RAY CHARLES

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Ray Charles (Ray Charles Robinson, Albany, Georgia, September 23, 1930 - Beverly Hills, California, June 10, 2004), was an American singer-songwriter, musician, arranger and bandleader. As a rock and roll, rhythm & blues, soul, blues, jazz, country and pop musician he helped to shape the sound of rhythm & blues.

He brought a soulful sound to everything from country music ("I Can't Stop Loving You") to rock and roll ("Mess Around"), to pop standards to a now-iconic rendition of "America The Beautiful." Frank Sinatra called him "the only genius in the business."

Ray Charles was born in Albany, Georgia on September 23, 1930. He was the son of Aretha Williams, a share cropper, and Bailey Robinson, a railroad repair man, mechanic and handyman. The two were never married. The family moved to Greenville, Florida, United States when Ray was an infant. Bailey had three more families, leaving Aretha to raise
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The Ultimate Collection - Ray CharlesThe Ultimate Collection - Ray Charles
Box set
Not Now 2013
$7.94
$6.12 (used)
Ultimate Collection (2LP Gatefold, 180G Vinyl) Ray CharlesUltimate Collection (2LP Gatefold, 180G Vinyl) Ray Charles
Not Now 2014
$17.75
$29.36 (used)
Modern Sounds In Country And Western MusicModern Sounds In Country And Western Music
Hallmark 2014
$2.07
$5.65 (used)
Spirit of ChristmasSpirit of Christmas
Remastered
Conco 2009
$8.50
$6.65 (used)
Modern Sounds In Country And Western Music Vols 1 & 2 Plus Bonus Tracks [ORIGINAL RECORDINGS REMASTERED]Modern Sounds In Country And Western Music Vols 1 & 2 Plus Bonus Tracks [ORIGINAL RECORDINGS REMASTERED]
Jasmine Music 2013
$7.60
$7.59 (used)
Genius Loves CompanyGenius Loves Company
Concord Records / Hear Music 2004
$4.60
$0.45 (used)
Greatest HitsGreatest Hits
Del Ray Records 2018
$19.35
$9.78 (used)
Genius + Soul = JazzGenius + Soul = Jazz
Hallmark 2012
$2.42
$2.51 (used)
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ROBERT DOWNEY jr sings HEART AND SOULS soundtrack CD 4 SEASONS Ray Charles ost ROBERT DOWNEY jr sings HEART AND SOULS soundtrack CD 4 SEASONS Ray Charles ost USD $21.99 Buy It Now 1h 50m
Ray Charles-Seven Spanish Angels / Who Cares Ray Charles-Seven Spanish Angels / Who Cares USD $8.48 Buy It Now 1h 50m
Ray Charles Singers Command Performances Stereo lp Ray Charles Singers Command Performances Stereo lp USD $0.99 Buy It Now 2h 7m
RAY CHARLES. - TAKE THESE CHAINS FROM MY HEART 1963   VINYL EX/CON RAY CHARLES. - TAKE THESE CHAINS FROM MY HEART 1963 VINYL EX/CON USD $1.31 (0 bids)
2h 9m
SEALED NEW TAPE Bobs, The - Covers The Songs Of Ray Charles, Cream, Randy Newman SEALED NEW TAPE Bobs, The - Covers The Songs Of Ray Charles, Cream, Randy Newman USD $1.49 Buy It Now 2h 14m
SEALED NEW TAPE Louis Armstrong, Chuck Berry, Buster Brown, Ray Charles, Etc. - SEALED NEW TAPE Louis Armstrong, Chuck Berry, Buster Brown, Ray Charles, Etc. - USD $1.49 Buy It Now 2h 14m
Ray Charles ‎– Heart To Heart (His 20 Hottest Hits) LP, Aus, Vinyl NM Ray Charles ‎– Heart To Heart (His 20 Hottest Hits) LP, Aus, Vinyl NM USD $8.55 Buy It Now 2h 18m
Hit The Road Jack-ABC-Paramount Story 2-CD NEW SEALED Ray Charles/Paul Anka+ Hit The Road Jack-ABC-Paramount Story 2-CD NEW SEALED Ray Charles/Paul Anka+ USD $6.59 Buy It Now 2h 24m
Ray Charles  -  I Don' t Need No Doctor  /  N. F. Porter  -  Keep On Keeping On Ray Charles - I Don' t Need No Doctor / N. F. Porter - Keep On Keeping On USD $6.61 (1 bids)
2h 26m
Ray Charles - Renaissance - GER LP 1975 FOC /3* Ray Charles - Renaissance - GER LP 1975 FOC /3* USD $16.95 Buy It Now 2h 31m
2x CDs - Ray Charles, 20 Greatest Hits & Ray, Original Motion Picture Soundtrack 2x CDs - Ray Charles, 20 Greatest Hits & Ray, Original Motion Picture Soundtrack USD $7.85 Buy It Now 2h 40m
THE ESSENCE OF RAY CHARLES NEW 2 CDset 50 Greatest Hits, Best Of THE ESSENCE OF RAY CHARLES NEW 2 CDset 50 Greatest Hits, Best Of USD $5.27 Buy It Now 2h 57m
Ray Charles - The Genius Sings The Blues (International Release) [CD] Ray Charles - The Genius Sings The Blues (International Release) [CD] USD $8.23 Buy It Now 2h 59m
RAY CHARLES   Blues Is My Middle Name   ORIGINAL 4 TRACK UK  7 RAY CHARLES Blues Is My Middle Name ORIGINAL 4 TRACK UK 7" Vinyl Mini LP Ex USD $7.93 Buy It Now 3h
2LP Ray Charles Golden Ray Charles Double De Luxe GW19 ABC Japan Vinyl 2LP Ray Charles Golden Ray Charles Double De Luxe GW19 ABC Japan Vinyl USD $27.19 Buy It Now 3h
Ray Charles - Live - GER 2LP 1973 FOC /3* Ray Charles - Live - GER 2LP 1973 FOC /3* USD $16.95 Buy It Now 3h
The Ray Charles Singers - This Is My Prayer / A Toy For A Boy (Vinyl) The Ray Charles Singers - This Is My Prayer / A Toy For A Boy (Vinyl) USD $20.46 Buy It Now 3h
Here's Ray Charles, new CD in cellophane packaging, 25 classic tracks Here's Ray Charles, new CD in cellophane packaging, 25 classic tracks USD $6.59 Buy It Now 3h
Ray Charles - Lets Have a Ball [CD] Ray Charles - Lets Have a Ball [CD] USD $2.42 Buy It Now 3h
Ray Charles - Ray Charles CD Ray Charles - Ray Charles CD USD $3.95 Buy It Now 3h
RAY CHARLES - NO LETTER TODAY / TAKE THESE CHAINS TURKISH 7 RAY CHARLES - NO LETTER TODAY / TAKE THESE CHAINS TURKISH 7" TURKEY RARE USD $45.00 Buy It Now 3h
Ray Charles - Genius + Soul = Jazz - Complete 1956-60 [CD] Ray Charles - Genius + Soul = Jazz - Complete 1956-60 [CD] USD $15.15 Buy It Now 3h
