September 23: The Late Legend Ray Charles Was Born in 1930

Ray Charles

Sinatra, and Bing Crosby before him, had been masters of words. Ray Charles is a master of sounds. His records disclose an extraordinary assortment of slurs, glides, turns, shrieks, wails, breaks, shouts, screams and hollers, all wonderfully controlled, disciplined by inspired musicianship, and harnessed to ingenious subtleties of harmony, dynamics and rhythm… It is either the singing of a man whose vocabulary is inadequate to express what is in his heart and mind or of one whose feelings are too intense for satisfactory verbal or conventionally melodic articulation. He can’t tell it to you. He can’t even sing it to you. He has to cry out to you, or shout to you, in tones eloquent of despair — or exaltation. The voice alone, with little assistance from the text or the notated music, conveys the message.
~Henry Pleasants

What’d I Say part 1 & 2:

Georgia On My Mind – Midnight Special 1976:

Wikipedia:

Birth name Ray Charles Robinson
Born September 23, 1930
Albany, Georgia, United States
Origin Greenville, Florida, United States
Died June 10, 2004 (aged 73)
Beverly Hills, California, United States
Genres Jump blues, rhythm and blues,piano blues, soul, blues, soul blues, rock and roll, jazz, vocal jazz, country, pop, gospel,traditional pop
Occupations Musician, singer-songwriter, composer, arranger
Instruments Vocals, piano, keyboards, alto saxophone, trombone
Years active 1947–2004
Labels Atlantic, ABC, Warner Bros.,Swing Time, Concord,Columbia, Flashback
Associated acts The Raelettes
Website www.raycharles.com

Ray Charles Robinson (September 23, 1930 – June 10, 2004) was an American singer-songwriter, musician and composer known as Ray Charles. He was a pioneer in the genre of soul music during the 1950s by fusing rhythm and blues, gospel, and blues styles into his early recordings with Atlantic Records. He also helped racially integrate country and pop music during the 1960s with his crossover success on ABC Records, most notably with his Modern Sounds albums. While with ABC, Charles became one of the first African-American musicians to be given artistic control by a mainstream record company. Frank Sinatra called Charles “the only true genius in show business”, although Charles downplayed this notion. He was blind since age 7.

The influences upon his music were mainly jazz, blues, rhythm and blues, and country artists of the day such as Art Tatum, Nat King Cole, Louis Jordan, Charles Brown, and Louis Armstrong. His playing reflected influences from country blues, barrelhouse and stride piano styles.

Rolling Stone ranked Charles number ten on their list of “100 Greatest Artists of All Time” in 2004and number two on their November 2008 list of “100 Greatest Singers of All Time”. In honoring Charles, Billy Joel noted: “This may sound like sacrilege, but I think Ray Charles was more important than Elvis Presley.”

Ray Charles

Here is a Great 47min concert clip from 1981:

Legacy:

  • In 1979, Charles was one of the first of the Georgia State Music Hall of Fame to be recognized as a musician born in the state. Ray’s version of “Georgia On My Mind” was made the official state song for Georgia.

  • In 1981, he was given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and was one of the first inductees to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame at its inaugural ceremony in 1986.

  • He received the Kennedy Center Honors in 1986.

  • In 1987, he was awarded the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.

  • In 1991, he was inducted to the Rhythm & Blues Foundation.

  • He was presented with the George and Ira Gershwin Award for Lifetime Musical Achievement, during the 1991 UCLA Spring Sing.

  • In 1993, he was awarded the National Medal of Arts.

  • In 1998 he was awarded the Polar Music Prize together with Ravi Shankar in Stockholm, Sweden.

  • In 2004 he was inducted to the National Black Sports & Entertainment Hall of Fame.

  • The Grammy Awards of 2005 were dedicated to Charles.

  • In 2016, U.S. President Barack Obama said that “Ray Charles’s version of ‘America the Beautiful’ will always be in my view the most patriotic piece of music ever performed—because it captures the fullness of the American experience, the view from the bottom as well as the top, the good and the bad, and the possibility of synthesis, reconciliation, transcendence.”

