Eoin Butler: writer, journalist and Mayoman of the Year

Tripping Along The Ledge


Move it on Over (1947)

Seven years later, the fat country music hack Bill Haley supposedly ‘invented’ rock and roll with a song whose chord structure was lifted almost verbatim from this one – Rock Around the Clock.

February 9th, 2010.

3 Responses to “Move it on Over (1947)”

  1. David Says:

    Interesting, but to quote Wikipedia:

    “However, the verse melody of “Rock Around The Clock” does bear a very close similarity to that of Hank Williams’ first hit, “Move It On Over”, from 1947. Williams’ song was very similar to Charley Patton’s “Going To Move To Alabama”, recorded in 1930 – which itself was at least partly derived from Jim Jackson’s “Kansas City Blues” from 1927. The song also uses phrases from Count Basie’s “Red Wagon”, first recorded in 1939.[2]”

    Just a bunch of pilferers those early folk-heads.

  2. Eoin Says:

    Hey David, interesting but I rooted out Going to Move to Alabama on YouTube and I can’t say the similarities between that and Move It On Over are anything like as pronounced as those between Move It On Over and Rock Around the Clock…


  3. Colin Says:

    Was listening to this song earlier (cheers Eoin) then spotted the comments.

    Have gone and listened to all of the songs listed (youtube). There are similarities in them all (Count Basie’s one is interesting). And yeah, there’s more of the Hank Williams’ arrangement in Haley’s song. But that’s the evolution of a music, influences passing on down the years, fun seeing the lines like this.

    Haley and his producer also added their own thing to it all tempo, rockabilly voice etc. The song “Rock around the Clock” it seems was shopped to a few bands, as it was done back then (and still is).

    Here’s the Sonny Dae and The Knights version (1954) – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pr_w3WPzyXA – interesting to hear differences and their approach to the sheets they got.

    Now listen to Haley’s own version of “Rock The Joint” (1952) which certainly was transposed to his version of Clock – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=44YjmMKQTDU (especially at 0:42 for that guitar)

    “Rock around the Clock” is certainly influenced by many artists including Haley. But the point of the chord structure from Hank Williams is sound.

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