Ray Charles-The Genius in Person  CD NEW Ray Charles-The Genius in Person CD NEW USD $10.40 Buy It Now 3h
Ray Charles - Whatd I Say [CD] Ray Charles - Whatd I Say [CD] USD $6.78 Buy It Now 4h
Ray Charles Dedicated To You Vinyl LP Ray Charles Dedicated To You Vinyl LP USD $9.50 Buy It Now 4h
Ray Charles - Genius Loves Company CD Ray Charles - Genius Loves Company CD USD $1.45 Buy It Now 4h
RAY CHARLES - GEORGIA ON MY MIND VINYL LP NEW (26TH OCT) RAY CHARLES - GEORGIA ON MY MIND VINYL LP NEW (26TH OCT) USD $17.16 Buy It Now 4h
Forever Gold by Ray Charles (CD, 2002, St. Clair) Forever Gold by Ray Charles (CD, 2002, St. Clair) USD $2.99 Buy It Now 4h
ray charles Georgia Time cd ray charles Georgia Time cd USD $6.59 Buy It Now 4h
Ray Charles CD Georgia On My Mind  R&B Soul Country Pop The Raelets  free post Ray Charles CD Georgia On My Mind R&B Soul Country Pop The Raelets free post USD $8.56 Buy It Now 4h
Ray Charles Born To Love Me 7 Ray Charles Born To Love Me 7" Columbia 3803429 EX 1982 US pressing, demo, Born USD $8.57 Buy It Now 4h
Ray Charles Take These Chains From My Heart 7 Ray Charles Take These Chains From My Heart 7" HMV POP1161 EX 1963 Take These Ch USD $8.57 Buy It Now 4h
Ray Charles Careless Love 7 Ray Charles Careless Love 7" HMV POP1064 EX 1962 Careless Love/You Don't Know Me USD $13.87 Buy It Now 4h
THIS IS SOUL COMPILATION  LP VERY GOOD+ RAY CHARLES,PERCY SLEDGE,ARETHA FRANKLIN THIS IS SOUL COMPILATION LP VERY GOOD+ RAY CHARLES,PERCY SLEDGE,ARETHA FRANKLIN USD $7.00 Buy It Now 4h
Ray Charles  Modern Sounds In Country And Western Music Volume Vinyl Record VG Ray Charles Modern Sounds In Country And Western Music Volume Vinyl Record VG USD $0.99 (1 bids)
4h
Soul of a Man by Ray Charles (CD, 2005, Green Hill Productions) Soul of a Man by Ray Charles (CD, 2005, Green Hill Productions) USD $7.00 Buy It Now 4h
RAY CHARLES - TAKE THESE CHAINS FROM MY HEART - 1963 7 RAY CHARLES - TAKE THESE CHAINS FROM MY HEART - 1963 7" VG+ LOOK IN MY EBAY SHOP USD $3.96 Buy It Now 4h
Ray Charles - Original Album Series (NEW CD) Ray Charles - Original Album Series (NEW CD) USD $18.81 Buy It Now 5h
Ray Charles, Listen, ABC, LP, VG/VG+ Ray Charles, Listen, ABC, LP, VG/VG+ USD $3.95 Buy It Now 5h
Modern Sounds in Country Music by Ray Charles (Vinyl LP, 1962) Modern Sounds in Country Music by Ray Charles (Vinyl LP, 1962) USD $4.99 (0 bids)
5h
BEST OF 60'S ROCK N ROLL 5 CDS pre-owned.60 Hits,Tom Jones, Dion,Ray Charles BEST OF 60'S ROCK N ROLL 5 CDS pre-owned.60 Hits,Tom Jones, Dion,Ray Charles USD $6.99 (0 bids)
5h
RAY CHARLES - MODERN SOUND IN COUNTRY & WESTERN MUSIC VOLUMES 1 & 2 (NEW 2CD) RAY CHARLES - MODERN SOUND IN COUNTRY & WESTERN MUSIC VOLUMES 1 & 2 (NEW 2CD) USD $6.33 Buy It Now 5h
Ray Charles - The Golden Years - World Record T365 (Vinyl LP) EX/EX Ray Charles - The Golden Years - World Record T365 (Vinyl LP) EX/EX USD $15.84 Buy It Now 5h
The Artistry Of Ray Charles by Ray Charles (Vinyl LP, Premier, PM 2005) The Artistry Of Ray Charles by Ray Charles (Vinyl LP, Premier, PM 2005) USD $4.99 (0 bids)
5h
THE RAY CHARLES SINGERS LOVE ME / YOUNG LOVERS LP VINYL 1964 THE RAY CHARLES SINGERS LOVE ME / YOUNG LOVERS LP VINYL 1964 USD $11.98 Buy It Now 5h
Lot of 4 Mixed Music 7 Lot of 4 Mixed Music 7" Vinyl 45 RPM Record, Ray Charles Nat king Cole Kool Gang USD $5.98 Buy It Now 5h
R&B & Soul - JOBLOT 4. - 3 X LP - Ray Charles / War / The Brothers Johnson. R&B & Soul - JOBLOT 4. - 3 X LP - Ray Charles / War / The Brothers Johnson. USD $1.31 (0 bids)
5h
Uncut - Woke Up This Morning - Slim Harpo, Ray Charles, BB King - Music CD Album Uncut - Woke Up This Morning - Slim Harpo, Ray Charles, BB King - Music CD Album USD $14.95 Buy It Now 5h
RAY CHARLES - RAY CHARLES - SELF TITLED (CASSETTE/TAPE ALBUM) RAY CHARLES - RAY CHARLES - SELF TITLED (CASSETTE/TAPE ALBUM) USD $2.63 Buy It Now 5h
RAY CHARLES: Anthology[RHINO] BUSTED,I GOTTA WOMAN,GEORGIA,WHAT'D I SAY,CRY++ RAY CHARLES: Anthology[RHINO] BUSTED,I GOTTA WOMAN,GEORGIA,WHAT'D I SAY,CRY++ USD $10.98 Buy It Now 5h
Ray Charles - The Collection - Disc 1 - CD Album - 2007 - 18 Great Tracks Ray Charles - The Collection - Disc 1 - CD Album - 2007 - 18 Great Tracks USD $3.95 Buy It Now 5h
Ray Charles Genius Loves Company Audio CD Digipak 2004 Concord Blues Piano R Ray Charles Genius Loves Company Audio CD Digipak 2004 Concord Blues Piano R USD $9.71 Buy It Now 5h
CHUBBY CHECKER Ray Charles-ton 45 7 CHUBBY CHECKER Ray Charles-ton 45 7" 4 TRACK EX- US EP PARKWAY SUPER RARE Listen USD $29.99 Buy It Now 5h
The Artistry of Ray Charles LP in SHRINK The Artistry of Ray Charles LP in SHRINK USD $2.97 Buy It Now 5h
What'd I Say by Ray Charles  What'd I Say by Ray Charles  USD $30.00 Buy It Now 5h
Ray Charles - Do I Ever Cross Your Mind NL LP 1984 /3* Ray Charles - Do I Ever Cross Your Mind NL LP 1984 /3* USD $15.06 Buy It Now 6h
RAY CHARLES SINGERS RAY CHARLES SINGERS "FOREVER YOURS" LP Longines SYS 5067 Very Good Plus (VG+) USD $4.95 Buy It Now 6h
Ray Charles Ray Charles "Sweet & Sour Tears" 1964 Mono Original Vinyl LP #ABC 480 USD $6.00 (0 bids)
6h
Ray Charles, Crying Time ~ 1965 ABC-Paramount 45 Ray Charles, Crying Time ~ 1965 ABC-Paramount 45 USD $3.77 Buy It Now 6h
RAY CHARLES The Great Hits of Ray Charles (4 Track, 1964, Atlantic) RAY CHARLES The Great Hits of Ray Charles (4 Track, 1964, Atlantic) USD $3.99 Buy It Now 6h
