Walking the Dog

Album: Walking the Dog (1963)

Songfacts®:

  • Thomas was a Mississippi soul singer who recorded several popular songs about dancing - including this one. Other dance/novelty songs he recorded include "Funky Chicken" and "Do the Penguin." He recorded for Stax Records and is the father of Carla Thomas, who also became a successful R&B singer.
  • Some of the many artists to record this song include The Who and Aerosmith (it was the last song they recorded for their first album). The Rolling Stones recorded it on their first album, thanks to their guitarist Brian Jones, who was the leader of the band at the time. He was a big fan of American soul music and wanted them to record the song. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Bertrand - Paris, France
  • The only time this song has charted in the UK was a version by the Merseybeat group The Dennisons, which peaked at #36 in 1964. This proved to be the band's biggest hit, but their drummer Clive Hornby found success in another field. After turning to acting, Hornby played the popular character Jack Sugden in the ITV soap Emmerdale for 28 years until his death in July 2008.
  • According to Mojo magazine, September 2002, Rufus Thomas was king of the dog songs. He also recorded "Can Your Monkey Do The Dog," "The Dog," "Somebody Stole My Dog," "Can't Get Away From This Dog" and "Stop Kicking My Dog Around." >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Olli - Hankasalmi, Finland
  • In his memoir Fortunate Son: My Life, My Music, John Fogerty tells a story about his band The Golliwogs (which would later become Creedence Clearwater Revival) opening for Sonny and Cher. They got an encore, and started playing "Walking the Dog" when the curtain suddenly dropped - it turned out that was Sonny and Cher's opening number.
  • George Clinton copped to getting the vibe for "Atomic Dog" from Thomas and his explorations of the canine inside of all men.

Comments: 9

  • John from NycThe Sonics did a great, raucous cover of this song on their 1965 debut album Here Are The Sonics.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn February 12th 1972, Rufus Thomas performed "Do the Funky Penguin* - Part One" on the ABC-TV program 'American Bandstand'...
    At the time the song was at #45 on Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart; the very next day on February 13th it would peak at #44 {for 1 week} and it stayed on the chart for 10 weeks...
    It reached #11 on Billboard's R&B Singles chart...
    Between 1963 and 1972 he, as a solo artist, had nine* Top 100 records; one made the Top 10, "Walking the Dog", it peaked at #10 {for 2 weeks}on December 1st, 1963...
    He charted two more times on the Top 100 in duets with his daughter, Carla...
    Mr. Thomas passed away on December 15th, 2001 at the age of 84...
    * In 1970 he charted with another 'funky' record; "Do the Funky Chicken - Part One" reached #28 on the Top 100.
  • Clarity from OnthebeachThis song was covered by Randy California in '72 for his 'Kapt. Kopter' album. It wasn't released on the original vinyl but his version is offered as a bonus track on the current CD issue. In '76 Spirit included it on their 'Spirit of '76' LP.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn September 29th 1963, "Walking the Dog" by Rufus Thomas entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart at position #80; and on December 1st, 1963 it peaked at #10 {for 2 weeks} and spent 14 weeks on the Top 100...
    It reached #5 on Billboard's R&B Singles chart...
    Between 1963 and 1972 he had nine Top 100 records; his next biggest hit was "(Do the) Push and Pull", it peaked at #25 {for 1 week} on February 21st, 1971...
    R.I.P. Rufus Thomas, Jr. {1917 - 2001}.
  • Joe from Eldon, MoThe Stones version was not that good compared to the rest.
  • Robin from Bolton, United KingdomI have the Rufus Thomas version at two speeds! On the History of R&B Vol VI (Atlantic) vinyl, it's pitched higher and doesn't last as long as the version on Atlantic Gold - 100 Soul Classics CD. Anyone know which is the right one?
  • Homer from Springfield, KyAerosmith's version was better in my opinion
  • Steve from Hermitage, TnI think Aerosmith covered this song on one of their early albums. I like their version; haven't heard the Stones'.
  • Billie from Stuttgart, GermanyLyrics, music, and original recording were by Rufus Thomas in 1963. The song made the U.S. Top Ten and was included in his album of the same title on Stax records. Rufus was born and died in Mississippi and Tennesee, respectively. The Rolling Stones covered it. So did the Grateful Dead in 1966 and then a couple of times in 1970. They continued to play it with revisions briefly in 1984/1985. A fun and lively interpretation of this song was performed by John Warren and his band in 1999. They played this song live at The Palms in Davis, California less than one month before passing away in from pancreatic cancer.
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