Johnny Horton dies
On this day in 1960, singer Johnny Horton died in a car accident in Milano, Texas. Though he was born in Los Angeles in 1925, Horton grew up in East Texas and graduated from high school in Gallatin. He attended junior college in Jacksonville and Kilgore and eventually went to Seattle University. He worked in the fishing industry in California and Alaska but embarked on a country music singing career in 1950. In 1955 Horton joined the Louisiana Hayride under the stage name “The Singing Fisherman.” Recognized for his honky tonk sound, he scored his first hit “Honky Tonk Man” in 1956 and achieved his first number-one country recording with “When It’s Springtime in Alaska” several years later. The singer had crossover appeal on both country and popular-music radio stations and songs such as “The Battle of New Orleans” attracted a wide audience.