Today marks the 35th year of loss of the legendary country artist Ernest Tubb. He was one of the celebrities who pioneered the honky-tonk style in country music especially with his biggest hit “Walking the Floor Over You.” To remember him on this day, let’s take a look at the song that marked his presence in country music.
Ernest Tubb’s First and Biggest Break with “Walking the Floor Over You”
Tubb, coming from a poor family and working his way up to the country music scene, got his first and biggest break when he released his single “Walking the Floor Over You” on his second record label, Decca Records. Before he was able to sell millions of copy of the mentioned song, he released some songs from his previous record label RCA, but none of which achieved commercial success.
“Walking the Floor Over You” gives you a taste of one of the first sounds of honky-tonk. The original version of Tubb’s song was only accompanied by a simple acoustic and electric guitar. The limited instruments used for the song gave Tubb the chance to make his song more heartfelt than a song that’s often surrounded by a lot of instruments. This was the first song he wrote that became a huge success.
Here’s his original version which was released in 1941:
The song climbed up to the 23rd spot on the country chart.
The song became a standard classic honky-tonk that legendary country singers have to give it a try. Some artists who covered Tubb’s single were Patti Page, Glen Campbell, George Hamilton IV, and a lot more. Tubb had also recorded his song with country singer Merle Haggard in 1971.
Here’s a live performance by these two amazing artists.
Despite the heartbreaking lyrics of the song, Tubb’s single masked the pain of the narrator of the song by giving it an upbeat tune you can enjoy and tap your feet with.
I’m walking the floor over you
I can’t sleep a wink that is true
I’m hoping and I’m praying as my heart breaks right in two
Walking the floor over you