Hank Snow

I'm Movin' On

Composed by Hank Snow

Song Review by

Evocative images of trains have been an enduring staple of country music since the genre's inception and Jimmie Rodgers' tragically truncated bout with stardom. Not only was Hank Snow an unabashed Rodgers admirer, he shared the Singing Brakeman's lifelong love affair with the rails -- and wrote one of country's greatest locomotive odes, "I'm Movin' On." Snow cut the seminal number March 28, 1950, in Nashville for RCA Victor, fiddler Tommy Vaden sawing in accurate simulation of a smoke-stained train whistle before Snow delivers his up-tempo tale of farewell in a clipped, hard-edged Canadian accent (he was a native of Nova Scotia), betraying little regret or hope for reconciliation; this Singing Ranger sounds quite content to swap his untrue woman for a big eight-wheeler movin' down the track. He also inserts a snazzy little acoustic guitar solo two-thirds of the way through, underscoring what an expert fretsman the diminutive Snow was. "I'm Movin' On" made him a country luminary of dazzling magnitude, the song holding down the top slot on Billboard's country charts for 21 amazing weeks later that year (his next hit, "The Golden Rocket," rode a similar stylistic rail line). The song impacted the next generation of rockabilly and country royalty -- Warren Smith waxed a hot rockabilly version for Sun in Memphis that laid unissued at the time, and Don Gibson scored a sizable seller with a 1960 remake for RCA -- but it took a certified genius to propel it into the pop arena. Though his groundbreaking 1962 album, Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music, for ABC-Paramount justifiably receives the credit for knocking down idiomatic barriers, Ray Charles' first recorded venture into country material actually came on his 1959 remake of "I'm Movin' On" for Atlantic that was a zesty hybrid; the horns deputize for the fiddle, but Brother Ray does retain the keening steel guitar (played here by Charley Macey) as he transforms Snow's rural theme into a relentless R&B rocker stoked by the Raeletts' interjections and his own electric piano that hit late that year. Blue-eyed soul singer Matt Lucas also made some noise with the tune in 1963 for Smash, his reading owing more to Brother Ray's conception than Snow's.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
No Image 1952 RCA Victor
No Image 1955 RCA Victor
No Image 1961 Camden
No Image 1966 RCA Victor
No Image 1970 RCA Victor
No Image 1971 RCA Victor
No Image 1974 Camden
The Singing Ranger: 1949-1953 1989 Bear Family Records 2:50
Nipper's Greatest Hits: The 50's, Vol. 2 1990
Various Artists
RCA 2:48
The Singing Ranger, Vol. 2 1990 Bear Family Records 2:47
No Image 1991 RCA
The Thesaurus Transcriptions 1991 Bear Family Records
Snow Country 1992 Pair 2:46
The Singing Ranger, Vol. 3 1994 Bear Family Records 2:46
The Singing Ranger, Vol. 4 1995 Bear Family Records 4:51
No Image 1995
Karaoke
BMG/RCA Camden 2:47
The Kings of Country Music 1995
Various Artists
Ranwood Records 2:50
All Time Country Greats [BMG/Camden] 1997
Various Artists
Camden 2:46
The Essential Hank Snow 1997 RCA 2:48
Pure Country: 50's Superstars 1997
Various Artists
Coyote Records 2:43
Best of the Best 1998 King / King 2:50
Classic Country: Neon Memories 1999
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 2:49
Classic Country: 1950-1964 1999
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 2:50
Classic Country: 1950-1959 [2 CD] 1999
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 2:50
The Roots of Elvis Presley 2001
Various Artists
Catfish 2:53
RCA Country Legends 2001 Buddha Records 2:51
Famous Country Music Makers [Castle Pulse #1] 2001 Castle Pulse 2:51
Down at the Rainbow's End 2001 Jasmine Records 2:32
Bound for Movin' On 2001
Various Artists
BMG International 2:49
A Fool Such as I 2001 Arpeggio Country 2:48
No Image 2001
Various Artists
Prism Leisure 2:49
#1 Country Legendary Hits, Vol. 2 2002
Various Artists
Razor & Tie 2:49
The Ultimate Classic Country Collection 2002
Various Artists
