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"Move It On Over" is a song written and recorded by the American country music singer-songwriter Hank Williams in 1947. The song was Williams' first major hit, reaching #4 on the Billboard Singles chart. The song is considered one of the earliest examples of rock and roll music.[1][2]

"Move It On Over"
Single by Hank Williams
B-side"(Last Night) I Heard You Crying in Your Sleep"
ReleasedJune 1947
Format10" single (MGM 10033)
RecordedApril 21, 1947
StudioCastle Studio, Nashville
GenreCountry, blues, rock and roll
Songwriter(s)Hank Williams
Producer(s)Fred Rose
Hank Williams singles chronology
"Pan American"
"Move It On Over"
"On the Banks of the Old Ponchartrain"

Many others have recorded and performed the song subsequently, notably hit versions by George Thorogood in the 1980s and Travis Tritt in the '90s.



"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.[3]

Many claim the song resembles a song "Rock Around the Clock," released in 1954 by Bill Haley and his Comets, which would go on to become the first hit rock and roll single; indeed, both feature the same twelve-bar blues arrangement with a melody starting with three repetitions of an ascending arpeggio of the tonic chord. But this similarity is disputed by some experts.[who?]

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."[4]

"Move It on Over was Williams' first Billboard hit, got him a write up in The Alabama Journal, and generated 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.

Cover versionsEdit

Chart performanceEdit

Hank Williams versionEdit

Year Chart Position
1947 U.S. Billboard Country 4


  1. ^ Beaty, James (December 15, 2018). "Hank Williams: Kicking open that rock 'n' roll door". McAlester News-Capital. Retrieved June 24, 2019.
  2. ^ Lambert, James (May 3, 2018). "Obey Your Woman Or "Move It On Over" Warns Hank Williams". Country Daily. Retrieved June 24, 2019.
  3. ^ Escott, Colin 2004.
  4. ^ Escott, Colin, 2004 & 68.
  5. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2013). Hot Country Songs 1944–2012. Record Research, Inc. p. 342. ISBN 978-0-89820-203-8.

External linksEdit