#19: Tippy Toeing by The Harden Trio

City: Edmonton, AB
Radio Station: CJCA
Peak Month: June 1966
Peak Position in Edmonton: #3
Peak position in Vancouver ~ did not chart
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #44
YouTube: “Tippy Toeing
Lyrics: “Tippy Toeing

Bobby, Robbie (born Fern) and Arlene (born Arleen) Harden were siblings born in England, Arkansas. Bobby was born in 1935, and Arleen was born in 1945. Robbie was likely born in the 1930s. They began their career as teenagers singing on a radio station KVLC in Little Rock, Arkansas. They performed as teenagers on the Ozark Jubilee and the Louisiana Hayride. In the early 60s’, Robbie moved to Nashville as part of The Browns filling in for Bonnie Brown on the Grand Ole Opry, and most road dates. The Browns were country-pop crossover recording artists with “The Three Bells” and “The Old Lamplighter” among their biggest hits. The Hardens and the Browns had grown up in the same area and worked together on the Ozark Jubilee. Bobby and Arleen soon followed and the trio was re-formed. In 1964, the trio signed with Columbia Records and released their debut single “Poor Boy”.

Their next release was “Tippy Toeing”.

Tippy Toeing by The Harden Trio

Tippy Toeing” is a song about two parents walking quietly so as not to disturb their baby the they hope will finally go to sleep.

“Tippy Toeing” peaked at #1 in Jamestown (ND), Enid (OK), and Stevens Point (WI), #2 in Edmonton (AB), La Crosse (WI), and Milwaukee (WI), #3 in Louisville (KY), #4 in Erie (PA), and #9 in Tulsa (OK). An album, Tippy Toeing, was to follow.

Country music has spawned many a song with babies being the topic of the lyrics. Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson had a hit with “Mammas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys”. In Reba McIntyre’s “He Gets That From Me”, it is clear the father has died and she is widowed. But she views some of the best qualities of the baby are from her deceased husband, and some from her. While George Strait in “I Saw God Today”, depicts the reaction of a father to seeing his baby girl for the first time. While Loretta Lynn’s “One’s On The Way” is about a mother who already has a brood of children and she’s pregnant again.

“Tippy Toeing” topped the Cashbox Country Top 50 for three weeks from April 30 to May 14, 1966.

The Hardens’ followup release, “Seven Days of Crying (Makes One Weak)”, was a Top 30 hit on the country charts later in 1966. One more single, “Sneaking ‘Cross the Border”, peaked at #16 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart in 1967. A second studio album followed, but they searched to find another Top 50 hit.

In 1968, Arlene Harden released her debut solo album, What Can I Say. A single release from the album, “He’s A Good Ole Boy” was a Top 40 hit in the USA on the country charts. In 1969 Arlene Harden recorded her album, Arlene Harden Sings Roy Orbison. From the album came “Lovin’ Man (Oh Pretty Woman)”. It peaked at #13 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart in 1970. Between 1968 and 1973 she charted over a dozen singles into the Top 50 on the Hot Country Singles chart. In 1970, Arlene Harden sang a song titled “True Love Is Greater Than Friendship”, featured in the Robert Redford movie Little Fauss and Big Halsy. 

Robbie Harden joined the Johnny Cash Show in 1969 as part of the Carter Family freeing June Carter to work front and center with Johnny Cash, as June became pregnant with their only child John Carter Cash. Together and individually The Harden Trio provided back up vocals for other artists. Robbie Harden released several minor hits in the early 70s.

Bobby Harden wrote “I’ve Got A Picture Of You On My Mind”, a Top 5 hit on the country charts in 1979 in both Canada and the USA for Loretta Lynn. And in 1981, Bobby Harden wrote “Today All Over Again”, a #5 hit for Reba McIntyre on the Hot Country Songs chart. Finally, in 1990, Bobby Harden penned “Too Cold at Home” for Mark Chesnutt. The single climbed to #3 on the country charts. Bobby Harden died in 2006 at the age of 71.

November 27, 2023
Ray McGinnis

The Harden Trio,” Wikipedia.org.
Cashbox Country Top 50,” Cashbox, May 14, 1966.

Tippy Toeing by The Harden Trio
CJCA, AM-930, Edmonton (AB), June 5, 1966  | Top Ten

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