WEA International 2:50
Songs That Made Elvis Famous 2002
Various Artists
Disky 2:48
Further Beyond Nashville 2002
Various Artists
Manteca 2:50
Drivin' Country 2002
Various Artists
Castle Pulse
I'm Movin' On [Prism] 2002 Prism Leisure 2:52
Legendary 2003 BMG International 2:50
The Singing Ranger [ASV/Living Era] 2003 Delta / Xtra 2:45
Country Heaven 2003
Various Artists
K-Tel Distribution 2:52
The Best of Hank Snow [Paradiso] 2003 Paradiso 2:49
A Proper Introduction to Hank Snow: I'm Moving On 2004 Proper Sales & Dist. 2:43
The Roots of Rock 'n' Roll: 1946-1954 2004
Various Artists
Hip-O 2:49
Elvis Inspiration 2004
Various Artists
Boulevard Vintage 2:52
Super Hits 2004 RLG/BMG Heritage / RCA 2:50
The Great Hank Snow 2005 Rajon Entertainment Pty Ltd.
Town Hall Party: October 11, 1958 & August 22, 1959 2005
Various Artists
Bear Family Records
No Image 2005
Various Artists
Disky
Rock 'N' Roll Roots: The Country Influence 2005
Various Artists
Smith & Co. Sound & Vision 2:49
No Image 2005
Various Artists
Disky
We're Gonna Rock: We're Gonna Roll 2005
Various Artists
Proper Box 2:51
Solid Gold Country [Union Square] 2005
Various Artists
Union Square Music 2:53
We're Gonna Rock We're Gonna Roll: Hillbilly Bopping 2005
Various Artists
Proper Sales & Dist. 2:51
Original Hits: The Country Edition 2006
Various Artists
IMC (Netherlands) 2:49
Greatest Hits & Favorites 2006 Golden Stars 2:47
Country Hit Parade: Bluegrass Greatest Hits 2006
Various Artists
Direct Source 2:49
Country Music Legends 2006 Castle Music Ltd. / Castle Pulse 2:50
30 #1 Country Hits 2006
Various Artists
Direct Source 2:49
30 #1 Country Hits of the 1950s 2007
Various Artists
Direct Source 2:49
Pioneers of Country 2007
Various Artists
Direct Source 2:49
Rolling Stones' Jukebox 2007
Various Artists
Chrome Dreams / United States of Distribution 2:28
50s #1 Country Hits 2007
Various Artists
Direct Source 2:49
100 Hits: Country 2007
Various Artists
Super D Independent Distribution / 100 Hits / DMG TV 2:49
Country Top Hits of the Fifties 2007
Various Artists
Collectables / Sony BMG 2:51
No Image 2008
Various Artists
Bell 2:52
The Sound of the 50s: America 2008
Various Artists
Primo Records 2:53
Snow on the Tracks 2008 Bear Family Records 2:46
Dim Lights, Thick Smoke and Hillbilly Music: 1950 2008
Various Artists
Bear Family Records 2:51
The Intro Collection: Country 2008
Various Artists
Union Square Music 2:52
The Roots of Led Zeppelin 2009
Various Artists
Proper Box 2:51
Country Greats [Delta] 2009
Various Artists
Delta Distribution 2:48
100% Country 2009
Various Artists
100 Percent / 100% / Union Square Music
The Roots of Led Zeppelin: How Many More Years 2009
Various Artists
Proper Records 2:51
Back in the Saddle Again: Fine Country Classics 2011
Various Artists
Metro / Metro Select
Heroes of the Big Country: Hank Snow 2012 DLG Digital 2:45
Simply Country [2012] 2012
Various Artists
Simply 2:45
Souvenirs/Big Country Hits: Songs I Hadn't Recorded Till Now 2014 Sepia Records 2:45
Hank Snow's Most Requested of All Time 2014 Bear Family Records 2:45
100 Hits: Country [2015]
Various Artists
100 Hits
100 Tubes Country
Various Artists
Wagram 2:49
No Image V & H Holdings 2:53
No Image
No Image
Various Artists
V & H Holdings 2:53
42 Greatest Hits IMC 2:45
No Image
Various Artists
Forever Classic Hits 2:46
No Image
Various Artists
Big 3 / Proper
Country Hits, Vol. 6  [Country Legacy Hits]
Various Artists
Country Legacy Hits 2:48
De Pre Historie: 1950, Vol. 1
Various Artists
Eva 2:51
No Image
Various Artists
Delta 2:46
No Image
Various Artists
Delta 2:46
From Berliner to RCA Victor: The Birth and Rise of the Recording Industry in Canada
Various Artists
Gala Records 2:51
Golden Oldies Hit Series, Vol. 45
Various Artists
Forever Classic Hits 2:46
Grand Old Opry Live Classics, Vol. 2
Various Artists
Flashback Records 2:45
No Image DLG Digital 2:45
Legends of Country [Prism]
Various Artists
Prism Leisure Corporation (UK) / Prism Platinum 2:50
No Image
Various Artists
X5 2:46
No Image
Various Artists
Legacy
No Image
Various Artists
K-Tel 2:53
blue highlight denotes editor's pick