Ray Charles - Genius Loves Company - Special Edition (CD & DVD, 2005) NEW Ray Charles - Genius Loves Company - Special Edition (CD & DVD, 2005) NEW USD $9.22 Buy It Now 6h
Ray Charles - The Early Years (CD 1995) NEW/SEALED Ray Charles - The Early Years (CD 1995) NEW/SEALED USD $16.09 Buy It Now 6h
Ray Charles - The Definitive Soul Collection - Greatest Hits (2CD) NEW/SEALED Ray Charles - The Definitive Soul Collection - Greatest Hits (2CD) NEW/SEALED USD $11.86 Buy It Now 6h
Ray Charles -- Modern Sounds in Country & Western Music v. 1 & 2 [LPs] Ray Charles -- Modern Sounds in Country & Western Music v. 1 & 2 [LPs] USD $30.92 Buy It Now 6h
ray charles careless love you dont know me 7 ray charles careless love you dont know me 7" 45rpm USD $6.95 Buy It Now 6h
Ray Charles-Right Time, The - The Platinum Collection  (UK IMPORT)  CD NEW Ray Charles-Right Time, The - The Platinum Collection (UK IMPORT) CD NEW USD $5.73 Buy It Now 6h
25th Anniversary Salute To Ray Charles double LP 1971 ABC ABCH-731 25th Anniversary Salute To Ray Charles double LP 1971 ABC ABCH-731 USD $12.95 Buy It Now 6h
Ray Charles - The Ray Charles Story - Double LP - Vinyl Record Ray Charles - The Ray Charles Story - Double LP - Vinyl Record USD $4.99 (0 bids)
6h
Ray Charles Ray Charles "Friendship" LP Album 1984 Columbia Records FC 39415 USD $3.99 Buy It Now 6h
Ray Charles-Forever (UK IMPORT) CD with DVD NEW Ray Charles-Forever (UK IMPORT) CD with DVD NEW USD $7.00 Buy It Now 6h
Ray Charles-Forever (UK IMPORT) CD with DVD NEW Ray Charles-Forever (UK IMPORT) CD with DVD NEW USD $7.89 Buy It Now 7h
1988 RARE SOUL CD: RAY CHARLES - GREATEST COUNTRY & WESTERN HITS (DCC) YOU DON'T 1988 RARE SOUL CD: RAY CHARLES - GREATEST COUNTRY & WESTERN HITS (DCC) YOU DON'T USD $6.99 (0 bids)
USD $9.09 Buy It Now
7h
Ray Charles - My World (Cassette, Tape) Working Great Tested Ray Charles - My World (Cassette, Tape) Working Great Tested USD $3.53 Buy It Now 7h
Ray Charles Sacramento Repro Tour POSTER Ray Charles Sacramento Repro Tour POSTER USD $6.59 Buy It Now 7h
The Ray Charles Singers Something Wonderful Stereo RS 827 SD LP Record album The Ray Charles Singers Something Wonderful Stereo RS 827 SD LP Record album USD $16.49 Buy It Now 7h
RAY CHARLES i want to talk about you / something inside me JUKEBOX STRIP  45 RAY CHARLES i want to talk about you / something inside me JUKEBOX STRIP 45 USD $3.49 Buy It Now 7h
PERRY COMO JAYE P MORGAN RAY CHARLES SINGERS chee chee-oo/two lost souls   45 PERRY COMO JAYE P MORGAN RAY CHARLES SINGERS chee chee-oo/two lost souls 45 USD $1.89 Buy It Now 7h
RAY CHARLES RAY CHARLES "DON'T SET ME FREE / THE BRIGHTEST SMILE IN TOWN" 45 USD $3.00 Buy It Now 7h
RAY CHARLES STRONG LOVE AFFAIR                                             cd691 RAY CHARLES STRONG LOVE AFFAIR cd691 USD $1.95 Buy It Now 7h
RAY CHARLES Crying Time Swedish 45PS 1966 RAY CHARLES Crying Time Swedish 45PS 1966 USD $12.37 Buy It Now 7h
Ray Charles: That's a Lie / Go On Home  [VG++ Copy] Ray Charles: That's a Lie / Go On Home [VG++ Copy] USD $14.97 Buy It Now 7h
Ray Charles: Making Believe / Busted    [VG Copy] Ray Charles: Making Believe / Busted [VG Copy] USD $4.97 Buy It Now 7h
"DOING HIS THING" RAY CHARLES 10 SELECTIONS ABC RECORDS STEREO 33 LP USD $20.99 Buy It Now 7h
Charles-Ray Charles & Percy Sledge  (UK IMPORT)  CD NEW Charles-Ray Charles & Percy Sledge (UK IMPORT) CD NEW USD $7.21 Buy It Now 7h
PROMO 45 Ray Charles - Just Because (Mono & Stereo)   ATLANTIC  VG+ PROMO 45 Ray Charles - Just Because (Mono & Stereo) ATLANTIC VG+ USD $3.50 Buy It Now 8h
Ray Charles: Come Live With Me / Everybody Sing   [Unplayed Copy] Ray Charles: Come Live With Me / Everybody Sing [Unplayed Copy] USD $5.97 Buy It Now 8h
Ray Sings, Basie Swings Ray Charles Ray Sings, Basie Swings Ray Charles USD $4.21 Buy It Now 8h
Ray Charles: Living for the City / Then We'll Be Home  [Unplayed Copy] Ray Charles: Living for the City / Then We'll Be Home [Unplayed Copy] USD $5.97 Buy It Now 8h
Ray Charles - Sings The Blues GER LP /3* Ray Charles - Sings The Blues GER LP /3* USD $14.30 Buy It Now 8h
Ray Charles The Genius ~ Rock Pop / Soul Gospel CD Ray Charles The Genius ~ Rock Pop / Soul Gospel CD USD $5.28 Buy It Now 8h
Genius Loves Company [Digipak] by Ray Charles CD [Used] Genius Loves Company [Digipak] by Ray Charles CD [Used] USD $7.73 Buy It Now 8h
RAY CHARLES RAY CHARLES " A TEAR FELL " 7" SINGLE HMV POP 1333 VERY GOOD+ FUNK SOUL 1964 USD $6.59 Buy It Now 8h
Ray Charles - Greatest Hits FRA 2LP 1975 /3* Ray Charles - Greatest Hits FRA 2LP 1975 /3* USD $14.30 Buy It Now 8h
"Blue Note Plays Ray Charles" Various Artists JAPAN PRESS USD $22.44 Buy It Now 8h
RAY CHARLES WALKIN & TALKIN cassette tape album T4553 RAY CHARLES WALKIN & TALKIN cassette tape album T4553 USD $5.27 Buy It Now 8h
Ray Charles - Blues Is My Middle Name, See see Rider, 4 Track EP, ARC-69 33rpm Ray Charles - Blues Is My Middle Name, See see Rider, 4 Track EP, ARC-69 33rpm USD $8.27 Buy It Now 8h
used 7in record, RAY CHARLES i can.t stop loving you used 7in record, RAY CHARLES i can.t stop loving you USD $0.33 (0 bids)
8h
Ray Charles  - More Music from Ray (CD, Feb-2005 Atlantic (Label)) Ray Charles - More Music from Ray (CD, Feb-2005 Atlantic (Label)) USD $4.39 Buy It Now 8h
THE RAY CHARLES SINGERS RECORDS VINTAGE TURNTABLE ALBUM MUSIC VINYL LP 33 THE RAY CHARLES SINGERS RECORDS VINTAGE TURNTABLE ALBUM MUSIC VINYL LP 33 USD $14.74 Buy It Now 8h
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RAY CHARLES Discography

