“North to Alaska” is a 1960 hit song recorded by Johnny Horton which featured in the movie of the same name. Though Horton had sung several popular movie tie-in songs, this was the first one that was sung over the opening titles.
The song’s lyrics during the opening titles of the film provide a back story for the point where the film begins: Sam McCord left Seattle in 1892 with George and Billy Pratt, “crossed the Yukon river” and “found the bonanza gold below that old white mountain just a little southeast of Nome.” By “1901” Sam was known as “a mighty man,” and his partner George then tells him, “I’d trade all the gold that’s buried in this land for one small band of gold to place on sweet little Jenny’s hand.” George feels that Jenny is his “true love,” and he declares he will “build for my Jenny a honeymoon home” below the same mountain where gold was discovered. An instrumental of the song is also played at the saloon on a piano when Sam and Angel arrive in Nome.
Written by Jimmy Driftwood, “North to Alaska” topped Billboard magazine’s Country Singles chart,reached number four on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and eight on Norway Singles Chart.Members of the Western Writers of America chose it as one of the Top 100 Western songs of all time.
Horton died in an automobile accident 5 November 1960 shortly after the song was released.
B-side “Mansion You Stole”
Released August 22, 1960
Recorded August 9, 1960
Songwriter(s) Johnny Horton, Tillman Franks
Producer(s) Don Law