Hit the Road Jack
|"Hit the Road Jack"|
|Single by Ray Charles|
|B-side||"The Danger Zone"|
|Format||7" single, 45rpm|
|Genre||Rhythm and blues|
|Ray Charles singles chronology|
"Hit the Road Jack" is a song written by rhythm and bluesman Percy Mayfield and first recorded in 1960 as an a cappella demo sent to Art Rupe. It became famous after it was recorded by singer-songwriter-pianist Ray Charles with The Raelettes vocalist Margie Hendricks.
The song, which has a strong beat, is a brief, rather comic duet between a fed-up woman and her good-for-nothing man. He tries to wheedle her into letting him stay, but she will have none of it, "Don't care if you do 'cause it's understood: you ain't got no money, you just ain't no good."
Ray Charles' recording hit number one for two weeks on the Billboard Hot 100, beginning on Monday, October 9, 1961. "Hit the Road Jack" also got a Grammy Award for Best Rhythm and Blues Recording. The song was also number one on the R&B Sides chart for five weeks, thereby becoming Ray Charles' sixth number one on that chart. The song is ranked #387 on the Rolling Stone magazine's list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.
- Richard Anthony (1961 - in French as "Fiche le camp, Jacques")
- The Animals (1966)
- Helen Reddy (1972), from the album I Am Woman
- Monica Zetterlund – Swedish version with the title "Stick iväg Jack" with lyrics by Beppe Wolgers
- Suzi Quatro (1974)
- The Stampeders featuring Wolfman Jack (1975)
- John Mellencamp (aka Johnny Cougar) (1976)
- Big Youth – a reggae version of the song is on his 1976 album Hit the Road Jack. Also included on Natty Universal Dread 1973–1979
- Blind Date (1986)
- The Residents (1987)
- Buster Poindexter (1989)
- Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra (1990 - Ska Para Toujou)
- The Weather Girls (1999)
- Hermes House Band (2004 - Get Ready To Party)
- Miyavi (2005 – live)
- Basement Jaxx (2006)
- Tic Tac Toe (2006)
- Mo' Horizons (in Portuguese as "Pé Na Estrada")
- The Easybeats
- Sha Na Na
- Renee Olstead - featured on her 2009 album Skylark
- Shirley Horn - featured on her 1993 album Light out of Darkness (A Tribute to Ray Charles)
- Jamie Cullum and Tim Minchin covered the song on Friday Night with Jonathan Ross on 23 October 2009
- John Farnham covered the song and combined it in medley with the song "Fever" for his 2010 Jack album
- Pentatonix (2013)
- Acid Drinkers featured on album Fishdick Zwei – The Dick Is Rising Again (2010)
- Casey Abrams featuring Haley Reinhart on Abrams' debut album Casey Abrams (2012)
- The Overtones featuring Beverley Knight on their album Saturday Night at the Movies (2013)
- Robbie Williams performed the song on the Swings Both Ways Arena Tour, which is featured on the accompanying live album. (2014)
References in popular culture
- The Buffalo Bill episode "Hit the Road, Newdell" includes a dream sequence where Dabney Coleman's character lipsyncs the Ray Charles version of the song. This musical sequence was deleted from the DVD release because producers were unable to secure rights to include the song.
- In the Two and a Half Men episode "A Bottle of Wine and a Jackhammer", Charlie plays the piece in delight on his piano as Alan moves out of his house.
- It was the theme song from the sitcom Unhappily Ever After from season 1 to 5.
- Ray Charles' version is played over the PA during Chicago Bulls games when an opponent fouls out of the game.
- It plays during the closing credits of 1989 film The Dream Team.
- The song is referenced in the hook of British singer Conor Maynard's single "R U Crazy".
- In the movie The Fisher King, radio DJ Jack Lucas uses it as the closing theme for his phone in show.
- Rough Copy sang "Hit the Road Jack" on the fifth live show of the tenth series of The X Factor.
|Australia (Kent Music Report)||3|
|Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)||13|
|UK Singles (Official Charts Company)||6|
|US Billboard Hot 100||1|
|US Hot R&B Sides (Billboard)||1|
- Weinberg, Scott (October 11, 2005). "Buffalo Bill - The Complete First and Second Seasons". DVD Talk. Retrieved December 10, 2013.
- Kent, David (2005). Australian Chart Book (1940–1969). Turramurra: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-44439-5.
- "Ultratop.be – Ray Charles – Hit the Road Jack" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved March 8, 2014.
- "Accès direct à ces Artistes: Ray Charles" (select "Ray Charles" and then click "Go") (in French). InfoDisc. Retrieved March 8, 2014.
- "Archive Chart" UK Singles Chart. Retrieved March 8, 2014.
- "Ray Charles – Awards". AllMusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved March 8, 2014.
- "Lescharts.com – Ray Charles – Hit the Road Jack" (in French). Les classement single. Retrieved March 8, 2014.