Hit the Road Jack

"Hit the Road Jack" is a song written by the rhythm and blues artist Percy Mayfield and recorded by Ray Charles. The song won a Grammy award for Best Rhythm and Blues Recording, and became one of Charles' signature songs.

"Hit the Road Jack"
RaCharles HTRJ.png
Single by Ray Charles
B-side"The Danger Zone"
ReleasedAugust 1961[1]
RecordedJune 1961
Songwriter(s)Percy Mayfield
Producer(s)Sid Feller
Ray Charles singles chronology
"One Mint Julep"
"Hit the Road Jack"
"I Can't Stop Loving You"


The song was written by Percy Mayfield, who first recorded in 1960 as an a cappella demo sent to music executive Art Rupe. It became famous after it was recorded by the singer-songwriter-pianist Ray Charles with The Raelettes vocalist Margie Hendrix,

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 Chantels released an answer song, "Well, I Told You" which charted at No. 29.

The vocal sample and lyrics have been used in contemporary music. Both remixes and covers have added a modern context to the original song.

Charts and certificationsEdit

The Stampeders versionEdit

In 1976, Canadian band The Stampeders released a version of the song taken from their album Steamin' featuring DJ Wolfman Jack. The song reached No. 6 in Canada and No. 40 in the US.[10]

In popular cultureEdit


  1. ^ "Hit the Road Jack". 45cat.com. Retrieved 14 April 2021.
  2. ^ Kent, David (2005). Australian Chart Book (1940–1969). Turramurra: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-44439-5.
  3. ^ "Ray Charles – Hit the Road Jack" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved March 8, 2014.
  4. ^ Lever Hit Parade, 30 November 1961
  5. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved March 8, 2014.
  6. ^ a b "Ray Charles – Awards". AllMusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved March 8, 2014.
  7. ^ "Ray Charles – Hit the Road Jack" (in French). Les classement single. Retrieved March 8, 2014.
  8. ^ "Italian single certifications – Ray Charles – Hit the Road Jack" (in Italian). Federazione Industria Musicale Italiana. Retrieved September 6, 2021. Select "2021" in the "Anno" drop-down menu. Select "Hit the Road Jack" in the "Filtra" field. Select "Singoli" under "Sezione".
  9. ^ "British single certifications – Ray Charles – Hit the Road Jack". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved September 3, 2021.
  10. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2011). Top Pop Singles 1955–2010. Record Research, Inc. p. 847. ISBN 978-0-89820-188-8.