Ray Charles, pianist
Singer ~ Pianist ~ Songwriter
birth name: Ray Charles Robinson

Ray Charles

September 23, 1930, Albany, GA ~ June 10, 2004, Beverly Hills, CA

Blind since the age of six (from glaucoma), Charles studied composition and learned many instruments at the St. Augustine School for the Deaf and the Blind. His parents had died by his early teens, and he worked as a musician in Florida for a while before using his savings to move to Seattle in 1947. By the late '40s, he was recording in a smooth pop/R&B style derivative of Nat King Cole and Charles Brown. He got his first Top Ten R&B hit with ‘Baby, Let Me Hold Your Hand’ in 1951. Charles' first recordings came in for their fair share of criticism, as they were much milder and less original than the classics that would follow, although they're actually fairly enjoyable, showing strong hints of the skills that were to flower in a few years. ~ Allmusic: Ray Charles ~ retrieved September 23, 2013 © Allmusic

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September 23, 1961 ~ Billboard Hot 100 ~ #3 (3) the Jive Five, My True Story ~ #2 (1) The Highwaymen, Michael ~ #1 (2) Bobby Vee, Take Good Care Of My Baby


Ray Charles ~ Received the 1986 Kennedy Center Honor ~ He not only defined modern soul music but also helped escape country music and influenced dozens of rock singers. He performs with a gospel fervor that brings to his concerts the atmosphere of a revival meeting. He commands a huge and widely diversified audience ranging from adolescents to foreign jazz connoisseurs and critics, primarily because he started in rhythm and blues, moved on into jazz, and then entered popular music. He has been successful with ballads, blues, gospel music, rock 'n' roll, and Broadway show tunes and still remains true to a tradition rooted in the blues, spirituals, and Baptist gospel music of the Deep South. ~ 1986 © Kennedy Center

In 2012 two Ray Charles albums made it to the #DLW500 Dylan's 500 Greatest Albums Of All Time ~ #497 Modern Sounds In Country & Western (1962) ~ #45 The Genius Of Ray Charles (1959)

Ray Charles ~ Modern Sounds In Country And Western Music (1961) ~ #97 VH-1 R&R's All Time Top 100 Albums in 1999.

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