Ernest Tubb

Walking the Floor Over You

Composed by Ernest Tubb

Song Review by

Ernest Tubb's first big hit single sounds as startling today as it undoubtedly did in 1941. Many consider "Walking the Floor Over You" the first honky-tonk single, but it's not just an archetype of a particular musical style, because it still sounds so singularly unique. The arrangement is remarkably spare, consisting of Tubb playing an acoustic rhythm guitar and singing in his trademark nasal style, accompanied only by guitarist Fay "Smitty" Smith, who plays the very first electrified lead guitar fills on a country record. Smith, a Dallas-based player who worked with Tubb at local radio station KGKO, had played electric guitar in a big band jazz context (in the manner of the Dallas-born Charlie Christian), and he doesn't change his attack or his volume much for this song. Smitty's guitar seems absurdly loud in comparison to Tubb's easygoing vocals and laid-back acoustic track; his introduction and two brief solos stand out primarily due to their novelty, since the second solo in particular just sort of flails around for a few bars, as if Smitty has lost his train of thought and is simply trying to get back to the verse in time. The solos would be little remembered today were they not in service to one of the great country songs of the '40s, a million seller with a wittily heartbroken lyric and one of Ernest Tubb's finest vocal performance. Tubb rerecorded the song, a longtime fan favorite, in the early '60s with a lineup of the Texas Troubadours, but that version lacks the homespun quality and simple joy of the 1941 original.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
No Image 1952 Decca
No Image 1961 Decca
Ernest Tubb's Greatest Hits 1968 MCA
Retrospective, Vol. 2 1987 MCA / Universal 2:04
The Ernest Tubb Collection 1989 Step One Records 2:05
Smithsonian Collection of Classic Country Music, Vol. 1 1991
Various Artists
Smithsonian Folkways Recordings
Legendary [Box Set] 1992 Laserlight 2:04
Country's Greatest Singer Songwriters 1993
Various Artists
K-Tel Distribution 2:34
The Yellow Rose of Texas 1993 Bear Family Records 2:05
From the Vaults: Decca Country Classics 1994
Various Artists
Decca / MCA 2:41
Howdy! 25 Hillbilly All-Time Greats 1995
Various Artists
ASV/Living Era 2:38
Those Wonderful Years, Vol. 18: Back in the Saddle Again 1996
Various Artists
JCI Associated Labels 2:35
Heroes of Country Music, Vol. 2: Legends of Honky Tonk 1996
Various Artists
Rhino / Rhino/Warner Bros.
The Best of Ernest Tubb 1996 Curb 2:06
Walking the Floor Over You [Box Set] 1996 Bear Family Records 3:04
America's Country: Country Legends 1997
Various Artists
Madacy Distribution / Madacy 2:38
26 All-Time Country Classics 1998
Various Artists
Pearl Flapper / Pearl 2:39
The Very Best of Ernest Tubb 1998 Spectrum Music 2:37
Live at Gilley's, Vol. 1-4 1999
Various Artists
Q Records 2:11
Live from the Lonestar Cafe 1999 First Generation Records 2:32
Last Sessions: All Time Greatest Hits 1999 First Generation Records 2:06
Classic Country: Golden '40s 1999
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 2:38
Louisiana Hayride, Vol. 1 2000
Various Artists
Music Mill 1:25
20th Century Masters-The Millennium Collection: The Best of Ernest Tubb 2000 MCA 2:38
American Pop: An Audio History 2000
Various Artists
Music & Arts 2:39
Early Hits of "The Texas Troubadour" 2000 ASV / ASV/Living Era 2:38
As Good as It Gets: Hillbilly 2000
Various Artists
Disky 2:36
History of Country Music: Country Legends 2000
Various Artists
Madacy Distribution / Madacy 2:37
There's a Little Bit of Everything in Texas 2000 Jasmine Records 2:30
The Definitive Ernest Tubb Hits Collection 2001 Collectors' Choice Music 2:36
