January 10, 2009
Johnny Horton : " North to Alaska "
Johnny Horton was a huge country singer in the late 1950s up to 1960. Many of songs dealt with historical events, songs that simply have no parallel now.
Johnny Horton died far too young. On November 5, 1960, Horton was killed instantly in a head-on collision with a drunk driver on Highway 79 at Milano, Texas while he was returning home from a performance at the Skyline Club in Austin.
Johnny Horton reportedly had experienced premonitions several months before his own death about the possibility of dying in a car crash caused by a drunk driver. He always said that if he was in a head-on situation to drive into the ditch. His accident took place on a bridge so there was no ditch for which to head.
Both Horton and Hank Williams died in auto accidents. Both were married to the same woman at the time of their death, and both played their last shows at the Skyline Club . Both died in Cadillacs.
Johnny Cash was a good friend of Horton. When he learned about the collision, he said "[I] locked myself in one of the hotel's barrooms, and cried."
For another Johnny Horton song, see A Tangled Web