This day in 1959, “The Battle Of New Orleans” won Song of the Year for composer Jimmy Driftwood and Best Country & Western Performance for Johnny Horton during the second annual GRAMMY Awards.
The song describes the Battle of New Orleans from the perspective of an American soldier; the song tells the tale of the battle with a light tone and provides a rather comical version of what actually happened at the battle. It has been recorded by many artists, but the singer most often associated with this song is Johnny Horton. His version scored number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1959 (see 1959 in music). Billboard ranked it as the No. 1 song for 1959, it was very popular with teenagers in the late 50s/early 60s in an era mostly dominated by rock and roll music.
In Billboard magazine’s rankings of the top songs in the first 50 years of the Billboard Hot 100 chart, “The Battle of New Orleans” was ranked as the 28th song overall and the number-one country music song to appear on the chart.
Members of the Western Writers of America chose it as one of the Top 100 Western songs of all time.