Ray Charles (soul musician, singer and songwriter)

~ Person


Ray Charles Robinson (commonly known as Ray Charles; September 23, 1930 – June 10, 2004) was an American singer, songwriter, musician, and composer who is sometimes referred to as "The Genius".

He pioneered the genre of soul music during the 1950s by combining rhythm and blues, gospel, and blues styles into music recorded by 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 with ABC, Charles became one of the first African-American musicians to be granted artistic control by a mainstream record company. Frank Sinatra called him "the only true genius in show business", although Charles downplayed this notion. He was blind from age seven. His best friend in music was South Carolina-born James Brown, the "Godfather of Soul", and like Charles an active lifelong Republican.

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.

In 2004, Rolling Stone ranked Charles as number ten on their list of "100 Greatest Artists of All Time", and number two on their November 2008 list of "100 Greatest Singers of All Time". In honoring him, American musician Billy Joel noted: "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 Ray Charles (Hallelujah I Love Her So) Ray Charles 3
1957 The Great Ray Charles Ray Charles 2
1957 Ray Charles Ray Charles 1
1958 Soul Brothers Ray Charles & Milt Jackson 1
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 4
1961 Do the Twist! With Ray Charles Ray Charles 1
1961 Dedicated to You Ray Charles 1
1961 Genius + Soul = Jazz Ray Charles 3
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
1968 A Portrait of Ray Ray Charles 1
1970 Love Country Style Ray Charles 1
1972 A Message From the People Ray Charles 1
1975 Renaissance Ray Charles 1
1977 True to Life Ray Charles 1
1982 Soul Brother / Soul Meeting Ray Charles & Milt Jackson 1
1983 Wish You Were Here Tonight Ray Charles 1
1985 The Spirit of Christmas Ray Charles 2
1987 The Great Ray Charles Ray Charles 2
1988 Genius + Soul = Jazz Ray Charles 4
1988 Just Between Us Ray Charles 1
1989 Le Triomphe des Stars Ray Charles 1
1993 My World Ray Charles 1
1994 Hey Now 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 Visionary Soul Ray Charles 1
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 1
2006 Ray Sings, Basie Swings Ray Charles 4
2006 Here's Ray Charles Ray Charles 1
2010 Rare Genius: The Undiscovered Masters Ray Charles 1
2013 Forever Ray Charles 1
Brother Ray Ray Charles 1
Collection Ray Charles 1
Don't Put All Your Dreams in One Basket Ray Charles 1
Georgia on My Mind Ray Charles 1

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