Celebrated Canadian country music artist Clarence Eugene Snow, popularly known as Hank Snow, wrote the song “I’m Moving On” in 1950. The song received favorable acceptance from the audience leading it to the top of the country chart. The tune enjoyed its stay on the top spot for a total of 21 weeks. That makes it set the all-time record for most weeks at No. 1. Also, “I’m Moving On” was the first of Snow’s seven number 1 singles throughout his career.
When Snow first proposed to RCA Records the recording of the song in 1949, he received a negative response. The recording director Stephen H. Sholes turned down his proposal. However, he made another try the following year in Nashville and he succeeded. Hence, the song was released and instantly, it became a hit. Adding to his popularity and success was his entry to the Grand Ole Opry cast in 1950.
In his 1984 book, The Best of Country Music, author John Morthland made a critique of the song. “The chugging beat establishes that this is a train song and the fiddle and steel push harder than is usual on Nashville records from this era,” he wrote. “There’s real anger and determination in Snow’s voice, which sometimes sounds too smooth for this type of song.”
Other Notable Versions
The song found continued success from other artists in the music industry who recorded it. Probably, the most famous cover of the song ever made was Ray Charles’. He brought the song not only to one chart but two in 1950. It reached the Top 40 on the pop singles chart while peaking at No. 11 on the R&B singles chart, making it a crossover hit. On the other hand, Don Gibson’s version reached No. 14 on the country chart in 1960. After more than two decades (1983), Emmylou Harris took an uptempo live version of the song and it ranked No. 5 on Hot Country Singles chart. The record was more popular in Canada as it topped the RPM Country Tracks chart. More of country music’s greats, the likes of Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, The Everly Brothers, Roy Acuff, among others have performed the song between 1963 up to 2012.
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