Move It On Over (song)

"Move It On Over" is a song written and recorded by the American country music singer-songwriter Hank Williams in 1947.

"Move It On Over"
Single by Hank Williams
B-side"(Last Night) I Heard You Crying in Your Sleep"
PublishedJuly 16, 1947 Acuff-Rose Publications[1]
ReleasedJune 1947
RecordedApril 21, 1947[2]
StudioCastle Studio, Nashville
GenreHillbilly, honky-tonk[3][4]
LabelMGM 10033
Songwriter(s)Hank Hiram Williams
Producer(s)Fred Rose
Hank Williams singles chronology
"Pan American"
"Move It On Over"
"On the Banks of the Old Ponchartrain"


"Move It On Over" was recorded on April 21, 1947 at Castle Studio in Nashville, Hank's first session for MGM and the same session that produced "I Saw the Light," "(Last Night) I Heard You Crying in Your Sleep," and "Six More Miles to the Graveyard." Nashville had no session men during this period, so producer Fred Rose hired Red Foley's backing band, one of the sharpest around, to back Williams. As biographer Colin Escott observes, Rose probably felt the instrumental break needed a touch of class to smooth out Williams' hillbilly edges, and the band, especially guitarist Zeke Turner, was likely too fancy for the singer's taste.[5]

The song is considered one of the earliest examples of rock and roll music.[6][7] Though many claim the song, "Rock Around the Clock," released in 1954 by Bill Haley & His Comets, was the first rock and roll single, it resembles "Move it On Over", as both feature the same twelve-bar blues arrangement with a melody starting with three repetitions of an ascending arpeggio of the tonic chord. Williams' song was very similar to Charley Patton's "Going to Move to Alabama", recorded in 1929 – which itself was at least partly derived from Jim Jackson's "Kansas City Blues" from 1927. The song also uses phrases from Count Basie's "Red Wagon", first recorded in 1939.[8]

The song follows a man who is forced to sleep in the doghouse after coming home late at night and not being allowed into his house by his wife. In many respects, the song typified Williams' uncanny ability to express in a humorous way the aspects of everyday life that listeners could relate to - and rarely heard on the radio. As fiddler Jerry Rivers later recalled, Hank's novelty songs "weren't novelty - they were serious, not silly, and that's why they were much better accepted and better selling. 'Move It on Over' hits right home, 'cause half of the people he was singing to were in the doghouse with the ol' lady."[9]

“Move It on Over“ was Williams' first major hit, reaching #4 on the Billboard Most Played Juke Box Folk Records chart and got him a write up in The Alabama Journal. The revenue generated by the song was the first serious money the singer had ever seen in his life. It also earned him a spot on the coveted Louisiana Hayride, the training ground for the Grand Ole Opry.

Chart performanceEdit

Hank Williams versionEdit

Year Chart Position
1947 U.S. Billboard Most Played Juke Box Folk Records[10] 4

Cover versionsEdit

Many others have recorded and performed the song subsequently. Notable hit versions were performed by:


  1. ^ "U.S. Copyright Office Virtual Card Catalog 1946-1954". Retrieved 2021-09-09.
  2. ^ "Hank Williams 45rpm Issues". Retrieved 2021-08-19.
  3. ^ "The Billboard April 26 1947". Retrieved 27 September 2021.
  4. ^ Inc, Nielsen Business Media (1947-11-08). Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc.
  5. ^ Escott, Merritt & MacEwen 2004.
  6. ^ Beaty, James (December 15, 2018). "Hank Williams: Kicking open that rock 'n' roll door". McAlester News-Capital. Retrieved June 24, 2019.
  7. ^ Lambert, James (May 3, 2018). "Obey Your Woman Or "Move It On Over" Warns Hank Williams". Country Daily. Retrieved June 24, 2019.
  8. ^ Gammond, Peter (1991). The Oxford Companion to Popular Music. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press. p. 495. ISBN 978-0193113237.
  9. ^ Escott, Merritt & MacEwen 2004, p. 68.
  10. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book Of Top 40 Country Hits: 1944-2006, Second edition. Record Research. p. 387.
  11. ^ "Move It On Over by Cowboy Copas and Grandpa Jones King 665-A". October 1947. Retrieved August 28, 2021.
  12. ^ JIMMIE and LEON SHORT; Hank Williams (1947), MOVE IT ON OVER, Internet Archive, Decca, retrieved 2021-08-28
  13. ^ Move It On Over - Bill Haley & His Comets | Song Info | AllMusic, retrieved 2021-08-28
  14. ^ Bogdanov, Vladimir; Woodstra, Chris; Erlewine, Stephen Thomas (2001). All Music Guide: The Definitive Guide to Popular Music p414. Hal Leonard Corporation. ISBN 978-0-87930-627-4.
  15. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2013). Hot Country Songs 1944–2012. Record Research, Inc. p. 342. ISBN 978-0-89820-203-8.


  • Escott, Colin; Merritt, George; MacEwen, William (2004). Hank Williams: The Biography. New York: Little, Brown.