1950s1960s1970s1980s1990sAustinAustin City LimitsMusicRay Charles

Ray Charles – You Don’t Know Me & I’m Still a Fool For You & I Can’t Stop Loving You


Ray 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”….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 1960’s 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….as he 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, barrel-house 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.…but to this lil ole Chiweenie….he was at the top of the ladder when it comes to music genius.

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