the way to number one.  His next single The Battle of New Orleans the song was historical like his previous hit.  It was far more successful topping the country charts at number one for ten weeks and crossing over into the pop charts where it was number one for six weeks.

Johnny graduated from high school in 1944 and attended a Methodist Seminary with the intent of joining a ministry.  He left the seminary and moved to Alaska in 1949 to become a fisherman.  It was in Alaska he began writing songs.  Johnny will always be remembered for hit major contributions to both country and rock-a-billy music.