The Rough Guide to Ray Charles

Ray Charles

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In Stock
Delivery Estimate
2-5 days
Soul/R&B, Rhythm and Blues
World Music Network
March 31, 2017

Format: Compact Disc



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Ray Charles Robinson was born into acute poverty in rural Georgia in 1930 and had a tragic upbringing. He witnessed his brother drown as a young child, was blind from the age of seven and lost his mother when he was 15. 'Music was the only thing that kept me breathing and gave me a way to pick myself up,' he told this writer.

At blind school he learnt to read and write music in braille and began his recording career for the Downbeat label in 1949, singing in a smooth, crooning style modelled on Nat 'King' Cole and Charles Brown.

He enjoyed some early success but it was not until he signed to Atlantic Records in 1952 that he began to develop his own style and, with the encouragement of label owner Ahmet Ertegun, moved away from his 'cool' sound towards a more urgent and emotional approach with its roots in blues and gospel.

The turning point came on 1954's 'I Got A Woman'. A huge hit, the song was also highly controversial for its fusion of gospel fervour and carnal lyrics which even Charles' religious wife admitted shocked her when she first heard it.

The controversy soon subsided and a string of unforgettable hits followed, including 'This Little Girl Of Mine, Drown In My Own Tears', 'Hallelujah I Love Her So', 'Lonely Avenue', 'Talking 'Bout You', 'I Believe To My Soul' and 'The Night Time Is The Right Time', all of which are included here.
On these recordings, Charles fused jazz, gospel, swing, blues, r&b and balladry, which, as Van Morrison put it, were 'rolled together into one amazing, soulful thing.'

He left Atlantic at the end of the 1950s and although there were still some great records to come, few would argue that the tracks included here represent his golden period when he was the undisputed 'genius of soul'.

More Info

Key Value
Catalogue number RGNET1356CD
Barcode 0605633135626
Number of items 1
Packaging type Digipak
Imported No
Weight 36g
Dimensions (LxWxH) 140mm x 4mm x 126mm

Disc 1

Track Listing — Disc 1

Song Title Time
1. Come Rain Or Come Shine -
2. What'd I Say (Parts 1 & 2) -
3. Lonely Avenue -
4. I Got A Woman -
5. Georgia On My Mind -
6. Hallelujah I Love Her So -
7. Drown In My Own Tears -
8. Early In The Morning -
9. Night Time Is The Right Time -
10. Mess Around -
11. I Believe To My Soul -
12. Mary Ann -
13. Come Back Baby -
14. This Little Girl Of Mine -
15. Sinner's Prayer -
16. Talkin' ‘Bout You -
17. A Fool For You -
18. Let The Good Times Roll -
19. Blackjack -
20. I Had A Dream -
21. Tell Me How Do You Feel -
22. It Should've Been Me -
23. I’m Moving On -