On December 7, 2007, the Ray Charles Plaza was opened in his hometown of Albany, Georgia. The plaza features a revolving, lighted bronze sculpture of Charles seated at a piano and the plaza’s dedication was attended by Charles’ daughter, Sheila Raye Charles.

ray charles plaza

Ray Charles – The Ultimate Collection (Not Now Music) [Full Album]

The Very Best Of Ray Charles (full album from youtube):

1. 00:00:00 Ray Charles Hit the Road Jack
2. 00:01:59 Ray Charles What’d I Say
3. 00:07:04 Ray Charles I Got a Woman
4. 00:09:54 Ray Charles Leave My Woman Alone
5. 00:12:34 Ray Charles Let the Good Times Roll
6. 00:15:26 Ray Charles Unchain My Heart
7. 00:18:17 Ray Charles Someday (You’ll Want Me to Want You)
8. 00:20:56 Ray Charles I Wonder
9. 00:23:27 Ray Charles Ev’ry Time We Say Goodbye
10. 00:28:07 Ray Charles Sticks and Stones
11. 00:30:20 Ray Charles Ruby
12. 00:34:13 Ray Charles When Your Lover Has Gone
13. 00:37:03 Ray Charles You Won’t Let Me Go
14. 00:40:23 Ray Charles Mississippi Mud
15. 00:43:46 Ray Charles It Had to Be You
16. 00:46:29 Ray Charles Yes Indeed!
17. 00:48:44 Ray Charles Swanee River Rock
18. 00:51:03 Ray Charles Lonely Avenue
19. 00:53:38 Ray Charles California, Here I Come
20. 00:55:46 Ray Charles Take These Chains from My Heart
21. 00:58:42 Ray Charles Get on the Right Track Baby
22. 01:01:00 Ray Charles I’m Movin’ On
23. 01:03:21 Ray Charles Drown in My Own Tears
24. 01:06:42 Ray Charles Hide nor Hair
25. 01:09:52 Ray Charles You Win Again
26. 01:13:22 Ray Charles Georgia on My Mind
27. 01:16:58 Ray Charles Mess Around
28. 01:19:39 Ray Charles Night Time Is the Right Time
29. 01:23:07 Ray Charles It Should Have Been Me
30. 01:25:51 Ray Charles Born to Lose
31. 01:29:05 Ray Charles I’m Gonna Move to the Outskirts of Town
32. 01:32:49 Ray Charles But on the Other Hand, Baby
33. 01:36:07 Ray Charles Come Rain or Come Shine
34. 01:39:48 Ray Charles Rock House
35. 01:43:42 Ray Charles Baby, It’s Cold Outside
36. 01:47:52 Ray Charles Them That Got
37. 01:50:41 Ray Charles Don’t You Know
38. 01:53:38 Ray Charles Greenbacks
39. 01:56:28 Ray Charles That’s Enough
40. 01:59:13 Ray Charles Moon over Miami
41. 02:02:32 Ray Charles This Little Girl of Mine
42. 02:05:05 Ray Charles Blackjack
43. 02:07:24 Ray Charles Chattanooga Choo-Choo
44. 02:10:26 Ray Charles Don’t Tell Me Your Troubles
45. 02:12:32 Ray Charles Don’t Let the Sun Catch You Cryin’
46. 02:16:17 Ray Charles What Would I Do Without You?
47. 02:18:53 Ray Charles ‘Deed I Do
48. 02:21:19 Ray Charles Carry Me Back to Old Virginny
49. 02:23:20 Ray Charles Sweet Georgia Brown
50. 02:25:51 Ray Charles You Are My Sunshine
51. 02:28:51 Ray Charles Hallelujah, I Love Her So
52. 02:31:26 Ray Charles C.C. Rider
53. 02:34:02 Ray Charles A Fool for You
54. 02:37:04 Ray Charles Your Cheatin’ Heart
55. 02:40:39 Ray Charles One Mint Julep
56. 02:43:48 Ray Charles You Don’t Know Me
57. 02:47:03 Ray Charles Hard Hearted Hannah
58. 02:50:20 Ray Charles The Danger Zone
59. 02:52:44 Ray Charles Careless Love
60. 02:56:43 Ray Charles I Love You so Much It Hurts
61. 03:00:16 Ray Charles I’ve Got News for You
62. 03:04:48 Ray Charles Ain’t That Love?
63. 03:07:41 Ray Charles Come Back Baby
64. 03:10:47 Ray Charles Alabamy Bound
65. 03:12:40 Ray Charles Tell the Truth
66. 03:15:44 Ray Charles Deep in the Heart of Texas
67. 03:18:10 Ray Charles Mary Ann
68. 03:20:57 Ray Charles At the Club
69. 03:23:57 Ray Charles Moonlight in Vermont
70. 03:26:58 Ray Charles I Can’t Stop Loving You
71. 03:31:10 Ray Charles Blue Hawaii
72. 03:34:06 Ray Charles Oh, Lonesome Me
73. 03:36:14 Ray Charles Just for a Thrill
74. 03:39:38 Ray Charles My Bonnie
75. 03:42:25 Ray Charles Hey, Good Lookin’

-Egil

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