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Folklore: Who was Hal 'Pappy' Horton?

19 Oct 18 - 06:35 AM (#3957383)
Subject: Folklore: Who was Hal 'Pappy' Horton?
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch

Researching Woody Guthrie's early years in Los Angeles, '37-39. Industry exec Hal Horton's bios have been a problem. On the off chance some of the authors are also Mudcat readers:

“One offer, though, was too good to pass up. In mid-January, a representative of the Consolidated Drug Company named Hall Horton called KFVD and asked Woody if he and Lefty Lou would like to sing on station XELO in Tijuana, Mexico, for seventy-five dollars per week. More important than money to Woody, though, was that Horton wanted him to assemble a troupe of hillbilly performers to broadcast for three hours each night.”
[Klein, p.102]

19 Oct 18 - 06:38 AM (#3957384)
Subject: RE: Folklore: Who was Hal 'Pappy' Horton?
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch

“...The two singers would do well on Horton's radio station XELO.

Horton was both a booking agent and the sales manager on the West Coast for Consolidated Drug Company of Chicago. The pharmaceutical company peddled beauty supplies and an array of over-the-counter remedies with hard-sell radio commercials that barely skirted the outrageous and illegal.

Horton was as aggressive, as intense a salesman as his on-air commercials. He spoke with Woody on the telephone, praised the noontime program he had just heard, and proposed that Guthrie take the show to XELO with studios just across the border in Tia Juana. While Horton already had some performers under contract, he would make Guthrie responsible for the noon-to-11 P.M. slot. Horton was prepared to pay both Guthrie and Maxine seventy-five dollars a weeks. In addition, to the three musicians Horton already had under contract, Guthrie could pick three others to accompany them.”
[Cray, p.117]

19 Oct 18 - 06:40 AM (#3957385)
Subject: RE: Folklore: Who was Hal 'Pappy' Horton?
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch

“Early in 1938, Hal “Pappy” Horton of the Consolidated Drug Company offered Woody a show on XELO in Tijuana….

Hal Horton, a former sideshow barker, later moved to Dallas, where he deejayed the popular Hillbilly Hit Parade on KRLD and formed the publishing company Metro Music.”
[Fowler, Gene, Crawford, Bill, Border Radio, 2nd ed. (Austin: U. of Texas Press, 2002, pp.283-284)]

"Hal Horton
b. Montclair, New Jersey, 1893; d. November 28, 1948
Hal Horton, popular Dallas disc jockey and show promoter, first acted onstage with his parents at age ten. He worked as a sideshow barker throughout the nation and entered broadcasting in Davenport, Iowa. From Mexican Border Radio stations Horton came to Dallas in 1936*; there an auto dealer sponsored his first hillbilly record programs on WRR.

In the early 1940s Horton launched the KRLD Hillbilly Hit Parade, a 10:30 p.m. program on which he played and ranked records and interviewed country stars. Later he added the Cornbread Matinee and in 1947 announced the Mutual Network's prerecorded Checkerboard Jamboree series, which featured Eddy Arnold. Horton cofounded Metro Music, publisher of Hank Thompson's earliest songs and Tommy Dilbeck's biggest hits for Arnold.

Horton made two records for Sonora in 1946.** Plagued by a heart ailment in the last years of his life, he did his final broadcast from a back porch home studio two weeks before he died.
-Ronnie Pugh"
[Kingsbury, Paul, ed., et al, The Encyclopedia of Country Music, 2nd ed. (New York: Oxford U., 2012, p.229)]

* This is roughly same time he was supposed to be a Consolidated Drug Co. representative in Los Angeles.

**See following.

19 Oct 18 - 06:42 AM (#3957386)
Subject: RE: Folklore: Who was Hal 'Pappy' Horton?
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch

Hal Horton
Sonora Record No. H7022
“Dreamy Rio Grande”
“Rhythm in the Hills”
Sonora Record No. H7025
“Blue Texas Moonlight”
“Gotta Get Together With My Gal”

Star of CBS' Hollywood Barn Dance and his own MBS show, Hal Horton commands a big following through his movie roles and his featured singing role in the popular stage success “Song of Norway.” His rich romantic voice and personable singing style is a product of his native Northwest, gives him the authentic appeal your trade demands.”
[Display advert, Music Machines, Billboard, 1 Feb., 1947, p.179]

Describes Hal Horton (Harry B. Horwitz)(c.1919-2010) of the Los Angeles Civic Light Opera. He would have been a teenager in 1937 when the Guthries were hired for XELO.

19 Oct 18 - 06:44 AM (#3957387)
Subject: RE: Folklore: Who was Hal 'Pappy' Horton?
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch

“Samuel Goldman, program chairman, introduced entertainers Ruth Johns and Hal Horton. Horton (Cantor Harry B. Horwitz, who has sung professionally under the name of Horton since he was 13) sang in both Hebrew and English….”
[130 Fete Founding of Temple, The Desert Sun, Palm Springs (CA) 16 Nov., 1967, p.8]

Harry Horwitz, Cantor and Entertainer, 91 -
Harry Horwitz, cantor and longtime supporter of Jewish community causes, died April 22 at 91.

Horwitz was cantor for 14 years at Westwood Temple, and later served as cantor at other Southern California temples. He officiated at numerous Jewish community events and performed at fundraisers, including for B’nai B’rith, Hadassah and Bonds for Israel.

Throughout his career, Horwitz also appeared on radio, stage and screen, sometimes under the name “Hal Horton.”

Horwitz is survived by his sister, Frances Kaplan; niece Sheryl Labin; and nephews Steven and Ronald Kaplan, and Richard and Marshall Horwitz.”
[Jewish Journal, 18 May 2010]

29 Dec 18 - 04:26 PM (#3968719)
Subject: RE: Folklore: Who was Hal 'Pappy' Horton?

Close relative of Harry Horwitz here. He was indeed a performer on radio, records, screen, and stage who was credited as "Hal Horton." However, he is probably being conflated with the other Hal Horton.

16 Jan 19 - 05:39 PM (#3971811)
Subject: RE: Folklore: Who was Hal 'Pappy' Horton?
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch

Thanks for that guest. Harry Horwitz's were the firmest Los Angeles connections but I've found no links to the Guthrie family act. Everybody, it seems, did business with Peruna/Consolidated Drugs at one time or another.

I didn't think to check Discogs before. Same mess there with the addition of a "Hall" and "Haley" under the writing credits.

20 Sep 21 - 06:21 PM (#4120467)
Subject: RE: Folklore: Who was Hal 'Pappy' Horton?
From: GUEST,Harmon Miller

My great-uncle was songwriter/publisher Bob Miller. Hal Horton recorded one of his songs "Dreamy Rio Grande". Bob's wife co-wrote one of the other songs he recorded -"Gotta Get Together with My Gal". Too bad he didn't record more, he had a fabulous voice.
Bob worked with Zeke Manners about the same time; who knew there were so many Jewish hillbillies?