Custom Search of DDD
 Music Lists
 Music Forum
 Rock Timeline
 Rap Timeline
 Vinyl Records
 Ask Mr. Music
 Artist News
 Music Links
 Musician Finder
 Guitar Chords
 Movie Lists
 Jokes & Quotes
 Music Store

Ask "Mr. Music"
January 18, 2010
"This Old House," by Rosemary Clooney
Let's continue our feature here at DigitalDreamDoor: Ask "Mr. Music." Now in its 25th year of syndication (1986-2011), Jerry Osborne's weekly Q&A feature will be a regular post every Wednesday from now on.

Be sure to stop by Jerry's site for more Mr. Music archives, record price guides, anything Elvis, buy & sell collectibles, record appraisals and much more. I thank Jerry for allowing the reprints.

songsMore Mr. Music Articles

Ask "Mr. Music"
"Jerry Osborne"
January 18, 2010 - "This Old House," by Rosemary Clooney

A personal Hit Parade favorite of the 1950s is "This Old House," by Rosemary Clooney.

Yet, as many countless times I've heard it on the radio and TV, not once do I recall any explanation or history behind this most unusual composition.

Do you have any information about "This Old House," such as whether or not there really was such a house?

Rosemary Clooney
- Cheryl Gentry, Carlisle, Pa.


My three-word answer, "yes to both," is admittedly borrowed from Stuart Hamblen, writer of "This Ole House" - sometimes shown as "This Old House."

Stuart is also the one with the original release of "This Ole House" (RCA Victor 5739), a May-June 1954 issue. The Clooney recording came out in July.

You are clearly not the only one curious as to a possible story behind this tune. With so many music lovers asking this of Hamblen, he and RCA Victor responded by making a special interview record for radio station play.

Stuart Hamblen explains thusly:

"A lot of people, upon hearing this latest song of mine, called "This Ole House," have asked me these questions:

"They ask if there a story behind "This Ole House," or if there a hidden meaning in "This Ole House."

"Yes to both questions."

"The story: A friend of mine and myself were hunting up in the High Sierras. We found a little old cabin that had almost been demolished by a wild storm. The only living thing around it was a starving old hound dog. In the back room we found a little old prospector that had cashed-in his blue chips."

"As I surveyed the wreckage of the storm, the friend of mine suggested that I write a song about all of this."

"About this old house, I said. And then I got the idea. Yes, this old house!"

"Later on, riding down the canyon, with the old hound dog on the pommel of my saddle, taking him in to shelter and to food, I got to thinking."

"This old house, the ones made of wood and steel, shall all come down. And this old house of mine, made of clay, it's got to go too - but there's a big difference."

"Although the wooden house, the steel house, or brick house may be scattered in the winds of a wild storm and its debris scattered over the hillside, this clay house in which I live shall be scattered too. But... the soul inside shall, in God's own good time, be gathered with the saints."

"In other words, we're all getting' ready to meet the saints."

Though the first with a record of "This Ole House," Hamblen's original didn't hit the charts until after Rosemary Clooney's million-selling rendition.

Other than the customary she-he pronoun switches, the major difference between the two versions is Stuart's fourth verse, which Rosemary omits:

"Now my old hound dog lies a-sleepin'
He don't know I'm gonna leave
Else he'd wake up by the fireplace
And he'd sit there and howl and grieve
But my huntin' days are over
Ain't gonna hunt the coon no more
Gabriel done brought in my chariot
When the wind blew down the door"


With "This Ole House" on a single backed with "Hey There" (Columbia 40266), Rosemary Clooney accomplished something done by just one other recording artist in over 52 years!

After six weeks as America's top hit, "Hey There" was replaced at No. 1 by "This Ole House."

From the beginning of 1945 to October 1997, the only other instance of both sides of the same single being consecutively and individually ranked at No. 1 occurred in the summer of '56 with Elvis Presley's "Don't Be Cruel" and "Hound Dog."

The tunes breaking this impressive streak are Elton John's "Candle in the Wind 1997" backed with "Something About the Way You Look Tonight" (Rocket 568108).

