1001 Songs Challenge,  1950s,  Music

1001 Songs Challenge #92: Move It (1958)

On 11 February 2019 I set myself the challenging of reading 1001 Songs You Must Hear Before You Die by Robert Dimery (ed.) and following the book’s advice to the letter. I’ve previously read 1001 Films… and started 1001 Albums… but felt 1001 Songs… would be a sensible place to start for what I have in mind here.

My challenge is to read about one song per day and listen to it (YouTube and Spotify, I need you tonight!) before sharing my own thoughts. Some songs I will love, others I’ll hate, and I’m sure there will be those that leave me perplexed but listen to them I shall.

I’ll also try, and most likely fail, to pinpoint the best song from the 1001 on offer but I’m nothing if not foolhardy. Instead of one song, I’m predicting I’ll have about 100 favourites by the end and may have to resort to a Top 10 so far to maintain any semblance of sanity.

So long as I post everyday (including Christmas) then this challenge should come to an end on Wednesday 8 November 2021. Staying with the Barney Stinson theme I am hoping that the whole experience will prove to be…


Cliff Richard & The Drifters – Move It (1958)

Move It

” Move It” is a song written by Ian Samwell and recorded by Cliff Richard and the Drifters (the UK band that would later become ” The Shadows”). Originally intended as the B-side to “Schoolboy Crush”, it was released as Richard’s debut single on 29 August 1958 and became his first hit record, reaching number 2 on the UK Singles Chart.

Lyrics (via Genius)


We’re back in my home country of the UK for today’s song. This artist has been around for six decades and either makes you roll your eyes when you hear his music, especially at Christmas, or swoon to this day at his longevity. It is Cliff Richard, one of the UK’s most successful solo artists, but way back in 1958 he was just 18 years old and trying to break into music. That breakthrough came with Move It written by Ian Samwell and recorded by Cliff Richard with The Drifters as his backing band. This isn’t the R&B group but a group of guitarists, including one bespectacled gentleman named Hank Marvin, that would soon change their name to The Shadows.

Move It is not your typical Cliff Richard song that we know him for these days. No mistletoe and wine or living dolls here. This is pure rock and roll, considered the first of its kind from a UK artist. The premise is simple enough, akin to other songs we’ve come across already. Cliff is singing to a woman and musing about all types of music such as calypso and country music. He beseeches this woman to move it, presumably to dance, but tells her that the music that is making her move so is rock and roll and nothing else.

Comparable to Elvis and cited by Cliff himself as the one great rock and roll song he ever recorded, Move It was quite a surprise for me. I grew up with both parents being avid fans of Cliff so I know a fair few of his songs from the last 30+ years but have never heard this one before. While I’m not anti-Cliff, he’ll never leap to the higher echelons of my favourite music, not even those festive numbers. Sorry, Cliff. That’s what made Move It quite a shock. Those backing guitars blend in smoothly with Cliff’s voice and had I heard this on the radio with no introduction I’d have been surprised to hear it was him. John Lennon is said to have remarked that no British music was worth listening to prior to Move It. That’s quite a tribute! The song would hit no.2 on the UK charts but the career of Cliff Richard was only just beginning.


Favourite songs so far:

Edith Piaf – La Vie en Rose (1946)

Elmore James – Dust My Broom (1952)

Little Richard – Tutti Frutti (1955)

Elvis Presley – Heartbreak Hotel (1956)

Fats Domino – Blueberry Hill (1956)

Johnny Cash – I Walk the Line (1956)

The Louvin Brothers – The Knoxville Girl (1956)

Chuck Berry – Johnny B. Goode (1958)

Cliff Richard & The Drifters – Move It (1958)

My name is Dave and I live in Yorkshire in the north of England and have been here all my life. I hope you enjoy your visit to All is Ephemeral.

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