Hit the Road Jack

"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 Art Rupe. It became famous after it was recorded by the singer-songwriter-pianist Ray Charles with The Raelettes vocalist Margie Hendrix.

"Hit the Road Jack"
Single by Ray Charles
from the album Ray Charles Greatest Hits
B-side "The Danger Zone"
Released June 1961
Format 7" single, 45rpm
Genre R&B
Length 2:00
Label ABC-Paramount
Songwriter(s) Percy Mayfield
Ray Charles singles chronology
"Hit the Road Jack"
"I'm Gonna Move to the Outskirts of Town"

"Hit the Road Jack"
"I'm Gonna Move to the Outskirts of Town"

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 Stampeders version

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.[1]


Chart (1961) Peak
Australia (Kent Music Report)[2] 3
scope="row"Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[3] 13
France (SNEP)[4] 42
scope="row"UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[5] 6
US Billboard Hot 100[6] 1
US Hot R&B Sides (Billboard)[6] 1
Chart (2011) Peak
scope="row"France (SNEP)[7] 90


  1. Whitburn, Joel (2011). Top Pop Singles 1955–2010. Record Research, Inc. p. 847. ISBN 0-89820-188-8.
  2. Kent, David (2005). Australian Chart Book (1940–1969). Turramurra: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-44439-5.
  3. "Ultratop.be – Ray Charles – Hit the Road Jack" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved March 8, 2014.
  4. "Accès direct à ces Artistes: Ray Charles" (in French). InfoDisc. Archived from the original (select "Ray Charles" and then click "Go") on February 17, 2014. Retrieved March 8, 2014.
  5. "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved March 8, 2014.
  6. "Ray Charles – Awards". AllMusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved March 8, 2014.
  7. "Lescharts.com – Ray Charles – Hit the Road Jack" (in French). Les classement single. Retrieved March 8, 2014.

External links

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