She is linked by marriage to more than one legendary musician, but it’s easy to forget that she herself has had a diverse musical career too. This union ended in a speedy divorce, however.eval(ez_write_tag([[336,280],'rocksoffmag_com-box-3','ezslot_3',104,'0','0'])); Even from her earliest days, Billie Jean had a profound interest and affection for country music. In 1961, her record “Ocean of Tears” (a highly personal evocation of the tragedies she had endured) reached the US top 40. , Horton is portrayed by actress Maddie Hasson in the 2015 biopic film about Hank Williams' life titled I Saw the Light. Billie Jean Horton has always been on the fringes of greatness.  She then worked as a recording artist; her record "Ocean of Tears" hit the country top 40 in 1961. Tragically, Johnny Horton was killed in an automobile smash in 1960, leaving Billie Jean widowed once again. He also signed a contract with Mercury Recordsand began recording. This was to be her first truly long-term relationship. These days, now that she is in her 80s, Billie Jean Horton lives a sedate life in an assisted living facility. Early 1960s. Widow of both Hank Williams and Johnny Horton. There’s no escaping the fact that her associations with Hank and Johnny increased her marketability to the public. This record is from the early 1960s. (she was 19) In 1953, she married Johnny, and was his wife until his death in 1960. Later that same year, in 1953, Horton married Williams's widow, Billie Jean. But the short-lived relationship he shared with Billie Jean is mainly notable because he introduced her to the man who would soon become her second husband: Hank Williams. Pretty soon, Horton was regularly appearing on Louisiana Hayride and decided to move with his wife Donna to Shreveport, Louisiana, where the show was filmed. She also dated Faron Young before she married Hank.She married Hank just weeks before his untimely death at the age of 29. Despondent at the death of Hank, Billie Jean was quick to embark on a new romance, this time to country singer Johnny Horton. She and Johnny married in September of 1953, and she took up a key role in promoting and managing her husband’s career. , In 1971, a judge ruled that despite her divorce from Eshleman not being finalized before her wedding with Williams, she entered the marriage in good faith and thus their union was entitled to a presumption of validity. She is quite a character, and has been a Shreveport icon since her marriage to Hank. Horton gave his goodbye kiss to Jean in the same place on the same cheek where Hank had kissed her after his last gig at the Skyline. Go to Appearance > Customize > Subscribe Pop-up to set this up. Billie Jean Horton: The Dazzling Widow of Country Legends. But thanks to her late husband’s celebrity friends, including Johnny Cash, she just about managed to stay out of the red. I noticed some of her other songs are on you tube, so I thought I would add this record that I have. For that reason, he and Billie Jean repeated their vows twice, live onstage at two separate concerts in New Orleans, in front of audiences of 28,000. Start typing to see results or hit ESC to close. She divorced her first husband Harrison Eshleman when she was introduced to Hank Williams by her then-boyfriend, country singer Faron Young. In spite of that, though, her main role was always as a sort of “keeper of the flame” when it came to the musical legacies of her two late husbands. By this time Horton was appearing regularly on Louisiana Hayride, so he and Donna moved to Shreveport, Louisiana, where the show was recorded. She was 19. And she has never lost her passion for music, continuing to perform sporadically and to write and speak about the work of her husbands. , Horton became known for her energetic efforts on behalf of the reputations and estates of both of her famous husbands. Once her marriage to Eshleman was over she began dating singer Faron Young. The most prominent of these was in the early 1970s when she fought to stop the distribution of an MGM movie about Hank wherein she was portrayed as “a harlot.”eval(ez_write_tag([[336,280],'rocksoffmag_com-banner-1','ezslot_5',108,'0','0'])); She succeeded, and the film was suppressed. Hank Williams died under mysterious circumstances on New Year’s Day 1953, leaving Billie Jean a widow at nineteen. Read our monthly round-up of what's going on in the music world and enjoy a curated playlist! Well, Johnny Horton’s daughters, Yanina Horton, Melody Horton, and Jeri Lynne Horton with wife, Billie Jean Horton, are keeping his legacy intact. She also performed, first as Mrs. Hank Williams, and later as Billie Jean Horton. He and his new backup band, the Rowley Trio, began touring under the name The Singing Fisherman and the Rowley Trio in 1952, eventually changing … With a focus on the ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s, we aim to grow into the modern age as we grow ourselves. It was during this difficult time that she embarked on a love affair with Johnny Cash, whilst he was still married to his first wife Vivian Liberto.  