Walk Right In

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"Walk Right In"
Single by The Rooftop Singers
from the album Walk Right In
B-side "Cool Water"
Released 1962
Format 7" (45 rpm)
Recorded 1962
Genre Folk music, bluegrass
Length 2:33
Label Vanguard Records
Writer(s) Gus Cannon, Hosea Woods
Producer(s) Erik Darling, Bill Svanoe
The Rooftop Singers singles chronology
"Walk Right In"
(1962)
"Tom Cat"

"Walk Right In" is the title of a country blues song written by musician Gus Cannon and originally recorded by Cannon's Jug Stompers in 1929, released on Victor Records, catalogue 38611.[1] It was reissued on album in 1959 as a track on The Country Blues.

In 1962, the American folk trio The Rooftop Singers recorded a version of the song and released it as a single. The single spent two weeks at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in early 1963.[2] It spent five weeks atop the Easy Listening chart, which would later become known as the Adult Contemporary chart.[3] In addition, "Walk Right In" reached both the R&B chart (peaking at #4) as well as the country music chart, peaking at #23.[3] The song reached #1 in Australia on the Kent Music Report in 1963, and it made the Top 10 on the UK Singles Chart in the United Kingdom, peaking at #10.[4] The song was included on the album Walk Right In, and was nominated for a Grammy Award in the category Best Folk Recording.

Group member Erik Darling recruited two friends to record a folk version of "Walk Right In" after hearing the original Cannon recording. Darling wanted the record to have a distinctive sound, so he and group member Bill Svanoe both played twelve string guitars on the song, although they had some difficulty in acquiring the instruments. Darling is quoted as saying that prior to the making of this record, "you couldn't buy a 12-string guitar...I ordered one from the Gibson Company, but in order to record [the song] with two 12-strings, we had to wait for the company to build a second one for Bill!" (a left-handed model).[3] The success of the song was a boon to Cannon, who was in his late 70s and had been forced to pawn his banjo the previous winter to pay his heating bill; he received royalties as a songwriter and saw renewed interest in his music, which led to a recording contract of his own.[2]

Other acts who have recorded or performed "Walk Right In" include Chet Atkins, Sammy Davis, Jr., Ella Fitzgerald, Earl Grant, Al Hirt,[5] Jan & Dean, Janis Joplin, Jerry Lee Lewis, Trini Lopez, the Johnny Mann Singers, Otis Taylor, Carolina Chocolate Drops, The Ventures, Yvonne Elliman, and Dr. Hook. The Rooftop Singers' version appears on the soundtrack to the Tom Hanks film Forrest Gump. Roger Branigin's campaign adapted the song en route to his eventual victory in the 1964 Indiana gubernatorial race.

Trivia[edit]

The French singer, author and composer Claude François became famous in his debut thanks to this song, that he sang in French ("Marche tout droit").

Despite many songs at the time, he seemed doomed to never become famous. But "Marche tout droit" was one important step for him on the path to success, so one can wonder that without this song, "Comme d'habitude", which was later world-famous as "My Way", might have never been written.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Samuel Charters. The Country Blues. New York: Da Capo Press, 1975, p. 124.
  2. ^ a b Bronson, Fred (2003). "Walk Right In", in The Billboard Book of #1 Hits, 5th Edition. New York: Billboard Publications.
  3. ^ a b c Hyatt, Wesley (1999). "Walk Right In", in The Billboard Book of #1 Adult Contemporary Hits. New York: Billboard Publications.
  4. ^ UK Singles Chart info at chartstats.com
  5. ^ Al Hirt, Live at Carnegie Hall Retrieved April 11, 2013.
Preceded by
"Go Away Little Girl" by Steve Lawrence
Billboard Hot 100 number-one single
January 20, 1963 – January 26, 1963 (2 weeks)
Succeeded by
"Hey Paula" by Paul & Paula
Preceded by
"Go Away Little Girl" by Steve Lawrence
Billboard Middle-Road number-one single by
The Rooftop Singers

January 26, 1963
(five weeks)
Succeeded by
"Rhythm of the Rain" by The Cascades

External links[edit]