RAY CHARLES albums / top albums

RAY CHARLES The Great Ray Charles album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Great Ray Charles
Jazz Related RnB 1957
RAY CHARLES Ray Charles (Hallelujah I Love Her So) album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Ray Charles (Hallelujah I Love Her So)
Jazz Related RnB 1958
RAY CHARLES The Genius of Ray Charles album cover 4.00 | 2 ratings
The Genius of Ray Charles
Jazz Related RnB 1959
RAY CHARLES What'd I Say album cover 5.00 | 1 ratings
What'd I Say
Jazz Related RnB 1960
RAY CHARLES The Genius Hits the Road album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Genius Hits the Road
Jazz Related RnB 1960
RAY CHARLES The Genius After Hours album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
The Genius After Hours
Jazz Related RnB 1961
RAY CHARLES Genius + Soul = Jazz album cover 4.25 | 2 ratings
Genius + Soul = Jazz
Jazz Related RnB 1961
RAY CHARLES Dedicated to You album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Dedicated to You
Jazz Related RnB 1961
RAY CHARLES Do the Twist! With Ray Charles album cover 3.00 | 1 ratings
Do the Twist! With Ray Charles
Jazz Related RnB 1961
RAY CHARLES The Genius Sings the Blues album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Genius Sings the Blues
Jazz Related RnB 1961
RAY CHARLES Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music album cover 4.34 | 3 ratings
Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music
Jazz Related RnB 1962
RAY CHARLES Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music, Volume 2 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music, Volume 2
Jazz Related RnB 1962
RAY CHARLES Ingredients in a Recipe for Soul album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Ingredients in a Recipe for Soul
Jazz Related RnB 1963
RAY CHARLES Sweet & Sour Tears album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Sweet & Sour Tears
Jazz Related RnB 1964
RAY CHARLES The Incomparable Ray Charles album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Incomparable Ray Charles
Jazz Related RnB 1964
RAY CHARLES Have a Smile With Me album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Have a Smile With Me
Jazz Related RnB 1964
RAY CHARLES Ray Charles Meets Jimmy Witherspoon album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Ray Charles Meets Jimmy Witherspoon
Jazz Related RnB 1965
RAY CHARLES Together Again album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Together Again
Jazz Related RnB 1965
RAY CHARLES The Sensational Ray Charles album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Sensational Ray Charles
Jazz Related RnB 1965
RAY CHARLES Ray's Moods album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Ray's Moods
Jazz Related RnB 1966
RAY CHARLES Cryin' Time album cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
Cryin' Time
Jazz Related RnB 1966
RAY CHARLES Ray Charles Invites You to Listen album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Ray Charles Invites You to Listen
Jazz Related RnB 1967
RAY CHARLES A Portrait of Ray album cover 2.50 | 1 ratings
A Portrait of Ray
Jazz Related RnB 1968
RAY CHARLES I'm All Yours--Baby! album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
I'm All Yours--Baby!
Jazz Related RnB 1969
RAY CHARLES Doing His Thing album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Doing His Thing
Jazz Related RnB 1969
RAY CHARLES Love Country Style album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Love Country Style
Jazz Related RnB 1970
RAY CHARLES My Kind Of Jazz album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
My Kind Of Jazz
Jazz Related RnB 1970
RAY CHARLES Volcanic Action of My Soul album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Volcanic Action of My Soul
Jazz Related RnB 1971
RAY CHARLES A Message From the People album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
A Message From the People
Jazz Related RnB 1972
RAY CHARLES True to Life album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
True to Life
Jazz Related RnB 1977
RAY CHARLES Brother Ray is at it again! album cover 1.50 | 1 ratings
Brother Ray is at it again!
Jazz Related RnB 1980
RAY CHARLES Friendship album cover 2.00 | 1 ratings
Friendship
Jazz Related RnB 1984
RAY CHARLES Just Between Us album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Just Between Us
Jazz Related RnB 1988
RAY CHARLES Rockin' Chair Blues album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Rockin' Chair Blues
Jazz Related RnB 1990
RAY CHARLES Would You Believe album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Would You Believe
Jazz Related RnB 1990
RAY CHARLES My World album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
My World
Jazz Related RnB 1993
RAY CHARLES Strong Love Affair album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Strong Love Affair
Jazz Related RnB 1995
RAY CHARLES The Spirit of Christmas album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Spirit of Christmas
Jazz Related RnB 1997
RAY CHARLES Thanks for Bringing Love Around Again album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Thanks for Bringing Love Around Again
Jazz Related RnB 2002
RAY CHARLES Genius Loves Company album cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
Genius Loves Company
Jazz Related RnB 2004
RAY CHARLES Genius & Friends album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Genius & Friends
Jazz Related RnB 2005
RAY CHARLES Ray Sings, Basie Swings album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Ray Sings, Basie Swings
Jazz Related RnB 2006

