Ray Charles (soul musician, singer and songwriter)

~ Person

Legal name: Ray Charles Robinson


Raymond Charles Robinson (September 23, 1930 – June 10, 2004), professionally known as Ray Charles, was an American singer, songwriter, musician, and composer. He was sometimes referred to as "The Genius", and was also nicknamed "The High Priest of Soul".

He pioneered the genre of soul music during the 1950s by combining rhythm and blues, gospel, and blues styles into the music he recorded for Atlantic Records. He also contributed to the racial integration of country and pop music during the 1960s with his crossover success on ABC Records, most notably with his two Modern Sounds albums. While he was with ABC, Charles became one of the first African-American musicians to be granted artistic control by a mainstream record company.

Charles was blind from the age of seven. Charles cited Nat King Cole as a primary influence, but his music was also influenced by jazz, blues, rhythm and blues, and country artists of the day, including Art Tatum, Louis Jordan, Charles Brown, and Louis Armstrong. Charles' playing reflected influences from country blues, barrelhouse, and stride piano styles. He had strong ties to Quincy Jones, who often cared for him and showed him the ropes of the "music club industry."

Frank Sinatra called him "the only true genius in show business", although Charles downplayed this notion.

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

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Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1957 The Great Ray Charles Ray Charles 3
1957 Ray Charles (Hallelujah I Love Her So) Ray Charles 4 5
1958 Soul Brothers Milt Jackson & Ray Charles 2
1958 Yes Indeed! Ray Charles 3
1959 The Genius of Ray Charles Ray Charles 6
1959 What'd I Say Ray Charles 1
1960 The Genius Hits the Road Ray Charles 3
1961 Ray Charles and Betty Carter Ray Charles & Betty Carter 5 3
1961 The Genius After Hours Ray Charles 3
1961 Do the Twist! With Ray Charles Ray Charles 1
1961 The Genius Sings the Blues Ray Charles 3
1961 Dedicated to You Ray Charles 1
1961 Genius + Soul = Jazz Ray Charles 7
1961 Soul Meeting Ray Charles & Milt Jackson 1
1962 Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music Ray Charles 5 2
1962 Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music, Volume 2 Ray Charles 1
1963 Ingredients in a Recipe for Soul Ray Charles 2
1964 Sweet & Sour Tears Ray Charles 2
1966 Cryin' Time Ray Charles 1
1966 Ray's Moods Ray Charles 1
1968 A Portrait of Ray Ray Charles 2
1969 I'm All Yours Baby! Ray Charles 1
1970 Love Country Style Ray Charles 1
1972 A Message From the People Ray Charles 1
1974 Come Live With Me Ray Charles 1
1975 Renaissance Ray Charles 1
1976 Porgy & Bess Ray Charles & Cleo Laine 1
1977 True to Life Ray Charles 1
1978 Ray Charles Ray Charles 1
1982 Soul Brothers / Soul Meeting Ray Charles & Milt Jackson 3
1983 Wish You Were Here Tonight Ray Charles 2
1985 The Spirit of Christmas Ray Charles 3
1988 Just Between Us Ray Charles 1
1989 Le Triomphe des Stars Ray Charles 1
1990 Would You Believe? Ray Charles 1
1992 The Genius Ray Charles 1
1993 My World Ray Charles 1
1994 Hey Now Ray Charles 1
1994 The Great Ray Charles Ray Charles 1
1996 The Entertainers Ray Charles Ray Charles 1
1997 Ingredients in a Recipe for Soul / Have a Smile With Me Ray Charles 1
2000 Ray Charles & Friends Ray Charles 1
2002 Late in the Evening Ray Charles 1
2002 Thanks for Bringing Love Around Again Ray Charles 1
2002 Visionary Soul Ray Charles 1
2003 Here We Go Again Ray Charles 2
2004 Genius Loves Company Ray Charles 12
2004 Ray Charles Celebrates a Gospel Christmas with the Voices of Jubilation! Ray Charles 1
2005 Friendship Ray Charles 2
2005 Genius & Friends Ray Charles 2

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