Walk Right In

Album: Walk Right In (1963)
Charted: 10 1
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  • 1963 was an eclectic year at the top of the charts, with #1 hits coming from crooners ("Blue Velvet"), girl groups ("He's So Fine"), an underage superstar ("Fingertips (Part 2)") and even an import from Japan ("Sukiyaki"). There was even room for folk music, as the Rooftop Singers hit the top spot with their adaptation of this Jug Band classic originally recorded by The Jug Stompers in 1929.

    The song was written by two members of The Jug Stompers who used to perform at medicine shows: Gus Cannon (banjo, jug) and Hosie Woods (guitar, kazoo). When the Rooftop Singers turned it into a feisty singalong, Cannon and Woods got huge windfalls. Cannon, who once hocked his banjo for $20 worth of coal, not only got royalties for the hit, he also got a recording contract with Stax Records.
  • The Rooftop Singers were Erik Darling, Bill Svanoe and Lynne Taylor. Darling, formerly of the Tarriers ("Cindy Oh Cindy," "The Banana Boat Song (Day-O)") and the Weavers (he replaced Pete Seeger), put the trio together specifically to record this song. Darling modified some of the original lyrics; "Two way woman" became "new way of walking," for example, and the group recorded it using two 12-string guitars. Follow-up songs "Tom Cat" and "Mama Don't Allow" barely made the charts, but this group that was put together to record one song stayed together more than four years.
  • This being the '60s, many listeners spotted a marijuana reference in the lyrics, "Everybody's talkin' 'bout a new way of walking... do you wanna lose your mind?" It's doubtful that the writers of the song had that intention - especially in 1929.
  • This was used in the 1994 movie Forrest Gump when Jenny (Robin Wright) sneaks Forrest (Tom Hanks) into her dorm room.

Comments: 16

  • Dandy Don from Nashville, TnConsidering the time (1963) beatniks, coffee houses and Folk music, I would think the lyrics, “Daddy let your hair hang down, let your mind roll on, and everybody’s talking ‘bout a new way of walking”, probably were meant to refer to marijuana. They were definitely singing to the younger generation, and the “The Times They Were A Changin’…
  • Moanin' Lisa from Chillicothe Mo.I loved their vocals on this hit. I was in grade school & a lot of kids liked this song. I wasn't allowed to buy records myself, but I did listen to my brothers' 45 single of this song. Thanks for the info on this group. I think 193 was a good year for many genres of music on the charts. From folk, novelty, broadway, girl groups, hotrod music, surfing, soft music, R&B, and those wonderful dance-craze hits like the limbo, the bird, twist, etc. Folk lasted a while and there were good hits while it lasted.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn June 19th 1977, Dr. Hook's covered version of "Walk Right In" entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart at position #82; and on July 31st it peaked at #46 (for 1 week) and spent 10 weeks on the Top 100...
    Fourteen years earlier on January 6th, 1963 the Moments entered the Top 100 at position #100 with their covered version, and that same week the Rooftop Singers were at #35 (the flip-side of the Moments' record was an instrumental version of the song)...
    The Moments version peaked at #82 while the Rooftop Singers went all the way to #1...
    (See the next 2 posts).
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn February 10th, 1963, the records at #2 and #3 on Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart both had the word 'Walk' as the first word in the song's title...
    At #2 was "Walk Right In" by the Rooftop Singers (it was in its 2nd week at #2)
    And at #3 was "Walk Like A Man" by the Four Seasons (it was up from #6)...
    The #1 record was "Hey! Paula" by Paul and Paula.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn January 20th 1963, "Walk Right In" by the Rooftop Singers peaked at #1 (for 2 weeks)...
    It was a rarity in that it was not on the Top 10 before becoming the #1 record; it had jumped from #11...
    The record at #2, "Hey Paula" by Paul & Paula, was also a big mover, it moved up from #10 to #2...
    After the Rooftop Singers two weeks at #1 Paul & Paula did make it to #1, and stayed there for 3 weeks.
  • James from Boston, MaKevin, if you're referring to the song I think you are, it was the Serendipity Singers.
  • James from Boston, MaTo really understand the meaning we'd need to know what a "two-way woman" from the original lyrics is. I don't. Can't find it anywhere. if you know, I'd love the info. With that caveat here's my take. "do you want to lose your mind" is a rhetorical question, not an invitation. The song is basically saying, just chill. Trying to stay on top of every trend and re-invent everything you know to adopt every new fad will just drive you crazy. Fuhgeddaboutit. Just let your hair hang down and your mind roll on. It fits either era. The 20s were a time of pop culture and hopping on the latest fad train. As for a marijuana reference, I suppose it could be there in disguise. The idea that it couldn't possibly be because it was written in 1929 doesn't hold water, people smoked dope back then too. Especially among the likes of musicians. And it would definitely had to have been a vague, seemingly innocent reference at that time. If ithat is the meaning, obviously I'm wrong about the whole rhetorical question/invitation thing.
  • Kevin from Lawrence, KsI always thought that this was the group that did the song "Don't Let the Rain Fall Down". Is it?
  • Eleven from Denhaag, NetherlandsI wonder if there is some one who understand this song, I cant figure it out yet.
    It was written in or recorded in 1929,? so there where no beatniks or hippy's than or a culture of using marrihuana and" let your hair hang down."
    Could it be an invitation to come along , to walk into a new way of living-(thinking)
    and loose your mind-forget about everything you had learned till so far, and jump into an endless sea (new way of thinking) surrender and with trusting open mind without holding back, and nothing to hold on too
  • Daevid from Glendale, CaThe "new way of walkin'" was expressing the freedom of those times, freedom of speech, free to experiment, etc.
  • Pmcountry from Small Town, PaI used to make my mom place this over and over for me when I was a kid. As an adult, I still like the song but assumed it was about 60's fads, "daddy let your hair hang down" and drugs "do you want to lose your mind?"
  • Charles from Charlotte, NcComposer Gus Cannon was 79 when his song made #1.
  • Dan from Richmond, Vai really liked this the first time i heard it. a nice warm sound with a rich brown color. homie feel.the beat really carries it and gives a little dance falvor. a small party, chillin' out.doesn't make any difference to me if the words make sense or not-----its a fealing--a good one!!
  • Bobpape from Austin, TxChase- I always thought that the song was in reference to some of the seemingly rediculous fads that would sweep (the young people) of the nation, especially the lines "Everybody's talking about a new way of walking. Do you want to lose your mind?".
  • Mark from Lancaster, OhNobody understood it, then or now, but everyone liked it anyway. I believe that it was largely regarded as sort of a beatnik song, if such a category exists, and since nobody could understand 'beat' poetry, nobody expected to understand the song.

    At the same time, beatniks were a big sensation and, in retrospect, it seemed that everyone pretty much liked them.
  • Chase from Pasadena, Ca"Everybody's talking about a new way of walking.
    Do you want to lose your mind?"

    Do not see any correlation between the two, but still a good song for listening quietly.
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