John LaGale Horton (April 30, 1925 – November 5, 1960) was an American country music, honky tonk and rockabilly singer and musician, during the 1950s and early 1960s, best known for his saga songs that became international hits beginning with the 1959 single “The Battle of New Orleans“, which was awarded the 1960 Grammy Award for Best Country & Western Recording. The song was awarded the Grammy Hall of Fame Award and in 2001 ranked No. 333 of the Recording Industry Association of America‘s “Songs of the Century“. His first No. 1 country song was in 1959, “When It’s Springtime in Alaska (It’s Forty Below)“.
Horton’s music usually encompassed folk ballads based on American historic themes and legend. He had two successes in 1960 with both “Sink the Bismarck” and “North to Alaska,” the latter utilized over the opening credits to the John Wayne film of the same name. Horton died in November 1960 at the peak of his fame in a traffic collision, less than two years after his breakthrough. Horton is a member of the Rockabilly Hall of Fame and the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame. (Source)