Mess Around

"Mess Around", written by Atlantic Records president and founder Ahmet Ertegün under the pseudonym of A. Nugetre,[1] or "Nuggy"[2] was one of Ray Charles’ first hits. Ertegün claims his inspiration for writing "Mess Around" was Pete Johnson. Earlier versions of the tune, a New Orleans boogie piano riff, can be heard throughout the early 1930s and 1940s the earliest of all being "Cow Cow Blues" from Charles "Cow Cow" Davenport in 1928. Dr John has spoken about the origin of this tune on his "Dr John Teaches New Orleans Piano" series of DVDs.

"Mess Around"
Single by Ray Charles
Released June 19, 1953
Format 7" 45rpm
Recorded May 17, 1953
Genre Rhythm and blues, rock and roll
Label Atlantic 999
Songwriter(s) Ahmet Ertegün
Ray Charles singles chronology
"Baby Let Me Hold Your Hand"
(1951)
"Mess Around"
(1953)
"It Should Have Been Me"
(1954)

The lyrics urge listeners to dance ("mess around"), along with a few other key phrases, notably the "girl with the red dress on", harkening back to "Pinetop's Boogie Woogie", the early boogie woogie classic. "Mess Around" became a big R&B charted hit when released as a single in early 1953.

In popular culture

  • It was covered by The Animals in 1965.
  • The song was featured in the film Planes, Trains and Automobiles, during a scene in which Del Griffith (John Candy) dances to the song while driving a car at night on the freeway. This scene was spoofed in Ted 2 and the Family Guy parody of Return of the Jedi titled "It's a Trap!".
  • It was featured in the 2004 biopic Ray.
  • Dr. John included it in his collection of New Orleans classics Dr. John's Gumbo.
  • Professor Longhair covered the song on several of his albums, including Rock'n'Roll Gumbo (1976).

References

  1. Mess Around / Funny (But I Still Love You) by Ray Charles (Single, Rhythm & Blues): Reviews, Ratings, Credits, Song list - Rate Your Music
  2. "Photograph of record label". Popsike.eu. Retrieved 2014-05-22.

External links


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