1925 - 1960
Raised in Tyler Texas, Johnny became a star basketball player, and was offered 26 different scholarships. While attending Junior College, he was voted "Most handsome boy". Johnny had always wanted to be a fisherman, but destiny lead him to singing. He credited his mother "who taught me to play three chords in two keys on the guitar". His first public performance came on as a result of a dare by a co-worker who challenged Johnny to enter a singing contest. He won.
He moved to California and began appearing on radio shows gaining the nickname "The Singing Fisherman", and soon was seen on Cliffie Stone's "Hometown Jamboree" TV show. As his travels continued, he became a regular on the "Louisiana Hayride", and was considered one of the star attractions of the show.
Upon signing to Columbia Records, he began to take the nation by storm with major hits on the pop and country charts, including "Battle of New Orleans", which became America's number one song in 1959, and many others.
It is said that history teachers loved Johnny's music, and that student's grades actually improved when the topic was something Horton sang about.
Johnny's career came to a tragic halt on November 5, 1960, when he was killed in a car accident in the small Texas town of Milano.
His widow, Billie Jean Jones had suffered a previous loss in 1953 when her first husband Hank Williams died.
Johnny Horton, one of the all time greats
whose music is still loved today.
© 1999 Eddie Bear Productions