Johnny Horton performs “Johnny Reb” Live Video.

The Song reached number # 10 on the charts of U.S Hot Country Songs, maintaining 9 weeks in the charts.

YouTube Don Fredo Channel
YouTube Don Fredo Channel

Johnny Reb:

Lp cover Johnny Horton ( Columbia 1960 )
Lp cover Johnny Horton ( Columbia 1960 )

Song written by Merle Kilgore, was recorded by Johnny Horton for the Columbia label, was recorded on July 1, 1959, at Bradley Film and Recording Studio, 804 16th Ave. South, Nashville, TN, Johnny was accompanied in the recording by: Grady Martin (guitar), Tommy Tomlinson (guitar), Harold Bradley (banjo), Joseph Zinkan (bass) and Buddy Harman (drums). With the production of Don Law, was released on July 20, 1959, on October 5, 1959, reached number # 10 on the charts of U.S Hot Country Songs, maintaining 9 weeks in the charts.

The song was included in Horton’s fifth studio album, Johnny Horton Makes History (Columbia 1960).

Who was Johnny Reb:

Johnny Rebel, or Johnny Reb, represented the common soldier of the Confederation during the Civil War of the USA , Although in fact the name was created by opponents of the Union that insulted them with crossed calls. But the young soldiers from the south who wanted to fight relished the insult. They had no idea of the legacy they would leave as Johnny Rebs, not only for the war effort but for Pop culture in the coming years.
Johnny had a northern counterpart in Billy Yank, but even the Union adopted Johnny as his own. One of the most famous songs of the time was written by Union soldier and band master Patrick Gilmore in 1863 under his pseudonym Louis Lambert. “When Johnny comes home marching home again” (Hurraw! Hurraw!) He expected his fighter boys to come home as heroic men.

Johnny Horton with this song paid tribute to “Johnny Reb” in 1959, where the courage and strong ideals of our hero are respected even by the enemy, who honors his life instead of celebrating his death. Johnny is no longer just a common soldier, he is the ideal soldier.

Single The Country Gentlemen ( Rebel 1968 )
Single The Country Gentlemen ( Rebel 1968 )

 

Versions:

Johnny Cash 1965 (Columbia)
The Country Gentlemen 1968 (Rebel Records)
Walter Adams & Ernest Henry 1969 (Jalyn Records)
Wayne Worley 1981 ( Royal American Records )
Blood on the Saddle 1995 (Last Call Records)

Johnny Horton – Johnny Reb Lyrics

You fought all the way
Johnny Reb, Johnny Reb
You fought all the way, Johnny Reb

Saw you a-marchin’ with Robert E. Lee
You held your head high tryin’ to win the victory
You fought for your folks, but you didn’t die in vain
Even tho’ you lost they speak highly of your name, ’cause

You fought all the way
Johnny Reb, Johnny Reb
You fought all the way, Johnny Reb

I heard your teeth chatter from the cold outside
Saw the bullets open up the wounds in your side
I saw the young boys as they began to fall
You had tears in your eyes ’cause you couldn’t help at all, but

You fought all the way
Johnny Reb, Johnny Reb
You fought all the way, Johnny Reb

I saw Gen’ral Lee raise a sabre in his hand
Heard the cannons roar as you made your last stand
You marched in the battle of the Grey and the Red
When the cannon smoke cleared, took days to count the dead, ’cause

You fought all the way
Johnny Reb, Johnny Reb
You fought all the way, Johnny Reb

When Honest Abe heard the news about your fall
The folks thought he’d call a great vict’ry ball
But he asked the band to play the song Dixie
For you, Johnny Reb, and all that you believe

You fought all the way
Johnny Reb, Johnny Reb
Yeah, you fought all the way, Johnny Reb

You fought all the way
Johnny Reb, Johnny Reb
You fought all the way, Johnny Reb

Single Johnny Horton ( Columbia 1959 )
Single Johnny Horton ( Columbia 1959 )

Miquel Batlle
djmiquel@whenthecowboysings.org