The Streak

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For other uses, see Streak.
"The Streak"
Single by Ray Stevens
from the album Boogity Boogity
B-side "You've Got the Music Inside"
Released March 27, 1974
Format 7" single
Genre Country, novelty, Comedy
Length 3:18
Label Barnaby
Writer(s) Ray Stevens
Producer(s) Ray Stevens
Certification Gold (USA), Silver (UK)
Ray Stevens singles chronology
"Love Me Longer"
"The Streak"
"The Moonlight Special"

"The Streak" is a popular country/novelty song written, produced, and sung by Ray Stevens. It was released in March 1974 as the lead single to his album Boogity Boogity. "The Streak" capitalized on the then popular craze of streaking.[1] In 2007 Cledus T. Judd covered "The Streak" on his album "Boogity Boogity - A Tribute to the Comic Genius of Ray Stevens".

One of Stevens' most successful recordings, "The Streak" was his second number one on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart in the USA, spending three weeks at the top in May 1974 and reached #3 on the Billboard Country singles chart. A major international hit it also reached number one on the UK Singles Chart, spending a single week at the top of the chart in June 1974.[2] In total it sold over five million copies internationally and ranked on Billboard magazine's Top hits of 1974 at number 8.


Each of the three verses starts with a news reporter, played by Stevens, commenting on a streaking incident somewhere around town, and trying to interview one of the witnesses, who always turns out to be the same man, also played by Stevens. A slide whistle can be heard throughout the song. The witness tells what he saw and relates how he tried to warn his wife, Ethel, not to look ("Don't look, Ethel!"), but is always too late. After each interview, a chorus is sung by multiple voices; the chorus is the only part of the song that is actually sung; the rest is spoken. After the third interview, the man sees the streaker again, but to his horror the streaker is joined by his wife, and the man changes his tune: "Ethel, you shameless hussy!", as well as "You get your clothes on!", and "Say it isn't so, Ethel!".[3]

Music video[edit]

The music video for "The Streak" takes place at a grocery store, a gas station, and a high school gym. Ray Stevens plays a reporter and Ethel's husband. An animated version of The Streak is featured. A live action version of The Streak is briefly seen. In the end everyone joins The Streak and animated versions of Ethel and The Streak are shown. The video ends with one of the cast members scolding Ray for allowing people to trample her when they chose to streak. As Ray Stevens gives her a mocking look the screen fades to black.


In 2013 Ray Stevens performed a remix version of "The Streak" live in concert.[4]

External links[edit]

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1974) Peak
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 1
U.S. Billboard Hot Country Singles 3
U.S. Billboard Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks 12
Canadian RPM Top Singles 1
Canadian RPM Country Tracks 1
Canadian RPM Adult Contemporary Tracks 1
U.K. Singles Chart 1
New Zealand Singles Chart 1
Irish Singles Chart 2
Australian Singles Chart 2
Danish Singles Chart 26
German Media Control Charts 43


  1. ^ Michael Kosser, How Nashville became Music City, U.S.A.: 50 years of Music Row,, retrieved 2014-03-27 
  2. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 301. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  3. ^ Video on YouTube
  4. ^ Ray Stevens - The Streak (Live Remix)
Preceded by
"The Loco-Motion" by Grand Funk Railroad
Billboard Hot 100 number-one single
May 18, 1974 - June 1, 1974 (three weeks)
Succeeded by
"Band on the Run" by Paul McCartney and Wings
Preceded by
"Honeymoon Feelin'" by Roy Clark
RPM Country Tracks number-one single
June 8, 1974 (one week)
Succeeded by
"If You Love Me (Let Me Know)" by Olivia Newton-John
Preceded by
"Sugar Baby Love" by The Rubettes
UK Singles Chart number-one single
June 15, 1974 (one week)
Succeeded by
"Always Yours" by Gary Glitter