In 1930, he and his family move to J.D. Peeples' plantation in Mound City, near Marion, Arkansas.
Having returned to Memphis in 1939, Walter is a familiar figure on the blues scene in that city, counting Homesick James and Buddy Doyle among his friends. A session by Doyle almost certainly constitutes Walter's recording debut.
He travels to Chicago in 1949 where he plays in Eddie Taylor's band.
Sam Phillips records Walter accompanied by Joe Hill Louis and an unknown pianist. Two of the resultant songs, 'Little Boy Blue' and 'Now Tell Me Baby', are released on the Modern Record label in 1951, the following year he records songs for Sun and Chess but they are not released.
Walter cuts one of his finest records in 1953, 'Easy', and after a brief spell with the Muddy Waters band in 1954, he becomes a member of Jimmy Rogers' band when the guitarist breaks away from Muddy.
Walter's harmonica is one of the highlights on Jimmy Rogers' single 'Walking by Myself' released in 1956.
The Soul of Blues Harmonica, Walter's debut album is released in 1964, and he tours Europe as part of the American Folk Blues Festival in 1965.
Walter records on some outstanding sessions, produced by Pete Welding in 1966, for the Testament record label. Among the artists whom he accompanies on their records are Johnny Shines, Eddie Taylor, Johnny Young and Floyd Jones.
Walter takes part in the American Folk Blues Festival again in 1968.
Fleetwood Mac invite Walter and other Chicago luminaries to appear on their album Blues Jam at Chess in 1969.
Fine Cuts, an album on which Walter plays in both jazz and blues styles, is released in 1978.
In 1980, he makes a cameo appearance in the film The Blues Brothers.
Walter Horton dies of heart failure at Chicago's Mercy Hospital on 8 December 1981.
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