She was 19. Johnny’s death was devastating for Billie Jean in more ways than one. Widow of both Hank Williams and Johnny Horton. The couple had two daughters together, and it seems that their married life was a happy one. Johnny Horton was born in Los Angeles, but at an early age he moved with his sharecropping parents to Tyler, Texas, where he grew up. The musical legacies of Hank Williams and Johnny Horton are assured. It was just a short-term fling, though, and soon the two of them went their separate ways.eval(ez_write_tag([[300,250],'rocksoffmag_com-box-4','ezslot_4',107,'0','0'])); But the heartache brought out the musical creativity in her, and she branched out into her own country career.  They married in a private ceremony in Minden, Louisiana on October 18, 1952, then repeated their vows before sold-out audiences at two Williams concerts at the Baton Rouge High School gymnasium and the Municipal Auditorium in New Orleans, Louisiana. Horton went on to become one of the era's most successful recording artists with hits on both the country and pop charts. Johnny Horton. Whether it was fending off a claim from one of Hank’s purported illegitimate children or legally establishing the validity of their marriage, she has always come out on top. They married in a private ceremony in Minden, Louisiana on October 18, 1952, then repeated their vows before sold-out audiences at two Williams concerts at the Baton Rouge High School gymnasium and the Municipal Auditorium in New Orleans, Louisiana. Horton was the daughter of a police chief from Bossier City, Louisiana. HORTON, skyrocketed to fame with his recording of "The Battle of New Orleans," written by his manager. Recorded by Billie Jean Horton of Shreveport Louisiana. Sign up to our monthly newsletter & playlist! Early 1960s. The couple married in a private ceremony in Minden, Louisiana in October of 1952. Billie Jean Horton was already a famous face in the world of country music. Though their romance has entered into music legend, it in fact only lasted around two and a half months. Hence, we will be talking about their whereabouts in this article today. But her claim to the rights and estates of both of her musician husbands has been in frequent dispute, and she has often found herself at the center of legal battles. Fishing was an early interest in life and he traveled to Alaska to seek employment in this capacity, but after returning to Texas he took up singing. In all the decades of legal battles she has fought, she never lost a single one. Rocks Off is a digital collection of stories, articles, and music. But through it all, Billie Jean Horton has always emerged victorious. Our content aims to be informative and entertaining, often discussing the ‘lesser-known’ moments in history. Jean was Hank Williams ’ widow whom Horton married a year after Williams’ death in 1952. Her most fearsome opponent was Hank’s elderly mother. Necessity forced her to eschew her youthful naivete and to build up a formidable bedrock of legal savvy. Billie Jean couldn’t cope. She had a rather pleasant voice, but never caught on big time. She has also clashed numerous times with Hank Williams, Jr. and his mother Audrey Williams, who was Hank Sr.’s first wife. But it was not to last. Young’s star was on the rise and he would soon achieve major success with singles like “If You Ain’t Lovin’ (You Ain’t Livin’)” and “Live Fast, Love Hard, Die Young,” the latter of which reached number one in the US country charts in 1954. Keen to maintain her late husband’s musical legacy, she took to the road, performing live as “Mrs. His wife, BILLIE JEAN, is the widow of HANK WILLIAMS, another famous Western singer who died of a heart attack in 1953. Hank saw the advantage to be gained from playing up their marriage in the public domain. But her hard work has certainly paid off. Billie Jean Horton has worked hard to keep their music in the public eye, and to ensure there is no danger of either Hank Williams or Johnny Horton ever being forgotten. She was just shy of thirty years old. , "She's living off two country music legends", "Mrs. Hank Williams: Late Star's Widow Wins Court Battle", "Billie Jean Horton, a true American classic", https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Billie_Jean_Horton&oldid=975369417, Articles with dead external links from July 2020, Articles with permanently dead external links, Wikipedia articles with MusicBrainz identifiers, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, Country music singer-songwriter, music promoter, Also known for her marriages to country musicians, This page was last edited on 28 August 2020, at 03:56.