My Bonnie - Ray Charles - The Ray Charles Story Volume Two Charles Robinson September 23, — June 10, was an American singer, songwriter, musician, and composer. Among friends and fellow musicians he preferred being called "Brother Ray". He was often referred to as "The Genius. Charles pioneered the soul music genre during the s by On Bended Knee - Boyz II Men - II bluesrhythm and bluesand gospel styles into the music he recorded for Atlantic.
Charles is a time Grammy Award winner. Their friendship lasted until the end of Charles's life. Frank Sinatra called Ray Charles "the only true genius in show business," although Charles downplayed this notion. His mother was a teenage orphan making a living as a sharecropper. The Robinson family had informally adopted Aretha, and she took the surname Robinson.
When she became pregnant by Bailey, incurring scandal, she left Greenville late in the summer of to be with family members in Albany, Georgia for the baby's birth, after which mother and child returned to Greenville. She and Mary Jane then shared in Ray's upbringing. He was deeply devoted to his mother and later recalled her perseverance, self-sufficiency, and pride as guiding lights in his life. His father abandoned the family, left Greenville, and married another woman elsewhere.
In his early years, Charles showed an interest in mechanical objects and would often watch his neighbors working on their cars and farm machinery. His My Bonnie - Ray Charles - The Ray Charles Story Volume Two curiosity was sparked at Wylie Pitman's Red Wing Cafe, at the age of three, when Pitman played boogie woogie on an old upright piano ; Pitman subsequently taught Charles how to play Merciless Fate - Dark Tranquillity - Atoma piano.
Charles and his mother were always welcome at the Red Wing Cafe and even lived there when they were in financial distress. George drowned in his mother's laundry tub when he was four years old.
Charles started to lose his sight at the age of four  or five,  and was blind by the age of seven, apparently as a result of glaucoma. Augustine from to Charles further developed his musical talent at school  and was taught to play the classical piano music of J.
BachMozart and Beethoven. His teacher, Mrs. Lawrence, taught him how to use braille musica difficult process that requires learning the left hand movements by reading braille with the right hand and learning the right hand movements by reading braille with the left hand, and then combining the two parts. While Charles was happy to play classical music, he was more interested in the jazzbluesand country music he heard on the radio.
On both Halloween and on George Washington's birthday, the black department of the school held socials at which Charles would play.
Ray Charles' mother died in the Spring ofwhen Ray was Her death came as a shock to him; he later said the deaths of his brother and mother were "the two great tragedies" of his life.
Charles returned to school after the funeral but was expelled in October for playing a prank on his teacher. After leaving school, Charles moved to Jacksonville to live with Charles Wayne Powell, an couple who had been friends with his late mother. He joined the musicians' union in the hope that it would help him get work.
He befriended many union members, but others were less kind to him because he would monopolize the union hall's piano, since he did not have one at home. He started to build a reputation as a talented musician in Jacksonville, but the jobs did not come fast enough for him to construct a strong identity.
He decided to leave Jacksonville and move to a bigger city with more opportunities. At age 16, Charles moved to Orlando, where he lived in borderline poverty and went without food for days. Joes" left to entertain. Charles eventually started to write arrangements for a pop music band, and in the summer of he unsuccessfully auditioned to play piano for Lucky Millinder and his sixteen-piece band.
InCharles moved My Bonnie - Ray Charles - The Ray Charles Story Volume Two Tampa, where he had two jobs: one as a pianist for Charles Brantley's Honeydippers. In his early career, he modeled himself on Nat King Cole. Charles had always played piano for other people, but he was keen to have his own band. He decided to leave Florida for a large city, and, considering Chicago and New York City too big, followed his friend Gossie McKee to Seattle, Washington, in Marchknowing that the biggest radio hits came from northern cities.
He started playing the one-to-five A. Publicity photos of the trio are some of the earliest known photographs of Charles. Inhis performance in a Miami hotel impressed Henry Stonewho went on to record a Ray Charles Rockin' record which never became particularly popular. During his stay in Miami, Charles was required to stay in the segregated but thriving black community of Overtown.
Stone later helped Jerry Wexler find Charles in St. Late inCharles recorded " I've Got a Woman ". The lyrics were written by bandleader Renald Richard.
Charles claimed the composition. In" What'd I Say " reached No. Byhe was not only headlining black venues such as the Apollo Theater in New York, but also bigger venues such as Carnegie Hall and the Newport Jazz Festival where his first live album was recorded in He hired a female singing group, The Cookiesand renamed them The Raelettes. Sammy Davis Jr. The event featured the top four prominent disc jockey of Los Angeles. Charles reached the pinnacle of his success at Atlantic with the release of " What'd I Say ", which combined gospel, jazz, blues and Latin music.
Charles said he wrote it spontaneously while he was performing in clubs with his band. Despite some radio stations banning the song because of its sexually suggestive lyrics, the song became his first top ten pop record.
