30 April 1925, Los Angeles, California, USA, d. 5 November 1960, Milano, Texas, USA. Horton was raised in Tyler, Texas, where his sharecropping family settled in search of work. He learned the guitar from his mother and, owing to his athletic prowess, won scholarships at Baylor University and later the University of Seattle. For a time he worked in the fishing industry but began his singing career on KXLA Pasadena in 1950, quickly acquiring the nickname of The Singing Fisherman. He recorded for Cormac in 1951 and then became the first artist on Fabor Robinsons Abbott label. In 1952 he moved to Mercury Records but was soon in conflict with the company about the choice of songs. He married Hank Williams widow, Billie Jean, in September 1953, who encouraged him to better himself. With Tillman Franks as his manager, Horton moved to Columbia Records, and their co-written Honky Tonk Man marked his debut in the US country charts. Horton...
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