Society

A Horton returns to Milano—50 years later

Tommy Horton (L), son of legendary country singer Johnny Horton, and monument organizer Steve Raby of Granger pay tribute. Reporter/Marie Bakken Tommy Horton (L), son of legendary country singer Johnny Horton, and monument organizer Steve Raby of Granger pay tribute. Reporter/Marie Bakken Tommy Horton’s father rolled into Milano 50 years ago Friday night, but he didn’t come out alive.

That was, of course, the legendary Johnny Horton, country music superstar who lost his life on Milano’s old railroad viaduct when his Cadillac was struck by a drunken college student. The date was Nov. 5, 1960.

On Friday, Nov. 5, 2010, Tommy Horton appeared as a special guest to kick off an effort to construct a memorial to Johnny Horton.

Steve Raby of Granger, an organizer of the effort, estimates the memorial will cost between $75,000 and $100,000.

MEMORIAL— It would be placed near the current viaduct. Although that’s the same spot where Johnny Horton lost his life, the structure was widened and rebuilt in the 1970s.

Donations to the effort may be made at the City of Milano Special Account, Citizens National Bank, Rockdale, TX 76567.

Donors who contribute $50 or more will have their name, and city, inscribed in a memorial brick which will be placed in a walkway around the monument.

For more information call Carolyn Vinton at 979-224-0227.

PROGRAM— Mayor Billy Barnett greeted the crowd of 175 Friday in the MHS cafetorium and Rev. Bill Ward gave the invocation.

Barnett introduced Horton family members.

Tommy Horton performed as did the band, Brazos Valley Boys and a house band.

Vinton said $585 was raised at the event.

‘NEW ORLEA NS’— Johnny Horton’s career produced the million-selling “Battle of New Orleans” and a score of other hit songs.

They included “North to Alaska”, “Honkytonk Man”, “Sink the Bismarck” and many more.

After playing a show at the Skyline Club in Austin, Horton, his manager and bass player Tillman Franks and lead guitarist Tommy Tomlinson were traveling to Shreveport, Louisiana, when he was killed. Franks and Tomlinson sustained serious injuries but survived.


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2010-11-11 digital edition



The burn ban for Milam County has been lifted. Burning is always prohibited in the county's municipalities.


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