I ran out this afternoon before work to grab dinner for Sam and me. I turned on Sirius XM’s 50’s on 5 channel for the short trip and got a pleasant surprise – back to back songs from Ray Charles. Not only are both songs fantastic, they also were used in two very memorable TV and movie scenes.
Night Time Is The Right Time
This is a song that was recorded way back in 1937 by a guy named Roosevelt Sykes. It was redone in 1957 by Nappy Brown and in 1958 by Ray Charles. Nappy said that the difference between his version and Ray’s was that his was slower and had a gospel group backing him, while Ray’s version was more uptempo and had Margie Hendrix and his Raelettes backing him.
In 1985, “Night Time Is the Right Time” made cultural history when it became the centerpiece of one of the most beloved episodes of The Cosby Show. In this episode, It was lip-synched by the Huxtable family to celebrate their grandparents’ 49th wedding anniversary. In 1997, TV Guide ranked this episode number 54 on its ‘100 Greatest Episodes of All Time’ list.
Mess Around is a song that was written by the president and founder of Atlantic Records. It was actually one of Ray Charles’ first hits, released in 1953. It is a classic boogie woogie blues song that is just fun to listen to. The song was covered by the Animals and the 80’s group, Squeeze. Jools Holland, an original member of Squeeze, said Ray Charles was so impressed that they were doing a version, Ray sent the band his suit.
The song is featured in the 1987 John Hughes classic, Planes, Trains, and Automobiles. It plays on the radio as John Candy’s character (Del Griffith) is driving a car at night while Steve Martin’s character (Neal Page) sleeps. John Candy is “dancing” along and playing piano on the dashboard in the scene.
What a joy to hear these two songs back to back today.