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Hit The Road Jack


Ray Charles

Songfacts®:  You can leave comments about the song at the bottom of the page.

This was written by Ray's good friend Percy Mayfield, an R&B singer who was badly disfigured in a car accident soon after he started performing. Mayfield cut back his touring and made his mark as a prolific songwriter, with many of his compositions performed by Charles.
This was the second (and shortest, at an even two minutes) of Charles' 3 #1 hits.
The solo backing vocals were by Margie Hendricks, who was one of Ray's backup singers, The Raelettes. They were lovers for a time, but the song is not about their relationship. (thanks, Bertrand - Paris, France)
The continuing popularity of this song is evident by the many professional and semi-professional hockey teams playing the first few lines whenever a player is sent to the penalty box.
This was the winner of the 1961 Grammy for Best Male Rhythm and Blues Recording. (thanks, Brad Wind - Miami, FL, for above 2)
Canadian group The Stampeders, best known for their hit "Sweet City Woman," released a novelty version of this song in 1976 that featured a telephone conversation with disc jockey Wolfman Jack. Their version hit #40 in the US. (thanks, Cole - Moose Jaw, Sk)
Ray Charles
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Comments (13):

wow...... look there i don't care who wrote the song with all my respect to him. But all what i can tell u all that when i hear this song i stop what i am doing to listen to this song oh man it is perfect of my best...........
- lenin, aleyh, Lebanon
In the movie, Ray is in a hotel room "working on songs that Percy sent him"(referring to Percy Mayfield). The movie does not imply Ray wrote the song, but instead that he was working on an arrangement for the song. The implication is that the argument he and Margie had resulted in the version that won him a grammy.
- Byron, Baltimore, MD
Ray didn't write this song, which the scene where he writes it in the movie must be fabricated.
- Tom, North Attleboro, MA
the female vocalist is lead Raelette, Margie Hendricks
- Nick, Istanbul, Turkey
The Residents recorded a truly bizarre, almost atonal rendition of this song. Then again, bizarre and atonal music has always been the Residents' stock-in-trade.
- Joshua, Twin Cities, MN
The song is also played at baseball games when the manager takes out the pitcher.
- Howard, St. Louis Park, MN
"The Cat", a band from Thailand did a amazing cover of this. everyone should check it out, it's even cooler than the original.
- Petter, Ã?ngelholm, Sweden
I watched the movie, it was performed well, Ray RR is just like people say, hs is fantastic. it is easy to see what is on him to attract women, if i got chance to meet him, i'd be one of them.
- liu, Beijing, United States
Anybody saw the movie? "Ray". There they show that this song was created while the singer (I forgot her name)wanted to leave him for not wanting to leave his wife for her.
- Maud, Borgloon, Belgium
I think all the outlaws should take a leaf outa Percy's lyrics.. :)
- [Mutant] Jack_L, WLG, New Zealand
The female vocalist is the mother of one of Ray's 8 kids by 6 different women.
- Ronnie, Ft. Meyers, FL
so who's the female vocalist????/
- pete, nowra, Australia
The Stampeders did a version of this with Wolfman Jack
- Cole, Moose Jaw, Sk, United States
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