Johnny Horton (April 30, 1925 â€“ November 5, 1960) was an American country music singer.
He was born in Los Angeles, California and raised in the town of Rusk, in East Texas. After graduating from high school, he attended Lon Morris Junior College. He then 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. He remained a member of the Hayride until his death.
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, 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. An earlier marriage to Donna Cook ended in...