Later inhe released his first country song a cover of Hank Snow 's " I'm Movin' On " and recorded three more albums for the label: a jazz record The Genius After Hours; a blues record The Genius Sings the Blues; and a big band record The Genius of Ray Charleswhich was his first Top 40 album, peaking at number His contract with Atlantic expired inand several big The Red Forest - Bruno Coulais / Various - Nomaden Der Lüfte offered him record deals; choosing not to renegotiate his contract with Growth Comes - Utah Jazz - Presents The Music Factory (LP Sampler), he signed with ABC-Paramount in November Written by Stuart Gorrell and Hoagy Carmichaelthe song was Charles's first work with Sid Fellerwho produced, arranged and conducted the recording.
By late The Liquid Brown Detestable Earth - Various - Mmm Ahhh Ohhh - A Crepuscule Compilation, Charles had expanded his small road ensemble to a big bandpartly as a response to increasing royalties and touring fees, becoming one of the few black artists to cross over into mainstream pop with such a level of creative control.
The case was eventually dropped, as the search lacked a proper warrant by the police, and Charles soon returned to music. In the early s, on the way from Louisiana to Oklahoma City, Charles faced a near-death experience when the pilot of his plane lost visibility, as snow and his failure to use the defroster caused the windshield of the plane to become completely covered in ice. The pilot made a few circles in the air before he was finally able to see through a small part of the windshield and land the plane.
Charles placed a spiritual interpretation on the event, claiming that "something or someone which instruments cannot detect" was My Bonnie - Ray Charles - The Ray Charles Story Volume Two for creating the small opening in the ice on the windshield which enabled the pilot to land the plane safely.
InCharles's career was halted once more after he was arrested for a third time for possession of heroin. He agreed to go to rehab to avoid jail time and eventually kicked his habit at a clinic in Los Angeles. His cover version of " Crying Time ", originally recorded by country singer Buck Owens, reached number 6 on the pop chart and helped Charles win a Grammy Award the following March. Inhe had a top-twenty hit with another ballad, " Here We Go Again ".
Charles's renewed chart success, however, proved to be short lived, and by the s his music was rarely played on radio stations.
Charles nonetheless continued to have an active recording career. Most of his recordings between and evoked strong reactions: people either liked them a lot or strongly disliked them. Charles was often criticized for his version of "America the Beautiful" because it was very drastically changed from the song's original version. On July 14,Margie Hendricks died at 38 years old from a heroin Mozart - Siegfried Ochs, Orchester Der Städtischen Oper Berlin, Richard Müller-Lapmertz* - s Kommt, which shocked Ray.
However, the label had now begun to focus on rock acts, and some of their prominent soul artists, such as Aretha Franklinwere starting to be neglected. In Aprilhis version Go Crazy - Various - Son Of Homegrown "Georgia on My Mind" was proclaimed the state song of Georgia, and an emotional Charles performed the song on the floor of the state legislature.
He later defended his choice of performing there after insisting that the audience of black and white fans would integrate while he was there. InCharles signed a contract with Columbia. He recorded a string of country albums and had hit singles in duets with singers such as George JonesChet AtkinsB. Prior to this, Charles returned to the pop charts with " Baby Grand ", a duet with the singer Billy Joel.
In —02, Charles appeared in commercials for the New Jersey Lottery to promote its campaign "For every dream, there's a jackpot". InCharles performed "Georgia on My Mind" and "America the Beautiful" at a televised annual banquet of electronic media journalists held in Washington, D. His final public appearance was on April Sigurd Ågrens Dragspelsorkester Med Sång Av Hans Bjerkeling - Min Lilla Occarina / Carmelita (Shella,at the dedication of his music studio as a historic landmark in Los Angeles.
Charles possessed one of the most recognizable voices in American music. In the words of musicologist Henry Pleasants :. 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. Pleasants continues, "Ray Charles is usually described as a baritone, and his speaking voice would suggest as much, as would the difficulty he experiences in reaching and sustaining the baritone's high E and F in a popular ballad.
But the voice undergoes some sort of transfiguration under stress, and in music of gospel or blues character he can and does sing for measures on end in the high tenor range of A, B flat, B, C and even C sharp and D, sometimes in full voice, sometimes in an ecstatic head voice, sometimes in falsetto. In falsetto he continues up to E and F above high C. On one extraordinary record, 'I'm Going Down to the River' His style and success in the genres of rhythm and blues and jazz had an influence on a number of highly successful artists, including, as Jon Pareles has noted, Elvis PresleyAretha FranklinStevie WonderVan My Bonnie - Ray Charles - The Ray Charles Story Volume Two and Billy Joel.
In the middle of the night with friends, we were listening to jazz. Then I thought 'One day, if I make some people feel only one-twentieth of what I am feeling now, it will be quite enough for me.
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