"Mess Around" (Atlantic 999) was one of the first big hits by music legend Ray Charles. It is noted for its insistent chorus of "Shake that thing!".
The song was written by Atlantic Records president and founder Ahmet Ertegn. The lyrics urge listeners to dance ("mess around"), along with a few other key phrases harkening back to "Pinetop's Boogie Woogie", an early boogie woogie classic. "Mess Around" became a big R&B charted hit when released as a single in early 1953. Though a big hit on its own, it was not until Charles' "I Got a Woman" that the blind pianist-singer entered into the national spotlight.
It was also covered by The Animals in 1965.
The song was featured in the film Planes, Trains, and Automobiles, as John Candy plays along with his air piano and air saxophone. It was also featured in the 2004 biopic Ray. Dr. John included it in his collection of New Orleans classics Dr..
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