Ray Charles |  Artist

Ray Charles | Artist

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Ray Charles Robinson was an American singer, songwriter, musician, and composer born 1930 in Albany, Georgia. Among friends and fellow musicians he preferred being called "Brother Ray" and he was often referred to simply as "The Genius". He pioneered soul music during the 1950s by combining blues, R&B and gospel styles into the music he recorded for Atlantic records. He also contributed to the integration of country music and pop music during the 1960s with his crossover success on ABC Records. Charles started losing his vision at the age of 5, and by 7 he was blind. He attended blind school in Florida and developed his musical talent learning the classical piano music of Bach, Mozart and Beethoven, via braille. Charles got occasional support and session gigs until securing a recording contract with Atlantic Records in 1952. Over the next two years he recorded the hits "Mess Around", "It Should've Been Me", "Don't You Know", "Midnight Hour", "Sinner's Prayer" and "Midnight Hour", which established him as one of the most popular R&B artists in America. He went on to be one of the leading performers, recording artists and black cultural figures of the 20th Century. Outstanding albums include Ray Charles, Genius + Soul = Jazz, Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music, Crying Time, Doing His Thing, The Genius Sings The Blues and Ray Charles at Newport (live).

Artist Website: raycharles.com

Featured Albums: Ray Charles

Related Artists: The Blues Brothers

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