Saturday, January 26, 2013

Johnny Horton - Greatest Hits

Johnny  Horton (April 30, 1925 – November 5, 1960) was a great country singer. In Tex Ritter’s 1961 country song, “I Dreamed of a Hillbilly Heaven”, he sang about Hank Williams and Johnny Horton standing side-by-side smiling at him in the heaven. This shows the status of Johnny Horton in the world of country music.

 Johnny Horton’s remarkable singing and story-telling skill help him to open up a whole new world of music – the narrative ballads of American battle history. In fact, Johnny Horton’s best-selling song, “The Battle of New Orleans”, was sold 2.5 million copies. The song was also won the Grammy Award for Best C&W Recording in 1960. I think Johnny Horton must be a pioneer in championing the Blue Ocean Strategy!

I first knew about Johnny Horton when I heard the song, “North to Alaska” on radio when I was in my early twenties. Whenever I liked a song and wanted a copy of the lyrics, there was no Internet for me to google, copy, paste and print the lyrics.  I remember I had to record “North to Alaska” to a cassette tape when it came on air.  I then jotted the lyrics down by listening to the song from my cassette player repeatedly. I think “North to Alaska” was the only song of Johnny Horton I knew before I owned his CD. I finally bought his CD, “Johnny Horton’s Greatest Hits” when I started working in late 80s. That was the sole Johnny Horton CD that I own.

In this album, there are several typical ballads of American battle history such as “Johnny Reb”, “The Battle of New Orleans”, “Sink the Bismarck”, etc. There are also beautiful ballads such as “Whispering Pines” and “All for the Love of a Girl”. And there is “North to Alaska”, the first Johnny Horton’s song that I know.

 “Johnny Horton’s Greatest Hits” LP is an easily available LP in the market. After I bought this LP in October 2006, I have seen this LP for countless times. However, I don’t understand why there wasn’t any other LPs of Johnny Horton surfacing in the market ever since I bought this LP. Every time I came across a Johnny Horton’s album, it was definitely be this album.  

Johnny Horton’s singing career came to an abrupt end when he was killed in a road accident in 1960. It was a great loss to his music fans.

This album was released in 1961.

Song List:

Side A – North To Alaska, Whispering Pines, Johnny Reb, The Mansion You Stole, “I’m Ready, If You are Willing”, When It’s Springtime in Alaska
Side B – The Battle of New Orleans, All For the Love of a Girl, Sink the Bismarck, Commanche, Jim Bridger, Johnny Freedom


  1. My recollections of Johnny Horton was 'Whispering Pines', 'The Mansion You Stole', 'All For The Love Of A Girl; and 'Road To Alaska'. The first two I absolutely love but I prefer Lobo's version of 'All For The Love Of A Girl' more......

  2. Thanks for introducing Lobo's version of "All for the love of a girl" to me. I have listend to that verion on YouTube.