THIS DAY IN MUSIC……………………………………on October 9th of 1961 “Hit The Road Jack” becomes Ray Charles’ second tune to top the Billboard Pop chart. In the UK, it reached #6. The song has since been ranked #377 on the Rolling Stone magazine’s list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. This was written by Ray’s good friend Percy Mayfield, an R&B singer who was badly disfigured in a car accident soon after he started performing. Mayfield cut back his touring and made his mark as a prolific songwriter, with many of his compositions performed by Charles. This was the second (and shortest, at an even two minutes) of Charles’ three #1 hits.The solo backing vocals were by Margie Hendricks, who was one of Ray’s backup singers, The Raelettes. They were lovers for a time, but the song is not about their relationship. Canadian group The Stampeders, best known for their hit “Sweet City Woman,” released a novelty version of this song in 1976 that featured a telephone conversation with disc jockey Wolfman Jack. Their version hit #40 in the US.This was the winner of the 1961 Grammy for Best Male Rhythm and Blues Recording.