Hit the Road Jack

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
"Hit the Road Jack"
Single by Ray Charles
B-side "The Danger Zone"
Released 1961
Format 7" single, 45rpm
Genre Rhythm and blues
Length 2:00
Label ABC-Paramount
Writer(s) Percy Mayfield
Ray Charles singles chronology
"Ruby"
(1960)
"Hit the Road Jack"
(1961)
""I'm Gonna Move to the Outskirts of Town""
(1961)

"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.[1] 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.[2] "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 and becoming Ray Charles' sixth number one on that chart.[3] The song is ranked #387 on the Rolling Stone magazine's list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

Notable recordings[edit]

References in popular culture[edit]

  • 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.[4]
  • 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.

Charts[edit]

Chart (1961) Peak
position
Australia (Kent Music Report)[5] 3
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[6] 13
France (SNEP)[7] 42
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[8] 6
US Billboard Hot 100[9] 1
US Hot R&B Sides (Billboard)[9] 1
Chart (2011) Peak
position
France (SNEP)[10] 90

References[edit]

  1. ^ Available on the Memory Pain CD vol. 2, Specialty Records SPCD-7027-2
  2. ^ Billboard chart[dead link]
  3. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 112. 
  4. ^ Weinberg, Scott (October 11, 2005). "Buffalo Bill - The Complete First and Second Seasons". DVD Talk. Retrieved December 10, 2013. 
  5. ^ Kent, David (2005). Australian Chart Book (1940–1969). Turramurra: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-44439-5. 
  6. ^ "Ultratop.be – Ray Charles – Hit the Road Jack" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved March 8, 2014.
  7. ^ "Accès direct à ces Artistes: Ray Charles" (select "Ray Charles" and then click "Go") (in French). InfoDisc. Retrieved March 8, 2014. 
  8. ^ "Archive Chart" UK Singles Chart. Retrieved March 8, 2014.
  9. ^ a b "Ray Charles – Awards". AllMusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved March 8, 2014. 
  10. ^ "Lescharts.com – Ray Charles – Hit the Road Jack" (in French). Les classement single. Retrieved March 8, 2014.

External links[edit]