Family Release TV and Concert Collection


Who would have thought, 52 years after his death, that we’d be seeing
Johnny Horton perform some of his great hit songs especially,
when Bear Family began work on the artist’s LP box sets back in
the 1980s, only two videos were trading hands among collectors. Now comes
a set that comprises tv appearances, performances on the Ozark
and a concert alongside a couple of additional

JOHNNY HORTON  I’m A Fishin’ Man (BCD 20120
TV Performances – I’m A Fishin’ Man; The
Electrified Donkey; The Train With the Rhumba Beat; Old Gobbler; The Mansion You
Stole; Don Rovin’; Johnny Reb (promo);
Ozark Jubilee Performances (1959/1960)
Sal’s Got A Sugarlip; Johnny Reb; I’m Ready If You’re Willing; Johnny Reb; Sink
The Bismark; All For The Love Of A Girl; When It’s Springtime In Alaska;
Comanche (The Brave Horse); Be Honest With Me (with EDDY ARNOLD and MOLLY BEE);
Johnny Freedom;
Movie Trailers – North To Alaska (trailer);
North To Alaska (news item); Commancheros (news item);
Live Show In Detroit (September 1960)
Sal’s Got A Sugarlip; The Same Old Tale The Crow Told Me; The Battle Of New
Orleans; North To Alaska; Sink The Bismark;
Audio Bonus Tracks – North To Alaska; Go
North!; North To Alaska.
kicks off with the tv slots, with the first – I’m  A Fishin’ Man
 endorsing Johnny Horton‘s great love of the outdoor
activity which earned him the nickname “The Singing Fisherman”. It was also the
ideal song for the sponsorship of his first television show, Fishing
, which aired on Los Angeles’ KLAC-TV in early 1951. Then comes
performances recorded during the period 1951-54 though Colin
(who provides the well detailed notes in the accompanying
booklet) ponders the actual date and location, whether in Los
Angeles, Shreveport or East Texas. Strangely The Electrified
(written by Ferlin Husky), although performed in
this period, was never recorded by Horton until 1959. The Train With The
Rhumba Beat
and The Mansion You Stole were songs he recorded for
Mercury, prior to chart success coming his way when he signed
with Columbia, and throughout he shows himself as a natural tv
performer. Finally, one of Columbia songs, Johnny Reb, is here
presented as a promo video though where it was shown is a mystery!
Johnny Horton made several appearances on
Springfield’s Ozark Jubilee, the first nationally televised
country music show (by then titled Jubilee USA), his debut
appearance (probably) being on February 7, 1959 when he performed his first
number one, When It’s Springtime In Alaska. Other chart songs performed
are Sal’s Got A Sugarlip, Johnny Reb and Sink The Bismark,
although another song – All For The Love Of A Girl, recorded for
Mercury – didn’t attain chart status but is arguably among the most well known
of the singer’s earliest titles. These performances present the chance to see
Horton’s accompanying trio, headed up by Horton’s manager Tillman
(bass) and included (at different times) Tommy
(guitar) and Jerry Kennedy (electric bass),
the latter who later became Mercury Records‘ head man in
Nashville. Also seen are the show’s various hosts, Bobby Lord,
Red Foley and Eddy Arnold, the latter
accompanying Horton, and other guest Molly Bee, on Gene Autry’s
Be Honest With Me.
The DVD’s final session presents Johnny
on stage, filmed by a home movie camera at the Michigan State
Fair in September 1960, just a couple of months before the car accident that
took his life at the tragically early age of 35 years. Here he’s seen more
relaxed than the tv appearances and delights the crowds with his hits The
Battle Of New Orleans
(which topped both Billboard’s pop and country
charts, remaining number one for ten weeks in the latter) and Sink The
as well as previewing North To Alaska, another chart
topper that wasn’t released until after his death.
In addition to Horton’s performances, the DVD also has the
trailer for North To Alaska, alongside news items on that and
another movie The Commancheros, and concludes with
non-commercial audio versions of North To Alaska and Go
A remarkable collection of clips that, for the first time,
allows Johnny Horton to be seen as a performer and, apart from
as few technical glitches (not too surprising considering the age of the film
and all being non-professionally recorded), are remarkable good quality. And,
accompanying Colin Escott‘s informative notes, the set’s 24
page booklet features some stage shots, reproduction of album covers, and 13
full colour photographs taken on a 1959 Louisiana fishing trip with buddy
Johnny Cash.
Other Johnny Horton releases on Bear
Take Me Like
I Am (Gonna Shake This Shake Tonight) (33 track CD digipac with 36 page
booklet) – BCD 16354 AH
The Ballads
Of Johnny Horton (25 track CD digipac with 28 page booklet) – BCD 16384 AR
Rollin’ Johnny Horton (20 track CD with 12 page booklet) – BCD 15543 AH
Fantastic Johnny Horton (16 track vinyl LP) – BAF 18008

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