RAY CHARLES EPs & splits

RAY CHARLES live albums

RAY CHARLES Ray Charles at Newport album cover 5.00 | 1 ratings
Ray Charles at Newport
Jazz Related RnB 1958
RAY CHARLES In Person album cover 4.00 | 2 ratings
In Person
Jazz Related RnB 1960
RAY CHARLES Ray Charles Live in Concert album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Ray Charles Live in Concert
Jazz Related RnB 1965
RAY CHARLES Ray Charles Live album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Ray Charles Live
Jazz Related RnB 1993
RAY CHARLES Jazz at the Philharmonic: Berlin, 1962 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Jazz at the Philharmonic: Berlin, 1962
Jazz Related RnB 1996
RAY CHARLES Live At The Montreux Jazz Festival album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Live At The Montreux Jazz Festival
Jazz Related RnB 2002
RAY CHARLES Ray, Rare and Live album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Ray, Rare and Live
Jazz Related RnB 2003
RAY CHARLES At the Olympia 2000 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
At the Olympia 2000
Jazz Related RnB 2004
RAY CHARLES Ray Charles Orchestra - Zurich 1961 - Swiss Radio Days Vol. 41 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Ray Charles Orchestra - Zurich 1961 - Swiss Radio Days Vol. 41
Jazz Related Pop/Art Song/Folk 2016

RAY CHARLES demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

RAY CHARLES re-issues & compilations

RAY CHARLES Genius + Soul = Jazz album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Genius + Soul = Jazz
Jazz Related RnB 1961
RAY CHARLES Spotlight On Ray Charles album cover 3.00 | 1 ratings
Spotlight On Ray Charles
Jazz Related RnB 1962
RAY CHARLES Spotlight On Ray Charles Vol. II album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Spotlight On Ray Charles Vol. II
Jazz Related RnB 1962
RAY CHARLES The Best of Ray Charles album cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
The Best of Ray Charles
Jazz Related RnB 1970
RAY CHARLES Ray Charles-Arbee Stidham-Lil Son Jackson-James Wayne album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Ray Charles-Arbee Stidham-Lil Son Jackson-James Wayne
Jazz Related RnB 1971
RAY CHARLES The Tender Side Of Ray Charles album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Tender Side Of Ray Charles
Jazz Related RnB 1978
RAY CHARLES The Legend Lives album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Legend Lives
Jazz Related RnB 1981
RAY CHARLES I Can't Stop Loving You album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
I Can't Stop Loving You
Jazz Related RnB 1985
RAY CHARLES His Greatest Hits, Volume 1 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
His Greatest Hits, Volume 1
Jazz Related RnB 1987
RAY CHARLES The Great Ray Charles album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Great Ray Charles
Jazz Related RnB 1987
RAY CHARLES His Greatest Hits, Volume 2 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
His Greatest Hits, Volume 2
Jazz Related RnB 1987
RAY CHARLES Anthology album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Anthology
Jazz Related RnB 1988
RAY CHARLES Ray Charles 16 Greatest Hits album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Ray Charles 16 Greatest Hits
Jazz Related RnB 1988
RAY CHARLES The Wonderful World of Ray Charles: 20 Golden Hits album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Wonderful World of Ray Charles: 20 Golden Hits
Jazz Related RnB 1989
RAY CHARLES Seven Spanish Angels and Other Hits album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Seven Spanish Angels and Other Hits
Jazz Related RnB 1990
RAY CHARLES The Birth of Soul album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Birth of Soul
Jazz Related RnB 1991
RAY CHARLES His Greatest Hits (Uh-Huh) album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
His Greatest Hits (Uh-Huh)
Jazz Related RnB 1992
RAY CHARLES Hit The Road Jack album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Hit The Road Jack
Jazz Related RnB 1994
RAY CHARLES The Best of Ray Charles: The Atlantic Years album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Best of Ray Charles: The Atlantic Years
Jazz Related RnB 1994
RAY CHARLES Blues + Jazz album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Blues + Jazz
Jazz Related RnB 1994
RAY CHARLES Jazz & Blues Collection 3: Ray Charles album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Jazz & Blues Collection 3: Ray Charles
Jazz Related RnB 1995
RAY CHARLES Ingredients in a Recipe for Soul / Have a Smile With Me album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Ingredients in a Recipe for Soul / Have a Smile With Me
Jazz Related RnB 1997
RAY CHARLES Genius & Soul: The 50th Anniversary Collection album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Genius & Soul: The 50th Anniversary Collection
Jazz Related RnB 1997
RAY CHARLES The Complete Country & Western Recordings: 1959-1986 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Complete Country & Western Recordings: 1959-1986
Jazz Related RnB 1998
RAY CHARLES Ultimate Hits Collection album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Ultimate Hits Collection
Jazz Related RnB 1999
RAY CHARLES Love Songs album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Love Songs
Jazz Related RnB 1999
RAY CHARLES Let's Have a Ball album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Let's Have a Ball
Jazz Related RnB 2000
RAY CHARLES The Very Best of Ray Charles album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Very Best of Ray Charles
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RAY CHARLES Sings for America album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Sings for America
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RAY CHARLES Ray's Blues album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Ray's Blues
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RAY CHARLES Georgia on My Mind album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Georgia on My Mind
Jazz Related RnB 2002
RAY CHARLES The Essential Collection album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Essential Collection
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RAY CHARLES Sentimental Blues album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Sentimental Blues
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RAY CHARLES A Sentimental Blues album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
A Sentimental Blues
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RAY CHARLES Blues & Soul Man album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Blues & Soul Man
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RAY CHARLES Mess Around album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Mess Around
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RAY CHARLES I Wonder Who's Kissing Her Now? album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
I Wonder Who's Kissing Her Now?
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RAY CHARLES This Is Gold album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
This Is Gold
Jazz Related RnB 2004
RAY CHARLES Ray album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Ray
Jazz Related RnB 2005
RAY CHARLES Pure Genius: The Complete Atlantic Recordings (1952-1959) album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Pure Genius: The Complete Atlantic Recordings (1952-1959)
Jazz Related RnB 2005
RAY CHARLES Brother Ray's Blues album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Brother Ray's Blues
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RAY CHARLES A Genius and His Music album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
A Genius and His Music
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RAY CHARLES The Definitive Ray Charles album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Definitive Ray Charles
Jazz Related RnB 2006
RAY CHARLES The Definitive Soul Collection album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Definitive Soul Collection
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RAY CHARLES The Way I Feel album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Way I Feel
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RAY CHARLES The Definitive Anthology album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Definitive Anthology
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RAY CHARLES Blues Before Sunrise album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Blues Before Sunrise
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RAY CHARLES Black Jack album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Black Jack
Jazz Related RnB 2008
RAY CHARLES The Great album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Great
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RAY CHARLES I Got a Woman album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
I Got a Woman
Jazz Related RnB 2009
RAY CHARLES Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music Volumes 1 & 2 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music Volumes 1 & 2
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RAY CHARLES Genius: The Ultimate Collection album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Genius: The Ultimate Collection
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RAY CHARLES Reviews

RAY CHARLES Spotlight On Ray Charles

Boxset / Compilation · 1962 · Jazz Related RnB
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js
“Spotlight on Ray Charles” is a Pickwick label compilation from 1962 that shows up a lot in thrift stores and used record shops, yet no one seems to know much about it. Pickwick is one of the most notorious cheap labels ever. The unwitting buyer of this album should be glad that the songs are actually performed by Charles, because Pickwick was known for putting out albums on which a famous artist’s songs would be played by Pickwick staff musicians, without a trace of the artist featured on the album cover, a fact often hidden with tiny print.

This album comes with very little information, except some false information about a George Brown Orchestra that apparently does not appear on any tracks. Instead, about half of the songs on here feature Charles from very early in his career (approx 1949) playing and crooning in a laid back jazz/blues trio in a style very similar to Nat King Cole. If you are mostly familiar with Ray’s later revved up RnB hits such as “What I’d Say”, these songs show a whole nother side to brother Ray. The other half of the songs on “Spotlight” are totally different and feature rough early rock n roll/jump blues instrumentals with a very loud honkin saxophone in the style of Arnett Cobb or Jay McNeely. Since the album cover is no help, a little research reveals that several of these rockin tunes come from a session in 1952, but no credits were given for that session. Ray was working with a variety of tenor players at that time, so its hard to tell who the lead sax man is. All of these songs are quite good and this could have been a decent compilation if they had put one style on one side of the album, and the other on the other side, but instead they mixed them together in strict alternation for irrational reasons unknown.

Even with the obtuse mixture of styles, this still isn’t too bad of a compilation, and since its Pickwick, it sells for cheap. Anyone interested in hearing what Ray Charles was doing before he became a well known RnB singer should pick this up. The early jazz/blues tunes are nice, and the honkin RnR should liven up any social occasion. Its interesting hearing some of this old ‘honkin’ rockin sax style, listening to the horn used in such a loud forceful and almost primitive way makes you realize where early 60s avant-garde guys like Albert Alyer and Archie Shepp were coming from, in many ways, they were just bringing back the prevalent jump blues style of the 40s and taking it for an extended ride.

RAY CHARLES Genius + Soul = Jazz

Boxset / Compilation · 1961 · Jazz Related RnB
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Chicapah
I once saw an interview with the accomplished actor Morgan Freeman in which he expressed how much he disliked being referred to as a black actor. “I’m an actor,” he stated flatly. In the same vein, if Ray Charles was still with us I expect that he’d prefer not to be revered as a blind, black musician but simply as “a musician” in the broadest and most respectful sense of the term. Yet his importance can’t be overstated. Beginning his career in the midst of an era when the color barrier in America was still as strong as steel he played a big part in punching some sizeable holes in that wall simply by carrying on as if it didn’t exist. He refused to be quarantined in any particular niche of music and certainly didn’t limit himself to just being a soulful R&B singer. This is especially remarkable considering he’d just set the world on fire with his first big hit tune, “What’d I Say,” as the revolutionary 60s started up. His new, game-changing contract with ABC-Paramount records had granted him unparalleled artistic freedom and he wasn’t about to squander the opportunities it afforded him. “Genius + Soul = Jazz” offers proof positive that he felt he could successfully do any style he felt a passion for because most of the songs included are jazzy instrumentals. The man was a phenomenon. And he was fearless.

In December of 1960 Ray went into the studio with a slew of musicians borrowed from Count Basie’s renowned ensemble and, along with the experienced arranger Ralph Burns as well as the heralded up-and-comer Quincy Jones, knocked out a host of dynamite songs that featured him comfortably seated in front of the incomparable Hammond organ. I guarantee that if you’re even a casual fan of big band jazz you’d be doing yourself a huge favor by acquiring a copy of these sessions. What these tunes lack in technical proficiency they more than make up for in unbridled excitement and raw enthusiasm. If you didn’t know Mr. Charles had this side to him then I urge you to explore “Genius + Soul = Jazz” ASAP. It’s quite unique and a hell of an entertaining listen.

Ray comes out with guns ‘a blazin’ for his cover of “From the Heart.” It’s an excellent, aggressive jazz orchestra performance that lets the budding prodigy (Charles was but 22 years old at the time) show off his skills on the mighty B3. He was no stranger to its aural charms, so it seems. This album is not without a few vocal numbers and their bawdy rendition of the blues standard “I’ve Got News for You” is priceless. Ray belts out this classic as well as anyone ever has and the bold horn section kills without remorse. They follow with a strong, in-your-face version of “Moanin’” and then spring into “Let’s Go,” an energy-filled number possessing tightly-knit horn harmonies and a handful of blistering solos from selected boys in the band. The light Bossa Nova rhythm they build “One Mint Julep” upon provides a nice change-of-pace and I always love it when the hired help gets to vocalize en masse as they do from time to time here. Charles mans the microphone once again for “I’m Gonna Move to the Outskirts of Town” and his young, unfettered voice is impeccable as he fronts this devastatingly great and confident collection of seasoned professionals. Ray’s organ solo sizzles and pops like bacon grease frying in a hot cast iron skillet.

A traditional big band groove propels “Stompin’ Room Only” gracefully through a series of ascending key changes that hoist your mood up along for the climb. A walking bass line pushes “Mister C” relentlessly and the brazen brass arrangement is loud and sassy. “Strike Up the Band” is more high-quality stuff. They just don’t put ‘em together like this anymore, ya know? They take a much more subtle approach for “Birth of the Blues” and you’ll be mesmerized by the lazy momentum that lopes underneath the lush horns. This repackaged CD also includes several vocal pieces from that same era of Charles’ distinguished career, starting with his gruff but delightfully jazzy cover of “Alabamy Bound.” For “Basin Street Blues” Ray slides over to his trusty piano and does the old gem true justice. The disc ends with “New York’s My Home” where his playful, conversational vocal breakdowns showcase Charles’ uncanny phrasing and God-given technique to the max. It’s not to be missed.

In various biographies it’s been documented that during this period Ray was intent on further exploring his interpretative side by taking on some of the recognized chestnuts of big band jazz music and adding his own personal twist to them. As good a bandleader as he turned out to be, I can’t say enough about the crackerjack arrangements scored by Burns and Jones, though. The blasts jump right out of the speakers at you and make you feel like you’re right there in the cozy studio with the fellas. The release of the original LP didn’t exactly set the world ablaze but I’m sure that Charles didn’t mind for he didn’t do it for the moolah it would bring in. He did it because he had no doubt it would be worthwhile and, more importantly, because he could.

