Hitch Hike (song)

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This article is about the song. For other uses, see Hitchhiking (disambiguation).
"Hitch Hike"
Single by Marvin Gaye
from the album That Stubborn Kinda Fellow
Released December 19, 1962
Format 7" single
Recorded 1962; Hitsville, USA, Detroit, Michigan
Genre R&B, rock 'n' roll
Length 2:32
Label Tamla
Writer(s) Marvin Gaye
William "Mickey" Stevenson
Clarence Paul
Producer(s) William "Mickey" Stevenson
Marvin Gaye singles chronology
"Stubborn Kind of Fellow"
"Hitch Hike"
"Pride and Joy"

"Hitch Hike" is a 1962 song by Marvin Gaye, released on the Tamla label. Another song Gaye co-wrote (this time with Clarence Paul and William "Mickey" Stevenson), this time instead of confessing to being stubborn, the singer is now hitchhiking on the look out for his girl, whom he feels has run so far that he has to travel "around the world" thinking of places she could have found herself at including St. Louis, "Chicago City Limits" and "L.A."[1]

The song sparked a brief dance craze when audience members from American Bandstand performed the "hitch hike" dance. Marvin performed the song on the show and also did the move onstage. The dance was also performed during Marvin's performance of the song in the T.A.M.I. Show. The single was successful enough to land Gaye his first top forty pop single in 1963 with "Hitch Hike" reaching number thirty on the pop singles chart while reaching number twelve on the R&B singles chart.[2] Again, like "Stubborn", Martha and the Vandellas accompanied Gaye on this song. Artists including The Sonics, The Rolling Stones, The Mothers of Invention and Alice Cooper covered this song during their early years.

The Velvet Underground's song "There She Goes Again" is based on "Hitch Hike", as is the guitar intro to The Smiths' "There Is a Light That Never Goes Out" (Johnny Marr specifically credits The Rolling Stones' cover as the inspiration).

James & Bobby Purify released a version of the song on their 1967 album, James & Bobby Purify.[3]

Paul McCartney performed a live cover of the song during his 2011 performance at Comerica Park in Detroit, Michigan.[4] Another song which is likely based on "Hitch Hike" is "You Can't Do That" by The Beatles, especially the use of cowbell and congas and the pronounced stops at the end of each verse.

Other versions[edit]



  1. ^ Gilliland, John (1969). "Show 26 - The Soul Reformation: Phase two, the Motown story. [Part 5]" (audio). Pop Chronicles. Digital.library.unt.edu. 
  2. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 225. 
  3. ^ "James & Bobby Purify, James & Bobby Purify". Retrieved January 24, 2017. 
  4. ^ "Paul McCartney concert: A little luck, a lot of smiles -- even some tears". June 14, 2011.