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Whatd I Say
Song

Whatd I Say

Ray Charles
Album:

Song Meaning & Background to What'd I Say by Ray Charles


When asked how "What'd I Say," his first Top 10 pop record, came to be, Ray Charles told Rolling Stone in 1978, "The people just went crazy, and they loved that little 'ummmmmh, unnnnh'."


He actually penned the song "What'd I Say" in front of a crowd. He was performing a protracted dance performance in a tiny town close to Pittsburgh with his top-notch R&B orchestra, which had recently been expanded by the Raelettes, a female singing group.


Late in the second set, Charles ran out of material and began playing an uphill bass-note arpeggio on the piano. He then commanded the band to play along and the Raelettes to "Whatever I say, just repeat after me." After that, dancers flocked around Charles and said, "Where can I buy that record?"



Lyrics and Guitar Chords of What'd I Say by Ray Charles


[Intro]

 

E A7 E

B7 A7 E  B7

 

 

[Verse 1]

 

       E

Hey momma don't ya treat me wrong

       E

Come and love your daddy all night long

              A7            E             B7       A7    E  B7

all right now, hey hey, all right

 

 

[Chorus]

 

       E

See the girl with the diamond ring

       E

She knows how to shake that thing

            A7                                 E             B7       A7    E  B7

All right now now now, hey hey, hey hey

 

 

[Verse 2]

 

     E

Tell your Mama

     E

Tell your Pa

     E

I'm gonna send you back to Arkansas

       A7                                       E             B7       A7    E  B7

Oh yes maam, you don't do right, don't do right

 

 

[Bridge]

 

       E

When you see me in misery

       E

Come on baby see about me

              A7            E             B7 A7    E  B7

Now yeah, all right, all right,                 awwww play it boys

 

E A7 E  B7 A7 E  B7

 

       E

When you see me in misery

       E

Come on baby see about me

               A7            E             B7 A7    E  B7

Now yeah, hey hey, all right

 

 

[Chorus]

 

       E

See the girl with the red dress on

       E

She can do the boogie all night long

           A7            E             B7 A7    E  B7 – same from now on

Ya ya, what I say, all right

 

Well tell me what I say, tell me what I'd say right now, tell me what I say…

 

And I wanna know… I wanna know right now… yeah…

 

Hey – Hoh

Hey – Hoh

Hey – Hoh

Release Date

1959

Songwriter/s

Ray Charles

Producer/s

Jerry Wexler

Label/s

Atlantic

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