The year was 1947…
The average cost of a new house was $6,600 dollars, Harry S. Truman was President of the United States, the Cold War had just begun, and the average gallon of gas was selling for 15 cents.
Oh, and Hank Williams was recording a genre-bending hit song called “Move It On Over” in Nashville, Tennessee.
The Castle Recording Laboratory, which is better known as Castle Studio (or even The Castle), opened up in Nashville in 1946. It is considered to be Nashville’s first commercial recording studio, and it went on an incredible run from 1947 to 1955.
Of all the country music songs that charted in that 8 year period, approximately half of them were recorded at the Castle Studio.
One of those hits happened to Hank Williams’ “Move It On Over,” which at the time had trouble fitting into the “country music” genre. The quick rhythmic track seemed to throw together fragments of country, swing, and blues.
It is also widely considered to be the first ever example of “rock and roll” music thanks to its twelve-bar blues arrangement. So I guess it is safe to call Hank Williams the King of Country Music and Rock and Roll?
Though the music industry wasn’t sure how to categorize the upbeat hit, the only thing that was known for sure was that it was a transcendent hit for Williams: The catchy tune peaked at #4 on the US Billboard charts following its release.
The song was the first single to generate serious money for the country music artist and set him on a track for increasing commercial success for the years leading up to his death in 1953.
“Move It On Over” tells the story of a man who comes home too late and is literally put in the dog house next to “man’s best friend.”
The novelty lyricism, which Williams was famous for, describe an unlucky guy crawling into a dog house and asking for the animal to “pack it on over.”
The beginning lyrics for the famous Hank song go:
“Came in last night at a half past ten
That baby of mine wouldn’t let me in
So move it on over (move it on over)
Move it on over (move it on over)
Move over little dog cause a big dog’s movin in
She’s changed the lock on our front door
My door key, don’t fit no more
So get it on over (move it on over)
Scoot it on over (move it on over)
Move over skinny dog cause a fat dog’s moving in”
The song has been covered over the years by George Thorogood in 1978 and then Thorogood and Travis Tritt teamed up to record their version for the TV show King of the Hill in 1999.
As always, the cover versions reveal some different ways to approach the song, but it doesn’t get any better than Hank Williams’ original recording.
Take a listen:
And just in case you were still caught up about there being a King of the Hill version of the song performed by Tritt and Thorogood, we’ve got you covered: