I'm Moving On (Hank Snow song)

"I'm Moving On" is a 1950 country standard written by Hank Snow.

"I'm Moving On"
Single by Hank Snow
B-side "With This Ring, I Thee Wed"
Released May 1950
Format Country
Recorded March 28, 1950
Brown Radio Productions
Nashville, Tennessee
Genre Country
Label RCA Victor
Songwriter(s) Clarence E. Snow (Hank Snow)
Producer(s) Stephen Sholes
Hank Snow singles chronology
"The Drunkard's Son"
"I'm Moving On"
"I Cried But By Tears Were Too Late"

"The Drunkard's Son"
"I'm Movin' On"
"I Cried But By Tears Were Too Late"


The song, a 12-bar blues, reached #1 on the Billboard country singles chart and stayed there for 21 weeks, tying a record for the most weeks atop the chart.[1] It was the first of seven number-one Billboard country hits Snow scored throughout his career on that chart.[1] The song's success led to Snow joining the Grand Ole Opry cast in 1950.[2]

Writing and development

Snow proposed the song for his first session for RCA Records in the United States in 1949, but recording director Stephen H. Sholes turned it down, according to Snow. "Later on, in the spring of 1950, in Nashville, Mr. Sholes had not remembered the song, so I recorded it," Snow said.[3]


The song has four bars of verse followed by eight bars of chorus with the final lines referring back to the verse:

That big eight-wheeler rollin' down the track
Means your true-lovin' daddy ain't comin' back
'Cause I'm movin' on, I'll soon be gone
You were flyin' too high for my little old sky so I'm movin' on

"I'm Moving On" is one of three songs in the history of the Billboard country charts to spend 21 weeks at #1, the others being 1947's "I'll Hold You in My Heart (Till I Can Hold You in My Arms)" by Eddy Arnold and 1955's "In the Jailhouse Now" by Webb Pierce. It spent 44 weeks in Billboard's top 10.[1] Until August 2013, the three songs jointly held the record for most weeks at No. 1 on the country chart, until being surpassed by "Cruise" by Florida Georgia Line, which logged its 22nd week atop the chart on August 10, 2013.

Critical reception

"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," critic John Morthland wrote in his 1984 book, The Best of Country Music. "There's real anger and determination in Snow's voice, which sometimes sounds too smooth for this type of song."[4]

Cover versions

While Hank Snow's version was still on the charts, hillbilly comedians Lonzo and Oscar released a parody version:

I let a man work on my car
Till he grabbed aholt of the sparkplug wire
He's movin' on, he'll soon be gone
He turned it loose when he felt the juice, he's moving on

Ray Charles

The song was famously covered in 1959 by Ray Charles, whose version hit number forty on the pop singles chart and number eleven on the R&B singles chart. Charles's version with his soul band featured congas and maracas, giving the Spanish tinge to a country and western blues. It was also recorded on his last recording session with Atlantic months before he signed with ABC.

Produced by Jerry Wexler, Charles provides the lead vocals, and is backed by the Raelettes. The Ray Charles Orchestra provided the instrumentation.

Other cover versions

Don Gibson reached No. 14 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart with a recording of the song in 1960.[1]

Al Hirt released a version on his 1963 album, Honey in the Horn.[5]

A live version is included on December's Children (And Everybody's) by the Rolling Stones.

The song was covered by Elvis Presley in 1969 on his album From Elvis in Memphis.

Emmylou Harris took an uptempo live version of "I'm Moving On" to No. 5 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart[1] and #1 on the RPM Country Tracks chart in Canada in the spring of 1983.

The song was also covered by Chuck Prophet for a 2007 Jack Daniel's NASCAR television commercial.

There is a version by Warren Smith, as part of a medley of Hank Snow songs.

It has also been covered by Irish rock band Taste on their 1969 debut album.

Big House also covered this song on their 2000 album, Woodstock Nation.

Waylon Jennings and Johnny Cash covered the song in the latter's posthumously released 2014 album Out Among the Stars.

Other artists who have covered the song include: Johnny Nash (1963), Jimmy Smith (1963), Timi Yuro (1963), Dave Dudley (1964), The Rolling Stones (1965), The Everly Brothers (1967), Roy Acuff (1967), The Box Tops (1968), Led Zeppelin (1970), Gene Vincent (1971), John Kay (1972), Tina Turner (1974), Mickey Gilley (1975), Loggins & Messina (1975), Professor Longhair (1978), Charlie Feathers (1979), Willie Nelson (1985; a duet with Hank Snow), Bob Dylan (1986), Steppenwolf (1987), George Thorogood (1988), Ashley MacIsaac (2002), Johnny Cash (2003), Rosanne Cash (2009), Terri Clark (2012; a duet with Dean Brody), and Tim Armstrong (2012). The song was released by Matt Lucas (singer) on Smash Records (1963). It went to #56 on the Billboard Hot 100 in June.


  1. Joel Whitburn, Joel Whitburn's Top Country Songs 1944 to 2005, Record Research, 2005
  2. Malone, Bill C. (1968). Country Music U.S.A. (1985 paperback ed.). University of Texas Press. p. 238. ISBN 0-292-71096-8.
  3. Horstman, Dorothy (1975). Sing Your Heart Out, Country Boy (Third ed.). Country Music Foundation Press. p. 365. ISBN 0-915608-19-7.
  4. Morthland, John (1984). The Best of Country Music (First ed.). Doubleday Dolphin. p. 208. ISBN 0-385-19192-8.
  5. Al Hirt, Honey in the Horn Retrieved April 9, 2013.
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