This Ole House

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"This Ole House" (sometimes written "This Old House") is a popular song written by Stuart Hamblen, and published in 1954.[1] Rosemary Clooney's version reached the top of the popular music charts in both the US and the UK in 1954. The song again topped the UK chart in 1981 in a recording by Shakin' Stevens.


Hamblen was supposedly out on a hunting expedition when he and his fellow hunter, actor John Wayne, came across a hut in the mountains. Inside was the body of a man, and the man's dog was still there, guarding the building. This inspired Hamblen to write "This Ole House".[1] The lyric picks up a standard Gospel theme of the "old house" – the mortal body – being left behind when the believer goes to "meet the saints".[2]


The recorded version of "This Ole House" by Rosemary Clooney, featuring bass vocals by Thurl Ravenscroft, reached No. 1 on the Billboard on chart in 1954 as the flip side to her previous No. 1 song, "Hey There." Clooney's version also topped the UK Singles Chart, although there were other UK hit versions around by Billie Anthony and Alma Cogan, both recorded in 1954. The recording by Alma Cogan with Felix King was made in London on September 2, 1954. The song was released by EMI on the His Master's Voice label as catalogue numbers B 10761 and 7M 269. The flip side was "Skokiaan."

In March 1981, Shakin' Stevens took the song back to No. 1 for three weeks in the United Kingdom.[3] His version was re-released in 2005 after his appearance in the TV show Hit Me Baby One More Time and reached No. 20 in the UK Singles Chart.[4]

The song was also covered by the Cathedral Quartet and Hovie Lister and the Statesmen. Both groups often made the song a medley with "When the Saints Go Marching In."

The song was recorded by Bette Midler (in ballad form) on her 2003 tribute to Rosemary Clooney, "Bette Midler Sings the Rosemary Clooney Songbook," and included on her compilation "Jackpot: The Best Bette" in 2008.

Other notable recordings of the song[edit]


  1. ^ a b Rice, Jo (1982). The Guinness Book of 500 Number One Hits (1st ed.). Enfield, Middlesex: Guinness Superlatives Ltd. p. 15. ISBN 0-85112-250-7. 
  2. ^ See 2 Corinthians 5:1
  3. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 392. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  4. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 530. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  5. ^ "A Bing Crosby Discography". BING magazine. International Club Crosby. Retrieved December 9, 2017. 
  6. ^ "". Retrieved December 9, 2017. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
"My Son, My Son" by Vera Lynn
UK Singles Chart number-one single (Rosemary Clooney version)
November 26, 1954
Succeeded by
"Let's Have Another Party" by Winifred Atwell
Preceded by
"Jealous Guy" by Roxy Music
UK Singles Chart number-one single (Shakin' Stevens version)
28 March 1981 - 11 April 1981
Succeeded by
"Making Your Mind Up" by Bucks Fizz
Preceded by
"Jealous Guy" by Roxy Music
Australian Kent Music Report number-one single (Shakin' Stevens version)
June 8, 1981
Succeeded by
"Bette Davis Eyes" by Kim Carnes