About The Song

“What’d I Say” (or “What I Say”) is an American rhythm and blues song by Ray Charles, released in 1959. As a single divided into two parts, it was one of the first soul songs. The composition was improvised one evening late in 1958 when Charles, his orchestra, and backup singers had played their entire set list at a show and still had time left; the response from many audiences was so enthusiastic that Charles announced to his producer that he was going to record it.

After his run of R&B hits, this song finally broke Charles into mainstream pop music and itself sparked a new subgenre of R&B titled soul, finally putting together all the elements that Charles had been creating since he recorded “I Got a Woman” in 1954.

RCA gave “Suspicion” just two weeks before rush-releasing another single, this one from the long-postponed – and politically divisive (the division being purely between the Colonel and MGM) – Viva Las Vegas soundtrack. Production work on the film had been completed the previous summer after vociferous protests by the Colonel over unchecked spending (which would inevitably cut into profit participation) and the attention that was being lavished on Elvis’ co-star, Ann-Margret, in close-ups and musical participation as well as publicity. With the various disputes at least partially resolved, the first single from the movie was released, but not in a climate conducive to maximum success. It quickly found itself in competition not only with “Kiss Me Quick” but with the soundtrack album for Kissin’ Cousins, which had been the reason for its postponement in the first place. No one benefited from this logjam of Elvis product, nor was the song selection particularly apropos. Elvis’ rousing, gospel-drenched version of Ray Charles’ “What’d I Say,” added as an afterthought to the movie, was a little over the top for both Elvis and the present musical climate, while the title song, a brilliantly crafted (and somewhat tongue-in-cheek) effort from Pomus and Shuman that has since come to be embraced as a camp classic, was pretty much of a throwaway in the confusion of a very crowded marketplace.

See also  Elvis Presley - I'll Remember You

Video

Lyric

🎵 Let’s sing along with the lyrics! 🎤

Hey mama, don’t you treat me wrong
Come and love your daddy all night long
All right, hey, hey, all right now

See the girl with the diamond ring
She knows how to shake that thing
All right, hey, hey, Mmm, all right now

Ahhh, Ohh, Ahhh, Ohh, Ahhh, Ohh, Ohh

Make me feel so good, make me feel so good right now
Make me feel so good, make me feel so good right now
Make me feel so good, make me feel so good

Mmm, see the girl with the red dress on
She can do the dog all night long
All right, hmm what’d I say, tell me what’d I say

Tell me what’d I say, tell me what’d I say right now
Tell me what’d I say, tell me what’d I say right now
Tell me what’d I say, tell me what’d I say

Ahhh, Ohh, Ahhh, Ohh, Ahhh, Ohh, Ohh
It’s all right, It’s all right right now
Baby, it’s all right, Baby, it’s all right right now
Baby, it’s all right, Oh yeah!

Baby shake that thing, baby shake that thing right now
Baby shake that thing, baby shake that thing right now
Baby shake that thing, well I feel all right