Famous Country Music Makers [2001] 2001 Castle Pulse / Pulse 2:38
American Roots Music [Box Set] 2001
Various Artists
Palm 1:49
That's Country [Golden Stars] 2001
Various Artists
Golden Stars 3:02
Country Legends [3 Disc Set] 2001
Various Artists
Madacy Distribution / Madacy 2:38
Best of Country: Home on the Range 2002
Various Artists
Rajon Entertainment Pty Ltd. 2:37
Country Roots [K-Tel] 2003
Various Artists
K-Tel Distribution 2:37
Texas Troubadour [Box Set] 2003 Proper Box 2:38
Very Best of Country Legends [Madacy] 2003
Various Artists
Madacy Distribution / Madacy 2:37
Walking the Floor over You (The Hits, Vol. 1) 2003 Proper Sales & Dist. 2:38
Walking the Floor Over You [Country Stars] 2004 Country Stars 2:37
Classic Country: Honky Tonk Heroes 2004
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 2:36
Classic Country: Kings of Country 2005
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 2:37
Classic Country Favourites 2005 Mastersong
Time After Time [Brentwood] 2005 ARM (Association Of Recorded Music) / BCI Music (Brentwood Communication) 2:09
No Image 2005
Various Artists
Hillbilly Rockabillies On TV 2006
Various Artists
The Definitive Collection 2006 MCA / Universal 2:37
Oldies But Goldies [Documents] 2006
Various Artists
Document 1:51
Country Music Legends 2006 Castle Pulse 2:37
The Blues Had a Baby...They Called It Rock 'N' Roll 2006
Various Artists
Primo Records 2:38
Greatest Ever! Country 2006
Various Artists
Greatest Ever
Legends of Country: Classic Hits from the '50s, '60s & '70s 2006
Various Artists
Shout! Factory 2:36
Famous Country Music Makers [2007] 2007 Castle Pulse 2:37
The Essential Guide to Country [Essential Guide] 2007
Various Artists
Essential Guide 2:37
Gonna Shake This Shack Tonight: Thirty Days 2007 Bear Family Records
Early Country, Vol. 3 2007
Various Artists
Early Country 2:39
No Image 2008
Various Artists
Cheap O Lata / WG Productions
Country's 20 Classic Songs of the Century 2008
Various Artists
New Haven / Provident Music 2:39
Vintage Country: The Golden Age of Country Music 2008
Various Artists
Hear Music / Sony BMG 2:05
The Early Years 1936-1945 2009 JSP 2:36
100% Country 2009
Various Artists
100 Percent / 100% / Union Square Music
The Roots of Nick Drake & Sandy Denny 2009
Various Artists
Snapper / Snapper Music 2:34
Opry Country Classics, Vol. 2 2009
Various Artists
Opry 1:48
The Only Classic Country Collection You'll Ever Need 2010
Various Artists
Shout! Factory 2:25
The Texas Troubadour 2011 Complete Country / E1 Entertainment 2:35
Back in the Saddle Again: Fine Country Classics 2011
Various Artists
Metro / Metro Select
Simply Country [2012] 2012
Various Artists
Simply 2:38
100 Country Hits & Greatest Country Classics 2013
Various Artists
4:Squared 2:38
The  Complete Hits, 1941-1962 2016 Acrobat 2:36
The Absolutely Essential 3 CD Collection 2017 Big 3
31: A Rob Zombie Film [Original Motion Picture Soundtrack]
Original Soundtrack
Universal 2:36
No Image Cherished Records 2:39
Beginner's Guide to Americana
Various Artists
No Image Prestige 2:38
No Image
Various Artists
Documents 2:37
Country Classics, Vol. 4 [EMG]
Various Artists
Emg 2:38
Grand Old Opry Live Classics, Vol. 2
Various Artists
Flashback Records 1:44
Great Legends of Country, Vol. 8
Various Artists
Red X 2:54
Hillbilly Cats, Vol. 2
Various Artists
Cherished Records 2:31
My Kind of Music: Country Gold
Various Artists
USM Media
The  Best of Classic Rock: Green Series
Various Artists
Strategic Marketing 2:38
The  Ultimate Collection 100 Hits: Country
Various Artists
Ultimate Collection / The Ultimate Music Collection
The Stars of Country Music
Various Artists
The World's Biggest Country Classics
Various Artists
Union Square Music / Worlds Biggest 2:38
blue highlight denotes editor's pick