Ray Charles - Brothers Ray's Blues / AUDIO CD 2004 / American singer, songwriter, musician, and composer
Ray Charles - Brothers Ray's Blues
AUDIO CD 2004
American singer, songwriter, musician, and composer
1. Baby Let me Hold Your Hand
2. Kiss Me Baby
3. CC Rider
4. I Wonder Who's Kissing her Now
5. I'm Going Down To The River
6. Sitting On Top Of The World
7. Alone In The City
8. Rockin' Chair Blues
9. Can Anyone Ask For More
10. Baby Tell Me What I've Done
11. Hey Now
12. They're Crazy About Me
13. Honey, Honey
14. How Long
16. Can't See You Darling
17. St Pete You Darling
18. Going Away Blues
19. Blues Is My Middle Name
20. All To Myself Alone
Ray Charles seemed to emerge fully formed out of nowhere when he signed with Atlantic Records in 1955, but in fact, he had been gigging around the somewhat unlikely environs of Seattle, WA, since 1947. The posthumous cash-in Brother Ray's Blues collects some radio transcriptions and rare single sides from Charles' Seattle era. Bear in mind, first off, that these 12 songs sound very little like the Ray Charles most folks are familiar with: this isn't soul, or for the most part even R&B, but a sort of mainstream pop take on jump blues and bop. On songs like "Baby Let Me Hold Your Hand," Charleshas a smallish big band behind him, while others are cool small-combo takes like "Alone in the City," a ballad that features some particularly nice Joe Pass-style guitar. Also, the sound quality, it must be said, is pretty abysmal throughout. However, come on, it's Ray Charles. Even when the material is weak, as it rarely is (the hackneyed "Rockin' Chair Blues" is probably the worst offender), Charles is in fine voice throughout, usually featuring a much more relaxed and less histrionic style than he eventually made famous. (Heck, on the big band "They're Crazy About Me," he sounds like Nat King Cole!) Don't expect much, and remember the warning about sound quality, but this is an often fascinating look at an underexposed part of Ray Charles' life.
Ray Charles Robinson (September 23, 1930 – June 10, 2004) 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 started losing his vision at the age of 5, and by 7 he was blind.
He pioneered the soul music genre during the 1950s by combining blues, rhythm and blues, and gospel styles into the music he recorded for Atlantic. He contributed to the integration of country music, rhythm and blues, and pop music during the 1960s with his crossover success on ABC Records, notably with his two Modern Sounds albums. While he was with ABC, Charles became one of the first black musicians to be granted artistic control by a mainstream record company
Charles cited Nat King Cole as a primary influence, but his music was also influenced by Louis Jordan and Charles Brown. He became friends with Quincy Jones. 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.
In 2002, Rolling Stone ranked Charles number ten on its 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 said, "This may sound like sacrilege, but I think Ray Charles was more important than Elvis Presley".
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