Walk Right In

"Walk Right In" is the title of a popular song from 1962 by the American folk trio The Rooftop Singers. The song was originally written by blues singer and musician Gus Cannon and recorded by Cannon and His Jug Stompers in the late 1920s.

In the U.S., the song spent two weeks at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in early 1963. It spent five weeks atop the Easy Listening chart, which would later become known as the Adult Contemporary chart. In addition, "Walk Right In" reached both the R&B chart (peaking at #4) as well as the country music chart (peaking at #23). The song reached #1 in Australia on the Kent Music Report in 1963, and it made the Top 10 on the UK Singles Chart in England, peaking at #10.

The album containing this song was also called Walk Right In, and this record was nominated for a Grammy Award in the category Best Folk Recording.

Group member Erik Darling recruited two friends to record a folk version of "Walk Right In" after hearing the original Cannon recording. Darling wanted the record to have a distinctive sound, so he and group member Bill Svanoe both played twelve string guitars on the song, although they had some difficulty in acquiring the instruments. Darling is quoted as saying that prior to the making of this record, "you couldn't buy a 12-string guitar...I ordered one from the Gibson Company, but in order to record [the song] with two 12-strings, we had to wait for the company to build a second one for Bill!" The success of the song was a boon to Cannon, who was in his late 70s and had been forced to pawn his banjo the previous winter in order to pay his heating bill; he received royalties as a songwriter and saw renewed interest in his music, which led to a recording contract of his own.

Other acts who have recorded or performed "Walk Right In" include Chet Atkins, Ella Fitzgerald, Janis Joplin and Dr. Hook & the Medicine Show. The Rooftop Singers' version appears on the soundtrack to the Tom Hanks film Forrest Gump. Roger Branigin's campaign adapted the song en route to his eventual victory in the 1964 Indiana gubernatorial race.

See also


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