Reblogging here something by my daughter Larisa Joy Reilly Thomas, posted today on her blog “Roots of Kinship”. Great little family story about one of my favorite songs from my teen years, which took on family significance far exceeding the musical quality of the song!
Johnny Horton had several other hits with unlikely subjects, including “Sink the Bismarck”, about the British Navy’s efforts to sink the German battleship Bismarck in World War II; “Comanche”, about the horse Comanche, which was the sole survivor of the Battle of the Little Big Horn and Custer’s Last Stand; and “North to Alaska”, about the 1896 Alaskan gold rush.
Sadly, Horton was killed in an automobile accident on November 5, 1960, near Milano, Texas. Like several others of my favorite singers (including Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, the Big Bopper and Eddie Cochran) he left us too soon.
Thanks, Kiddo, for this trip down memory lane!
Battle of New Orleans. By Edward Percy Moran. [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons In 1959, Johnny Horton earned a number one hit on the Billboard Charts for the song The Battle of New Orleans. Written by Jimmy Driftwood, it commemorates the victory of the United States over the British Army at the end of the War of 1812.1
Today, January 8, 2015, commemorates the 200th anniversary of the conclusion of the battle, fought from December 23, 1814 to January 8, 1815. It was the last important battle of the War of 1812, occurring after the Treaty of Ghent was signed on December 24, 1814 (but before the treaty was ratified by both governments in February 1815).2All of this is to set the background of a song that played a significant role in my childhood. When my father was overseas in the US…
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