Chattanoogie Shoe Shine Boy – Red Foley

November 29, 2021

Today’s song of the day is an American country-boogie song, “Chattanoogie Shoe Shine Boy”, by Red Foley.

Fun Facts

  • “Chattanoogie Shoe Shine Boy” praises the skill and personality of a boy shining shoes on a street corner.
  • The song’s creation was credited to Harry Stone and Jack Stapp, though rumor has it that it was actually written by Fred Rose, who gave away the credits in exchange for a favor. It was published in 1950.
  • Red Foley was the first person to record the song in November 1949, and it was so well-received that it became his signature song.
  • The song was very popular in 1950, with a number of artists doing cover versions of it and quite a few making it to the charts, including the likes of Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra and Phil Harris.
  • But it was Red Foley’s original rendition that was the most successful, making it right to the top of the Billboard charts early in 1950 and staying there for 13 weeks.
  • The song also features the talents of pianist Owen Bradley, guitarist Grady Martin and drummer Farris Coursey. Coursey was responsible for the special effects and slapped his thighs to recreate the sound of the shoe shine boy’s rag popping. The very upbeat, joyous and rhythmic music captures the essence of the boy’s personality, referred to as “a little ball of rhythm… a great big bundle of joy”.
  • Some sources have it that “Chattanoogie Shoe Shine Boy” became the first country song ever to sell more than a million copies.

Lyrics:

(LyricFind)

Have you ever passed the corner of Fourth and Grand?

Where a little ball o’ rhythm has a shoe-shine stand

People gather ’round and they clap their hands

He’s a great big bundle o’ joy

He pops the boogie woogie rag

The Chattanoogie shoe-shine boy

He charges you a nickel just to shine one shoe

He makes the oldest kind o’ leather look like new

You feel as though you wanna dance when he gets through

He’s a great big bundle o’ joy

He pops the boogie woogie rag

The Chattanoogie shoe-shine boy

It’s a wonder that the rag don’t tear

The way he makes it pop

You ought to see him fan the air

With his hoppity-hippity-hippity-hoppity-hoppity-hippity-hop

He opens up for business when the clock strikes nine

He likes to get up early when they’re feelin’ fine

Everybody gets a little rise ‘n shine

With the great big bundle o’ joy

He pops the boogie woogie rag

The Chattanoogie shoe-shine boy

It’s a wonder that the rag don’t tear

The way he makes it pop

Just listen to him fan the air

Here he goes!

He opens up for business when the clock strikes nine

He likes to get up early when they’re feelin’ fine

Everybody gets a little rise ‘n shine

With the great big bundle o’ joy

He pops the boogie woogie rag

The Chattanoogie shoe-shine boy

The Chattanoogie shoe-shine boy

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