In 1977 a song took Australia by storm that told everyone that there was a “new way of walking”.
When a club owner asked a small group of musicians what their name was so that it could be put on a poster, they quickly came up with the name as a temporary measure. The name Dr Hook & the Medicine Show was created because the lead singer, Ray Sawyer, had an eye patch like a pirate, and the medicine was a tongue in cheek reference to the drugs that band enjoyed taking. The name stuck but was shorted to just Dr Hook in 1975.
Their first hit song in Australia was in 1971 with the song Sylvia’s Mother, which was written by songwriter Shel Silverstein after unsuccessfully trying to revive a failed relationship. It spent some weeks at number 1 in Australia.
Dr Hook’s biggest hit in Australia came in 1977 with a cover of The Rooftop Singers’ 1962 hit Walk Right In. The song was written by Gus Cannon and Hosea Woods of The Jug Stompers. It was originally a jug country song but when The Rooftop Singers turned it into a sing-along number it charted in the mainstream charts. When Dr Hook released the song in 1977, it became a party anthem.
Many fans thought the songs lyrics were about marijuana use but the original songwriters claim that it was folks trying to fit what they wanted into the song. They said the song is about dancing and having a good time.
Whatever the intention of the lyrics it’s a song that the crowd could sing along with and would get the people on the dance floor and that’s what you want in a hit song.
Where you a fan of Walk Right In? What do you think the “new way of walking” was meant to mean? What was your favourite Dr Hook song?