The Streak – Ray Stevens | Top 40 Chart Performance, Story and Song Meaning

Chart Performance: Pop (#1 for 3 weeks); 1974

Story Behind The Song By Ed Osborne

Every few years, like mad clockwork, a new craziness seizes the minds of Americans. In the early 1970’s, this mental breakdown manifested itself as “streaking,” i.e. dashing butt-naked in public. And poised to capitalize on the phenomenon was Ray “Ahab, The Arab” Stevens.

Ray first encountered streaking in a newspaper article he read en route from Nashville to LA. By the time the plane’s wheels touched tarmac, Ray had the beginnings of a song. On April 13th, just 11 days after a streaker bared his all during the annual Academy Awards broadcast, Ray’s ode entered the chart and six weeks later sat atop the Hot 100.

It took Wings’ Band On The Run (no pun intended) to dislodge The Streak, which finished as 1974’s third highest chart record. As for Ray, his brief fling with more serious-themed songs, such as the #1 Everything Is Beautiful, was over. He went on to regale us with the big band classic In The Mood… as performed by clucking chickens.

This content and all Song Meaning articles were created and written by Top 40 Contributing Editor Ed Osborne. © 2024 Ed Osborne. All Rights Reserved. In addition to these song meaning articles, Ed has written our “Year in Music 1960s-1990s” articles.

Produced by:

  • Ray Stevens

Lyrics Written by:

  • Ray Stevens