Walkin' My Baby Back Home

Album: Walkin' My Baby Back Home (1952)
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Songfacts®:

  • This song was written in 1930 by Fred E. Ahlert and Roy Turk, two famous songwriters of big band, swing, and jazz music. The song was recorded by a number of artists in the '30s '40s and '50s, including Johnnie Ray, Dean Martin and Ella Fitzgerald. Nat King Cole released what has become the most enduring version in 1952.
  • Many standards have been revived over the years by contemporary artists, but surprisingly, no version of "Walkin' My Baby Back Home" - one of the most popular songs of its era - ever made the Billboard charts after 1955. The most popular modern cover is by James Taylor, who included the song on his 1997 album Hourglass, his first studio album of new material since 1991's New Moonshine. Taylor's arrangement features acoustic guitar, jazzy keyboards, soft brush drums and even a whistle solo on the instrumental bridge.
  • The song tells the story of the dating adventures of a guy and a girl, which typically end with him walking her back home. We hear about them kissing and petting, grabbing some barbecue, and snuggling. Near the end, there is this odd verse:

    She's afraid of the dark so I have to park
    Outside of her door till its light
    She says if I try to kiss her she'll cry
    I dry her tears all through the night


    This begs the question of why she is crying, and if he really is parking outside her door all night. This verse is altered in many of the versions sung by female artists, often replaced by lyrics about the guy getting lost.
  • This song provides a snapshot of an earlier time when folks dressed up for social occasions - he's apparently wearing a three-piece suit on this date. We hear about the talcum he gets on his vest when they start petting. This is a reference to talcum powder, which his date must have been using on her skin.

Comments: 2

  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn January 29th 1961, James Darren performed "Walkin' My Baby Back Home" on the CBS-TV program 'The Ed Sullivan Show"...
    This covered version by Mr. Darren didn't make Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart; but between 1959 and 1977 he had ten Top 100 records, two made the Top 10, "Goodbye Cruel World" {#3 in 1961} and "Her Royal Majesty" {#6 in 1962}...
    He just missed having a third Top 10 record when "Conscience" peaked at #11 in 1962...
    Mr. Darren, born James William Ercolani, will celebrate his 80th birthday this coming June 8th {2016}.
  • Annabelle from Eugene, OrThis is a good song to listen to when you're feeling down in the dumps. I mean, nothing's better than to kick back in a comfy chair by the fireside on a soft moonlit summer evening, or even just lay back in your warm soft covers after a hard day at work, and relax to the smooth and soothing voice, and the softly strummed acoustic guitar that is James Taylor's. This song, especially the way James sings it, could be included as part of a collection of smooth jazz music. And it can even be considered suitable for a collection of baby lullaby music.
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