Billboard #1 Hits: #59-“Hit The Road Jack”- Ray Charles. October 9, 1961. #1 for 2 weeks. Released on ABC-Paramount. Written by Percy Mayfield. Genre: R&B. Time: 2:00. B-side:”The Danger Zone.” Grade: A+
“Hit The Road Jack” was written by Ray Charles friend -R&B singer-songwriter Percy Mayfield in 1960. It would become the 2nd of 3 #1 hits for Ray Charles. It peaked at #6 on the UK Singles Chart and spent 5 weeks at #1 on the US Rhythm and Blues singles chart. It would become one of Ray Charles signature songs. Rolling Stone Magazine ranked it at # 387 in its 500 Greatest Songs Ever list. “Hit The Road Jack” won a Grammy for Charles- for Best Rhythm and Blues Recording. The background singer on the song The Raelettes Margie Hendrix was Charles lover at the time. They were both drug addicts at the time. A couple years later Charles fired Hendrix. Charles would beat his addictions but Hendrix wasn’t as lucky- she died in obscurity in 1973 at 38 of a heroin overdose.