Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Johnny Horton - "The Battle of New Orleans"

Come with us now, to the trippy days when "historical ballads" were all the rage in popular music - 1959, in this case, where we see Johnny Horton perform his popular recording of "The Battle of New Orleans".

Horton had a handful of good songs - including this one, "North to Alaska" and "Sink the Bismarck". He was also an accomplished rockabilly singer. Sadly, he died in 1960 - at the top of his game - following a head-on collision with a drunk driver. Am not sure if he was still alive to see "New Orleans" win the Grammy for Best Country-Western recording.

Today's video is a bit of a mixed bag for me. It's nice to see Horton perform the song live (albeit lip-synching), but the wacky choreography and bad costumes (It looks like Christmas at Rockefeller Center) kind of make the whole thing laughable.