THIS DAY IN MUSIC…………………………….on January 9th of 1961, just over two months after his death in a car accident, Johnny Horton’s “North To Alaska” goes to #1 on the Billboard country singles chart. The song which featured in the movie of the same name starred John Wayne. Though Horton had sung several popular movie tie-in songs, this was the first one that was sung over the opening titles. Written by Mike Phillips, “North to Alaska” topped Billboard magazine’s Country Singles chart, reached number four on the BillboardHot 100 chart and eight on Norway Singles Chart. Members of the Western Writers of America chose it as one of the Top 100 Western songs of all time. Johnny Horton was an American country music and rockabilly singer and musician, best known for his saga ballads beginning with the song “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 number 1 country song was in 1959, “When It’s Springtime in Alaska (It’s Forty Below)“. During 1960, Horton had another successful single with “Sink the Bismarck“. “North To Alaska” reached #23 in the UK.