Hitch Hike

Album: That Stubborn Kinda Fellow (1962)
Charted: 30


  • Marvin Gaye wrote this with William "Mickey" Stevenson and Clarence Paul, who were songwriters and record producers for Detroit's Motown label. Gaye got the idea for the song after watching his sister do a little dance where she just moved her hands with her thumbs pointed out like she was hitchhiking.
  • After his success with "Stubborn Kind Of Fellow," this song further solidified Gaye's move towards the traditional Motown sound and gave him his first Top 30 hit. Before becoming a sultry soul singer, Gaye struggled to find hits with Jazz and Pop standards in the early '60s, which culminated in a failed debut album, The Soulful Moods of Marvin Gaye, and ended his hopes of becoming the "Black Frank Sinatra."
  • Gaye thrilled the audience when he performed the song and its accompanying "Hitch Hike" dance on American Bandstand. The singer had always resisted dance routines, because he thought they were an affront to the artistry of his songs, but the "Hitch Hike" sparked a brief dance craze.
  • Martha & the Vandellas, who had the Motown hit "Dancing in the Street," (which was co-written by Gaye) sang with Gaye on this song as well as the album's title track.
  • The Rolling Stones covered this in 1965 on their Out Of Our Heads album. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Bertrand - Paris, France, for all above
  • Hitchhiking has been a common way of getting around without a car since the days of the Great Depression. Standing by the side of a road, if you hold your thumb up (or down in some areas) to passing cars, one might stop and give you a ride. It's a fairly desperate measure that reflects how the "Hitch Hike" singer feels as he's willing to track down the girl who left him.

Comments: 4

  • Jennifur Sun from RamonaI can remember when you could do this without being scared to death, sadly those days are gone.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn March 2nd 1963, a rock 'n roll show titled 'Limbo Party' was held at the Cow Palace in San Francisco, CA...
    One of the eight* acts appearing on the show was Marvin Gaye; at the time his "Hitch Hike" was at #33 on Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart; and eight days later on March 10th it would peaked at #30 {for 1 week} and spent 12 weeks on the Top 100 {See next post below}...
    * the other acts were the Four Seasons, the Crystals, Lou Christie, Paul & Paula, Dick & Dee Dee, Herb Alpert's Tijuana Brass, and Chubby Checker {who hosted the show}.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn January 2nd 1965, Marvin Gaye performed "Hitch Hike" on the ABC-TV program 'American Bandstand'...
    Just under two years earlier on January 6th, 1963 it entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart at position #96; and nine weeks later on March 10th, 1963 it peaked at #30 {for 1 week} and spent 12 weeks on the Top 100...
    It reached #12 on Billboard's R&B Singles chart...
    Between 1962 and 1983 he had thirty-seven Top 100 records; thirteen made the Top 10 with three reaching #1; "I Heard It Through the Grapevine" for 7 weeks in 1968, "Let's Get It On" for 2 weeks in 1973, and "Got to Give It Up - Part One" for 1 week in 1977...
    He just missed having a fourth #1 record when "What's Going On" peaked at #2 {for 3 weeks} in 1971...
    Plus he made the Top 100 eighteen more times in duets; eleven times with Tammi Terrell, three times with Diana Ross, and two times each with Mary Wells and Kim Weston...
    Marvin Pentz Gay, Jr. passed away on April 1st, 1984; the day before his 45th birthday...
    May he R.I.P.
  • Hal from Atlanta, Gai always thought stubborn kind of fella was marvin's first hit. according to sources, marvin recorded the tune thinking he was doing a demo for another motown artist, gino parks. but it was a move by producers to persuade gaye to "scream". gaye had designs on a singing career to emulate idol nat king cole
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