MORE: Ask "Mr. Music" -
"Songs: Just for a Thrill, and Cool Yule"
"Number 1 Christmas Songs through the years"
"Song in VW commercial, and Jerry Lee Lewis Christmas song"
"Shake, Rattle and Roll", plus Pete Best album "Haymans Green"
"Single releases originally issued with picture sleeves"
"Ronnie Dawson - Hazel"
"Curtis Mayfield - accident, album, death"
"Who was the Masked Marvel"
"Davy Jones Presents, record label"
"Al Green & Johnny Nash"
"Tamouré, Tahitian dance"
"Jo Ann Campbell - Wolverton Mountain"
"Whole Lot of Shakin' Going On & Highway Man"
"Hawaiian musics Frank Ferera"
"Paul Revere and the Raiders instrumentals & Song from Hair"
"Beatles 14 tunes in the Top 100, & The last mono-only albums"
"Connie Francis early years, and Names of states in hit titles"
"Gene Pitney, and David Janssen"
"Payola scandals, and Chubby Checker dance hits"
"Why vinyl sounds richer, Elvis and Beatles on Cash Box, Big Bad John answer songs"
"Vinyl Record Day - 'Mad Men' song"
"Cast Your Fate to the Wind, two versions"
"RFD Songs" and "Your Hit Parade"
"Hit Songs as both Vocal and Instrumental"
"Robert David Hall of CSI, plus the Belmonts without Dion"
"Cal Stewart's Uncle Josh Songs, & Andrews Sisters"
"The Collector's Edition T.A.M.I. Show"
"The Girl from the Next Farm Over" & "Tangerine Dream"
"Paul & Paula's "Hey Paula"
"'50s Rockers Ages" - "Songwriters Hall of Fame"
"Lyrics or Music" and "Billy Squier"
"Connie Francis, Neil Diamond, and David Gates"
"The High Numbers and Grading Vinyl"
"Louie Louie"
"Willie Nelson duets"
"Don't Do It" by "Little Charlie and the Nightcats"
"Frank Sinatra Spectacular, with Johnny Carson"
"Sam & Dave Medley" and the knife in "Moody River"
"Love Will Keep Us Together" and "Same Old Fool"
"Tony Orlando or Bertell Dache?"
"Foreign language hit songs in the U.S."
"The Overlanders" and "All-male Top 10"
"Songs with a bullet" and the name "Browning"
"Yesterday and Today, Beatles - Song: Submarine Race"
"Elvis Presley songs based on classical pieces."
"Introducing the Beatles" album value
"Answer Songs"
"Tchaikovsky's "Pathetique" & "I Belong to You" by Peggy Lee
"A Lovers Hymn" and Songs naming the 12 months
"This Old House," by Rosemary Clooney
"The Beverly Hillbillies" and "Petticoat Junction"
"Deana Martin", "Buchanan and Goodman"
"A Hard Day's Night" - Beatles
"British Christmas tunes" and "Fingertips Part 1"
"Backward tape technology" and "Rock Era Christmas tunes"
"Red Velvet Slippers" and "A Christmas Gift for You"
"Jerry Lee Lewis" and "See See Rider"
"Bonanza Theme Song"
"Come Softly to Me" by the Fleetwoods

Mr. Music
Jerry Osborne answers as many questions as possible through this column.
Jerry's Question page: Ask your question here.

Write Jerry at: Box 255, Port Townsend, WA 98368
Visit his Web site:

All values quoted in this column are for near-mint condition.

Copyright 2010 Osborne Enterprises- Reprinted By Permission

links to more music pages
More DigitalDreamDoor Song Lists
Greatest Rock Songs
Greatest Rock Ballads
Greatest Rock Anthems
Greatest Rock Instrumentals
Greatest Rock Guitar Solos
Greatest Rock Guitar Riffs
Greatest Rock Debut Singles
Greatest Cover Songs
1000 Songs Every Rock Fan Should Know
500 Greatest Popular Recordings Of All Time
Top 10 Songs by Popular Rock Artists
Top 10 Songs 1950-1969
Top 10 Songs 1970-1979
Top 10 Songs 1980-1989
Top 10 Songs 1990-1999
Top 10 Songs 2000-2009
Top 10 Songs 2010-2013
Greatest Popular Songs 1920s
Greatest Popular Songs 1930s
Greatest Popular Songs 1940s
Greatest 'Roots of Rock' Songs 1940s  
Greatest Rock Songs 1950s
Greatest Rock Songs 1960s
Greatest Rock Songs 1970s
Greatest Rock Songs 1980s
Greatest Rock Songs 1990s
Greatest Rock Songs 2000s
Greatest R&B/Soul Songs
Greatest R&B/Soul Ballads
Greatest R&B Songs of the 1990s
Greatest R&B Ballads of the 1990s
Greatest Funk Songs
Greatest Motown Songs
Greatest Uptempo Doo-Wop Songs
Greatest Doo-Wop Ballads
Greatest Rap/Hip-Hop Songs
Greatest Old School Hip Hop Records
Greatest Metal Songs
Greatest Reggae Songs
500 Greatest Dance/Electronic Songs
Greatest Disco Songs
Greatest Dance Songs 1980s
Greatest Dance Songs 1990s
Greatest Trance Songs
Greatest Freestyle Songs
Greatest House Songs
Greatest Novelty Songs
Greatest Summer Songs
Greatest Love Songs
Greatest TV Theme Songs
Greatest Halloween Party Songs
Greatest Traditional Christmas Songs
Greatest Contemporary Christmas Songs
Greatest Double Sided Rock Singles
DigitalDreamDoor Top 100 Songs by Year Lists
- - For Links to - -
Rock, R&B, Hip-Hop, Blues, Jazz, Reggae, Folk, Classical, and more,
Click "Main Music Page" below.
Main Music List Page Movie Lists Jokes and Quotes Home Page is to be used for
entertainment, educational, or research purposes only.

Copyright © 2010 -

All photos are property and copyright of their owners and are provided for educational purposes only.
This Ask "Mr. Music" page is only a part of To view the Home page click Home