RAY CHARLES Genius Loves Company

Album · 2004 · Jazz Related RnB
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Chicapah
Often when a famous person passes away and a great memorial is held to celebrate their life the sentiment is expressed that such a respectful gathering of their peers and admirers should’ve been done while they were still alive. In rare cases someone recognizes that time is running out for a beloved icon and they go about arranging for a host of their friends to pay homage to them while they’re still able to not only enjoy but to take part in the occasion. That’s what happened when John Burk, Executive V.P. of Concord Records, instigated and headed up the project that became Ray Charles’ final studio album, “Genius Loves Company.” Ray had terminal lung cancer and his days were numbered so between June ’03 and March ’04 Burk arranged for some of the biggest names in music to pair up with Charles, thereby paying tribute to him in the way that was most appropriate; by making music with him.

The album starts with a cross-generational duet featuring Ray and the relatively young Norah Jones on “Here We Go Again.” This light piece of countrified blues provides a smooth entry point for this record and their unique yet very different voices match up surprisingly well. Special mention must be made of Billy Preston’s Hammond B3 solo. It cuts like a hot knife through butter. James Taylor joins the party for his swinging, Motown-flavored R&B ditty, “Sweet Potato Pie,” in which Randy Waldman’s horn arrangement nearly steals the show. Irvin Kramer’s guitar tone is excellent and his punctuating licks are tasteful as can be while the vocal interplay between Charles and Taylor is playfully entertaining. The beautiful, heartbreaking “You Don’t Know Me” is next and, while it would be impossible for Ray to top his original vocal performance from ’62 (he doesn’t), Diana Krall’s sexy voice more than fulfills her role in the rendition and she does the tune proper justice. Session producer Phil Ramone is to be commended for including some intriguing accents in the score that keep it from being an exact copy. All of the tracks on this album are high quality but some rise to exemplary status and the first of them to do so is Charles and Elton John’s collaboration on “Sorry Seems to be the Hardest Word.” Victor Vanacore played a big part in this record by providing several orchestral arrangements that are absolutely scintillating, none more so than on this cut. His dramatic strings make this an incredibly intense and moving number from top to bottom as both singers emote magnificently on this resonating song of remorse. Neither of them have the chops they owned in their prime but their undaunted passion is ageless.

The fantastic “Fever” follows and it’s given a slinky jazz feel accentuated by Waldman’s cool keyboard work. Natalie Cole and Brother Ray, as expected, expertly avoid over-singing this Peggy Lee staple. Bonnie Raitt stops by to help out on “Do I Ever Cross Your Mind?” and her pleasant rasp and fluid slide guitar injections are nice but I kept waiting for something exceptional to happen as they strolled through the track and it never occurs. This well-intentioned but ultimately bland blend of country and blues marks the nadir of the album. No one on the planet can successfully meld with Willie Nelson’s nasally timbre. Even the astute Mr. Charles can’t do it. But despite that dilemma, “It Was a Very Good Year” works brilliantly due primarily to Vanacore’s lush orchestration. It adds a terrific classical personality to this Sinatra mainstay and emphasizes both vocalists’ ability to tell a story rather than forcing them to sing like canaries. “Hey Girl” is a simple tune I’ve always liked a lot and I’d have liked it plenty enough here just because of Michael McDonald’s inimitable crooning so the addition of Ray is a delightful bonus. The unaccredited trumpet solo is striking and the song sports the most stylish ending on the entire record. “Sinner’s Prayer” is nothing but da blooz since it brings B.B. King into the spotlight and, as such, it’s quite predictable. B.B. is no spring chicken himself, though, and Charles gets the best of him vocally. Unfortunately, while King is a true legend, his guitar ride is way too tentative to adequately supply the pizzazz the track cries out for.

“Heaven Help Us All” with Gladys Knight is a gem. This glorious mix of R&B and Gospel fires on all cylinders as the bright horns and the full choir grace this inspiring tune with a classy sheen. Gladys is still as good as gold. The aging chestnut “Over the Rainbow” receives an engaging jazz treatment and the combo of Johnny Mathis and Ray is to be savored like a fine bottle of wine. Once again it’s Vanacore’s symphonic score that sends this soaring into the stratosphere. The cream of the crop, however, was saved for last. Van Morrison is one of my favorite singers of all time and with he and Ray Charles both doing their thing on “Crazy Love” I can only ask “What’s not to love about it?” Great tune, great vocals and great performances all around the horn and the fact that it was captured live only adds the intangible magic of spontaneity. They couldn’t have closed this record any better than that.

Sadly the world lost Ray in June of 2004 so he didn’t get to witness what a huge smash this album became after its release 2 months later. It went triple platinum, won 8 Grammy awards (including Album of the Year) and became the 2nd #1 album of his marvelous career. I can’t think of a more fitting send off for this bonafide legend who touched untold millions with his music. There’ll never be another one like him and even though this is far from being a masterpiece it more than stands on its own as a damn fine record. It shows that Ray Charles was singing his heart out till the last curtain call and that he left this mortal coil doing exactly what he was born to do.

RAY CHARLES In Person

Live album · 1960 · Jazz Related RnB
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Chicapah
As primitive as studio environment recording technology still was in the late 50s (relative to today’s standards, at least) taping music in a live setting was downright archaic. That’s why so few of the in-concert albums released before the game-changing innovations in aural science were inaugurated in the 60s (making such a thing practical) are worth listening to. In the rare instances that an on-stage record was above average in sound quality it was due more often than not to a deity-ordained stroke of dumb luck and atmospheric conditions that were absolutely perfect for one solitary microphone to capture a decent mix of instrumentation. Evidently that’s what happened on May 28th, 1959 when Ray Charles and his band played at Herndon Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia.

The occasion was the 5th anniversary of radio station WAOK and Ray was just one of many stars who were asked to perform. Ruth Brown, Roy Hamilton, The Drifters, Huey Smith and the Clowns, Jimmy Reed, B.B. King and Buddy Johnson were also on the bill. As is usually the case with outdoor extravaganzas, it rained cats and dogs and the enormous crowd that had been anticipated dwindled to around nine thousand because of the weather. Yet those hardy souls who endured the elements were treated to what was said to be a stellar day of music and by the time Charles and his ensemble took the stage the mood-killing precipitation had ceased to be a threat. According to the liner notes a single mike was set up on a stand 100 feet from the front of the platform and the tiny reel-to-reel tape deck it was attached to was dutifully placed in record mode. The result is a journey back in time before elaborate, efficient public address systems were even dreamed of coming into existence and the distance between an artist and his audience was kept to a minimum out of sheer necessity. However, this is no novelty album to be admired because it’s “quaint.” The quality of the musicianship and the energized response of those in attendance one can noticeably detect in the background make this a special album, indeed.

