Hit the Road Jack

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"Hit the Road Jack"
RaCharles HTRJ.png
Single by Ray Charles
B-side"The Danger Zone"
ReleasedAugust 1961[1]
RecordedJune 1961
Songwriter(s)Percy Mayfield
Producer(s)Sid Feller
Ray Charles singles chronology
"One Mint Julep"
"Hit the Road Jack"
"I Can't Stop Loving You"

"Hit the Road Jack" is a song written by the rhythm and blues artist Percy Mayfield and first recorded in 1960 as an a cappella demo sent to music executive Art Rupe. It became famous after it was recorded by the singer-songwriter-pianist Ray Charles with The Raelettes vocalist Margie Hendrix, and eventually became one of Charles' signature songs.

Charles's recording hit number one for two weeks on the Billboard Hot 100, beginning on Monday, October 9, 1961. "Hit the Road Jack" won a Grammy award for Best Rhythm and Blues Recording. The song was number one on the R&B Sides chart for five weeks, thereby becoming Charles's sixth number-one on that chart. The song is ranked number 387 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of "The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time".

The Chantels released an answer song, "Well, I Told You" which charted at #29.

The vocal sample and lyrics have been used in contemporary music. Both remixes and covers have added a modern context to the original song.

The Stampeders version[edit]

In 1976, Canadian band The Stampeders released a version of the song featuring DJ Wolfman Jack. The song reached number 6 in Canada and the top 40 in the US.[2]


Chart (1961) Peak
Australia (Kent Music Report)[3] 3
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[4] 13
New Zealand (Lever Hit Parade)[5] 1
UK Singles (OCC)[6] 6
US Billboard Hot 100[7] 1
US Hot R&B Sides (Billboard)[7] 1
Chart (2011) Peak
France (SNEP)[8] 90

In popular culture[edit]


  1. ^ "Hit the Road Jack". 45cat.com. Retrieved 14 April 2021.
  2. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2011). Top Pop Singles 1955–2010. Record Research, Inc. p. 847. ISBN 978-0-89820-188-8.
  3. ^ Kent, David (2005). Australian Chart Book (1940–1969). Turramurra: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-44439-5.
  4. ^ "Ultratop.be – Ray Charles – Hit the Road Jack" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved March 8, 2014.
  5. ^ Lever Hit Parade, 30 November 1961
  6. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved March 8, 2014.
  7. ^ a b "Ray Charles – Awards". AllMusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved March 8, 2014.
  8. ^ "Lescharts.com – Ray Charles – Hit the Road Jack" (in French). Les classement single. Retrieved March 8, 2014.

External links[edit]