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ROLLING STONES SONGS: ‘HITCH HIKE’ (1965)

Rolling Stones songs: Hitch Hike
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MORE ROLLING STONES SONGS 1962-PRESENT

I got no money in my pocket so I’m gonna have to hitch hike all the way/ I’m gonna find that girl if I have to hitch hike ’round the world…

Written by: Gaye/ Stevenson/ Paul
Recorded: RCA Studios, Hollywood, USA, Nov. 2-3 1964
*Data taken from Martin Elliott’s book THE ROLLING STONES COMPLETE RECORDING SESSIONS 1962-2012

From Songfacts:
Marvin Gaye wrote this with William “Mickey” Stevenson and Clarence Paul, who were songwriters and record producers for Detroit’s Motown label. Gaye got the idea for the song after watching his sister do a little dance where she just moved her hands with her thumbs pointed out like she was hitchhiking.

After his success with “Stubborn Kind Of Fellow,” this song further solidified Gaye’s move towards the traditional Motown sound and gave him his first Top 30 hit. Before becoming a sultry soul singer, Gaye struggled to find hits with Jazz and Pop standards in the early ’60s, which culminated in a failed debut album, The Soulful Moods of Marvin Gaye, and ended his hopes of becoming the “Black Frank Sinatra.”

Gaye thrilled the audience when he performed the song and its accompanying “Hitch Hike” dance on American Bandstand. The singer had always resisted dance routines, because he thought they were an affront to the artistry of his songs, but the “Hitch Hike” sparked a brief dance craze.

Martha & the Vandellas, who had the Motown hit “Dancing in the Street,” (which was co-written by Gaye) sang with Gaye on this song as well as the album’s title track.

Hitchhiking has been a common way of getting around without a car since the days of the Great Depression. Standing by the side of a road, if you hold your thumb up (or down in some areas) to passing cars, one might stop and give you a ride. It’s a fairly desperate measure that reflects how the “Hitch Hike” singer feels as he’s willing to track down the girl who left him.

From the The Rolling Stones – All the Songs book:
The song’s narrator is getting ready to hitchhike his way around the United
States, from Chicago to St. Louis to Los Angeles, in search of the woman
he loves. “Hitch Hike” was the result of a collaboration between Marvin
Gaye, Mickey Stevenson, and Clarence Paul. Released as a single in
December 1962 (with “Hello There Angel” as the B-side), it was a hit for
Marvin Gaye, achieving a promising number 30 on the Billboard charts on
March 16, 1963. Motown’s emblematic singer would later perform it at the
TAMI Show (a concert recorded on October 28 and 29, 1964, and broadcast
on December 29) in which the Rolling Stones also took part.

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