Nonprofit, nonpartisan journalism. Supported by readers.

Donate
Topics

Some great ‘Walking’ songs for prime walking season

I’ve got the soundtrack to accompany your charity fund-raising trek or simple exercise outing.

We’re in prime “charity walk” season, with events big and small on many spring and summer weekends.

Article continues after advertisement

So, pick a cause you like and get moving.

Next weekend, for example, is the 38th annual Walk for Animals. And there are plenty more walking opportunities here and here.

Or try a brisk walk for some easy exercise.

And to help you pass the time, I’ve compiled an eclectic mix of “walking” songs, but it’s fine with me if you would rather sample them sitting down.  

I found more than 30 “Walk” songs — not to mention multiple hit versions of several of them.

Here’s an eclectic list of some of them, bunched a bit by topic.

“Walking in the Rain” seems to be a popular theme, whether it’s Johnny Ray, the Ronettes or Jay and the Americans.

• And so is walking with animals: Jack Blanchard & Misty Morgan’s novelty song, “Tennessee Bird Walk,” Rufus Thomas’ “Walking the Dog” and Norma Tanega’s “Walkin’ My Cat Named Dog.”

 

• Or heading for home: Fats Domino’s “I Want to Walk You Home” and Nat King Cole’s smooth “Walking My Baby Back Home.”

<iframe width=”420″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/XRk0vYFZUzU” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>

• Or substantially longer distances: Joe South’s “Walk a Mile in My Shoes” and two more Fats Domino classics, “Walking to New Orleans” and “I’m Walking” (which was covered by Ricky Nelson for his first hit).

• Or with a bit of attitude: Walking Proud,” Steve Lawrence’s song for underdogs everywhere; Katrina and the Waves’ bouncy “Walking on Sunshine”;  and Barry Manilow’s “I Don’t Want to Walk Without You.”

• And a couple of “walking” dances: Jimmy McCracklin’s “The Walk” and the Diamonds’  “The Stroll” (check out this video for a real time warp).

• Three “Walk” instrumentals — slow-, medium- and fast-paced, respectively:  Santo and Johnny’s “Sleep Walk, Horst Jankowski’s “A Walk in the Black Forest” and the Ventures’ 1960 “Walk Don’t Run” (and their updated 1964 surf-sound version).

• Four “Walk” songs hit No. 1 on the Billboard Hits charts: Nancy Sinatra’s These Boots Are Made for Walkin’ ” (one week),  the aforementioned “Sleep Walk” (two weeks), the Rooftop Singers’ “Walk Right In” (two weeks) and the grand champ, the 4 Seasons’ “Walk Like a Man” (three weeks).

 A bunch more “Walking” songs

• Patsy Cline’s superb “Walkin’ After Midnight.”

“Walk Right Back,” harmony heaven with the Everly Brothers.

• Dionne Warwick’s Bacharach-David song “Walk On By.”

“Walk Away Renee,” a hit first for the LeftBanke and then for the Four Tops.

• Matt Monro’s “Walk Away.”

• The Shangri-Las’ melancholy “Remember (Walkin’ in the Sand).”

• And a Wayne Newton weeper, “Daddy Don’t You Walk So Fast.”

My top three

And my three favorite “Walk” songs:

No. 3: Leroy Van Dyke’s “Walk On By,” my nominee for the best cheatin’ song of all time — here’s his hit version and, below, a live version.

No. 2: Mark Cohn’s “Walkin’ in Memphis.”

No. 1: Perry Como’s “Let’s Take an Old-Fashioned Walk.”