The Ray Charles version of “Hit the Road Jack” takes me back. On most of the family vacations of my youth, we hit the road, and I eventually made it through the entire lower forty-eight via car. As for Ray Charles, blindness and heroin addiction aside, he revolutionized American music. “Hit the Road Jack” topped the Billboard Hot 100 on October 9, 1961 and won a Grammy award for the Best Rhythm and Blues recording.
And Becca Krueger, well, she has some balls to remake this one. She recorded in 2013, and I love the way she pulls it off.
It’s another Monday, my friends. Do you have what it takes to Remake it?
Canadian singer-songwriter Neil Young (of Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young) penned “Unknown Legend” and released it on his solo album Harvest Moon in 1992.
I was 22 and not listening. Somehow it seems songs, like other messages and people, appear when we need them.
The first time I heard the song was in the 2008 movie Rachel Getting Married with Anne Hathaway. I haven’t seen every Anne Hathaway movie, but her performance in this one is legendary. She plays a drug addict who has been released from her current treatment program on a day pass to attend her sister Rachel’s wedding.
During the ceremony the groom (Tunde Adebimpe, lead singer of TV on the Radio featured on last week’s Remake Monday) serenades Rachel in a performance that moves me every time.
[Verse 1] She used to work in a diner Never saw a woman look finer I used to order just to watch her float across the floor She grew up in a small town Never put her roots down Daddy always kept moving so she did too
[Chorus] Somewhere on a desert highway She rides a Harley-Davidson Her long blonde hair flying in the wind She’s been running half her life The chrome and steel she rides Colliding with the very air she breathes The air she breathes
[Verse 2] You know it ain’t easy You got to hold on She was an unknown legend in her time Now she’s dressing two kids Looking for a magic kiss She gets the faraway look in her eyes
I believe this song was first released in 2006 by TV on the Radio, an American art rock band. (I found this info. on Wikipedia. Art rock makes use of modernist, experimental elements, elevating rock to an artistic statement).
I guess it was about a week ago when I heard Lera Lynn’s folk version. I dig the stripped-down sound of the acoustic guitar and banjo. What some can do with two instruments and their voices! Anyway, you can’t believe everything you read on Wikipedia. They say Lera Lynn released her version in 2003. Independent Music Awards calls it a cover, and the YouTube video was posted in 2011. Disputed information aside, I love both, but I have to give it to Lera Lynn.
And I’m calling today Remake Monday. 1) Because I love a great remake. And 2) Because every Monday deserves a reimagined look. Make yours mighty good.