Event to mark 50 years since singer Johnny Horton’s death

Group planning marker at wreck site

MIL A NO—A “Johnny Horton 50th Anniversary Memorial Concert” has been set for 7-11 p.m. Friday, Nov. 5 at the Milano High School cafetorium, according to Carolyn Vinton, Milano city secretary.Vinton, mayor Billy Barnett and musician Steven Raby of Granger make up the board of directors of the organization Johnny Horton Memorial, Inc. They hope to raise funds to construct a monument in honor of the late singer at the sight of the November 1960 crash that killed the 35-year-old in his musical prime.






“Just visualizing we estimate the monument to be between $75,000 and $100,000 by the time the grounds are prepared and the monument is designed and ready to set,” Vinton said. “Of course, money must be raised to do this. We hope to have the money given through donations. But we won’t know that until a little more time has passed.”

BIG HITS— Horton was a country singer who top charts with hits like “North to Alaska,” “Battle of New Orleans,” and “A White Sports coat and a Pink Carnation.” He was also known as a pioneer of rockabilly music and notable for “historical saga” songs “Johnny Reb” and “Sink the Bismarck.”

The Nov. 5 event will mark the 50th anniversary of the well-known singer’s death on the US 79 overpass in Milano. He was killed in a head-on collision by a drunk driver. Horton had just performed at the Skyline Club outside of Austin. There is no charge for the Nov. 5 concert. There will be concessions of sandwiches, chips, cold drinks and pies. Entertainment will feature, but is not limited to Steven Raby and the Can’t Hardly Play Boys, Tommy Horton and The Brazos Valley Boys.

DONATIONS —For more information, or to donate to the marker’s construction, contact Barnett, 512-429-0262, or Vin

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