North to Alaska (song)

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"North to Alaska"
North to Alaska - Johnny Horton.jpg
Single by Johnny Horton
from the album Greatest Hits
B-side"Mansion You Stole"
ReleasedAugust 22, 1960
Songwriter(s)Johnny Horton, Tillman Franks
Producer(s)Don Law
Johnny Horton singles chronology
"Johnny Freedom"
"North to Alaska"
"Sleepy-Eyed John"

"North to Alaska" is a 1960 hit song recorded by Johnny Horton that was featured in the movie of the same name. Though Horton had sung several popular movie tie-in songs, this was the first one that was sung over the opening titles.

The song's lyrics during the opening titles of the film provide a back story for the point where the film begins: Sam McCord left Seattle in 1892 with George and Billy Pratt, "crossed the Yukon river" and "found the bonanza gold below that old white mountain just a little southeast of Nome." By "1901" Sam was known as "a mighty man," and his partner George then tells him, "I'd trade all the gold that's buried in this land for one small band of gold to place on sweet little Jenny's hand." George feels that Jenny is his "true love," and he declares he will "build for my Jenny a honeymoon home" below the same mountain where gold was discovered. An instrumental of the song is also played at the saloon on a piano when Sam and Angel arrive in Nome.

Written by Tillman Franks and Johnny Horton, "North to Alaska" topped Billboard magazine's Country Singles chart,[1] reached number four on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and eight on Norway Singles Chart.[2] Members of the Western Writers of America chose it as one of the Top 100 Western songs of all time.[3]

Horton died in an automobile accident 5 November 1960 shortly after the song was released.[4]

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1960–61) Peak
Australia Singles Chart 2
New Zealand (Lever Hit Parade)[5] 6
Norway (VG-lista)[6] 8
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[7] 23
US Billboard Hot 100[8] 4
US Hot Country Songs (Billboard)[9] 1
US Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs (Billboard)[10] 10
West Germany[11] 41


  1. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book Of Top 40 Country Hits: 1944-2006, Second edition. Record Research. p. 162.
  2. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits: Eighth Edition. Record Research. p. 85.
  3. ^ Western Writers of America (2010). "The Top 100 Western Songs". American Cowboy. Archived from the original on 10 August 2014.
  4. ^ Western-Style Singer Johnny Horton Killed: Man Who Made 'Battle of New Orleans' Popular Dies in Texas Highway Crash Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif] 06 Nov 1960: E1.
  5. ^ Flavour of New Zealand, 26 January 1961
  6. ^ " – Johnny Horton – North to Alaska". VG-lista.
  7. ^ "Johnny Horton: Artist Chart History". Official Charts Company.
  8. ^ "Johnny Horton Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard.
  9. ^ "Johnny Horton Chart History (Hot Country Songs)". Billboard.
  10. ^ "Johnny Horton Chart History (Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs)". Billboard.