My great-grandmother had two Johnny Horton LPs, and I used to listen to them before the days of cable TV. They were instrumental in developing my youthful interest in history. I'd listen to a song like "Sink the Bismarck," and then go to her set of encyclopedias and look up Bismarck (so I learned about the ship, the city, and the Prussian chancellor). Then I'd look up The Battle of New Orleans, and learn about the battle, the city, Andrew Jackson, etc. In retrospect, I wonder if there's anything released as "popular" music today that can lead young people to a valuable education.
I doubt it.
Some accuse Johnny Horton's songs of being corny. I accuse those who say so of being pretentious.
And if Biobandit has any criticisms,just beware that I am willing to document how many Tori Amos tracks you have in iTunes.