BONUS SEGMENT -- Sonic Sidebar: John Waters' Hitchhiking Playlist

August 3, 2014

So you've decided to hit the road and thumb it across the country. Obviously you'll want to load up on hours of To the Best of Our Knowledge episodes to listen to during the trip, but just in case you need a musical break, here are a few suggestions, courtesy of filmmaker John Waters.

"Hitch Hike" by Marvin Gaye

Most hitchhiking songs are "hillbilly" music according to John Waters, but this early Marvin Gaye release is an exception. Released in 1962, the song started a brief dance craze and ultimately became a top 40 hit. And if the opening notes sound familiar, it's probably because song's influenced both "There She Goes Again" by the Velvet Underground and the Smiths' "There Is A Light That Never Goes Out."


"Hitchhike" by Bobby Curtola

For Waters, the song that captures the essence of a cross-country hitchhiking trip is this obscure early '60s Canadian top 10 hit. It may not have been a smash hit in the states, but this song about a lonely traveler remains a venerated classic up in the Great White North.


"Baby Sittin' Boogie" by Buzz Clifford

Keeping with the theme of obscure early '60s songs, Waters also lists Buzz Clifford's "Baby Sittin' Boogie" as a hitchhiking favorite. Soon after it was released, the song performed well on Billboard's R&B and Country charts.