Starting off with “The Right Time,” what jumps right out at you is Ray’s incredible voice. It’s flat-out amazing and this blues standard never sounded as good as it does here because of it. Marjorie Hendricks steps up in the middle segment and conveys true, sassy anger in her singing but she’s no match for Ray’s soaring, in-his-prime chops. They don’t skip a beat in leaping right into the inimitable beginning of his huge hit, “What’d I Say,” and you can sense the excitement rising in the gathering up until the moment Charles’s inimitable vocal cuts through the tension like a samurai sword. The playful exchanges that take place between him and the Raylettes are fantastic and the crowd responds accordingly. “Yes Indeed” is an up-tempo shuffle with a hint of gospel tossed in. David Newman’s tenor saxophone solo is sharp and clear. Ray and his talented group then present a great rendition of Milt Jackson’s jazz classic, “The Spirit Feel.” On this instrumental everyone in the horn section gets a chance to shine in the spotlight and you get the sensation that this is the song they looked forward to performing at every gig.

An unusual intro graces “Frenesi,” an instrumental tune by Alberto Dominguez that sports a cool, slinky Bossa Nova rhythm slithering underneath an intriguing melody. Once again the saxophones and trumpets take turns in making strong personal statements. The apex of the proceedings just may be their inspired take on “Drown In My Own Tears.” They lay down a smooth, slow-as-dripping-molasses groove for this big band version of a revered blues mainstay. The tightness of the group shows off their professionalism and experience while Charles delivers a devastating vocal performance that sends the audience into a frenzy. When the Raylettes appear towards the end of the number it’s akin to a visitation by the angels. The album closes with the infectious R&B rhythm of “Tell The Truth.” Marjorie takes over the lead singing duties for this one and, while she’s nothing extraordinary, the track is worth sitting through just to hear Ray whoop and holler with abandon in the late goings. Let’s just say that James Brown had nothin’ on this cat!

The crowd reportedly stood on its feet and screamed for an encore for ten minutes after Charles bid them “adios” but other acts were waiting to go on and Ray declined to return to the stage in deference to them. I don’t doubt for a second that he left ‘em begging for more, though. I can only imagine how exhilarating one of his shows was back then and, thanks to fortune smiling on mankind that night in ’59, we can catch a glimpse of the magic spell he could almost effortlessly weave for his legion of fans. Ray Charles was swinging the world by the tail in that era and there was no stopping him. Check it out.

RAY CHARLES Brother Ray is at it again!

Album · 1980 · Jazz Related RnB
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Chicapah
The impact that the great Ray Charles had on music in the 60s is immeasurable. He did more to break down barriers between blacks and whites through the unbiased power of music than all of the brave freedom riders put together. His stubborn determination in refusing to limit himself to any particular genre (as exemplified by his groundbreaking album “Modern Sounds in Country & Western Music”) opened countless doors that might’ve remained closed for several more years if it wasn’t for his taking such a risky, courageous stance. But the 70s weren’t as good to Ray. Aural artists of all races and creeds sped around him and through the very breaches in the walls that he helped to make possible. In retrospect Charles wasn’t so much an innovator as he was a fearless pioneer so while the likes of Stevie Wonder and Miles Davis used advances in sound technology to expand the horizons of what was possible Ray was figuratively left behind in their wake. In a way he was like Moses in that he proved to his brothers and sisters they could (and had every right to) live and thrive in the promise land of unlimited opportunity while he himself could only gaze upon it from the mountain top.

I was always more of an admirer of Ray Charles than a dedicated fan so when he disappeared from the spotlight in the early 70s I can’t say that I noticed or rued his absence. He was too young to be regarded as an iconic relic but too old to be considered relevant. In the 80s he would start to be viewed as a national treasure and be deservedly honored for his vast contributions to society and the music industry as a whole but until then he’d sadly become more of a follower than a leader. I sense that he was trying to figure out where and how he and his craft fit into the wild, ever-changing musical climate that was the 70s and “Brother Ray is At It Again!” is quite representative of that struggle. Being included in the cast of “The Blues Brothers” movie gave him a boost of much-needed exposure and that impressive cameo may have led me to consider this record in 1980. I was also curious as to how he would interpret two songs I was partial to so I took the big chance and brought this one home without hearing it.

Gene McDaniels’ “Compared to What” has always been one of my favorite tunes and Ray begins the disc with his own version. The disheartening disco rhythm he attaches to it is extremely unnerving and disappointing at first but its tight stops and his inimitable, one-of-a-kind voice goes a long way in making it somewhat palatable. There’s no listing of the studio cats that played on the sessions but the guitar and synth work are surprisingly exciting as they add a bit of pizzazz to what could’ve been an absolute travesty. The better cuts on the album are next and “Any Way You Want To” arrives first. It has a slow, funky groove and the number excels on many levels ranging from the female chorale to the subdued horns to the sprightly synthesizer solo. Ray’s vocal is as strong and confident as ever. “Don’t You Love Me Anymore?” is a fine contemporary ballad in which Charles brightens the mood with some of his trademark blues-styled singing to keep it from becoming too mushy. The flugelhorn ride is exquisite and is backed by a lush string section. “A Poor Man’s Song” follows but it signals a downturn in the proceedings. Yet another lame disco beat pulses underneath it but at least he doesn’t get lazy and let it run on and on interminably. Crisp horns embellish Mike Paul’s perky arrangement but they’re not enough to pull this tune from the pit of mediocrity.

“Now That We’ve Found Each Other” has a too-smooth AOR flow going on for me to fully endorse it but I can say that it’s pleasant enough for a basic love song. Other than an energized horn arrangement there’s not much to write home about, though. The other tune that I bought the LP for is The Band’s fun “Ophelia.” I thought this would be right up Charles’ alley but he makes the fatal mistakes of rushing it horribly and stupidly trying to turn it into a disco dance track. By 1980 that overdone, mind-numbing trend was finally falling from grace with the public but Ray didn’t get the memo, evidently, so it only further shows how far he was lagging behind the times. Somebody laid down some cool slide guitar but that’s the only upside I can find to report. “I Can’t Change It” is a bluesy thing delivered with a gospel feel, bolstered by a large chorale and some clever synth lines. Still, there’s an unsettling atmosphere hovering about it that emanates from it sounding like he was forcing the issue. Charles wrote the closer, “Questions,” and it’s a case of light funk interacting with a heavy dose of modern day blues. Ray has a touch of anger and a bitter, sarcastic attitude residing in his voice as he vents his unbridled complaints about the sorry state society was in and it’s refreshingly invigorating. The song isn’t much, musically speaking, but his fiery vocal is worth a listen or two.

From scanning over his lengthy discography it becomes clear that throughout his long life he continued to record incessantly and never lost his zeal for making music. The problem is that the majority of it was predictably safe and too much of it was pedestrian at best. Don’t get me wrong. I would never disparage Ray Charles or play down his immense talent and importance but I would be less than responsible if I didn’t warn you of what you might discover should you invest in some of the albums he made after the 60s were over. This record’s title of “Brother Ray is At It Again!” is appropriate but they should’ve added the subtitle of “…and it’s more of the same old stuff.” This is not how I choose to remember his legend or his legacy.

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