(PRWEB) – The word “genius” just might be the most overused term in the entire
pop music genre. “Genius” was being used to describe Ray Charles, however,
before it was being used to describe anyone else cutting pop singles–and, for
once, the description was probably appropriate.
Blinded due to a childhood illness before reaching the age of 10, Charles proved
to nevertheless be a child prodigy on the piano. The Albany, Georgia native (who
immortalized his home state for all eternity with his classic hit cover of Hoagy
Carmichael’s “Georgia” in the early ’60s) began his recording career in 1947, at
the age of 17, when he signed with the Swingtime label. Elvis Presley covered “I
Got A Woman” on his debut RCA album, while other Charles tunes have been
covered, becoming signatures for rock artists ranging from Humble Pie to Van
Morrison. And, of course, Joe Cocker’s entire career has basically revolved
around aping Brother Ray. In the early ’60s, Charles moved to ABC Records, where he continued to blur the
lines between popular musical genres, reaching perhaps a zenith with the two
volumes of Modern Sounds In Country & Western Music. His soulful cover of the
country classic “I Can’t Stop Loving You” remains his pop signature to this day.
Ray Charles will be missed dearly by all who knew his wonderful music.
This Biography was written by Bill Holdship.
Photo courtesy of the William Morris Agency.