Ray Charles Robinson (September 23, 1930 – June 10, 2004), known professionally as Ray Charles, was an American singer-songwriter, musician, and composer. Among friends and fellow musicians he preferred being called “Brother Ray”.  Charles was blind from the age of seven.

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 Records. He also contributed to the integration of country music, rhythm and blues, and pop music during the 1960s 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 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 country, jazz, blues, and rhythm and blues artists of the day, including 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.

Backing Tracks

Baby Grand Born To LoseBustedCrying Time … Georgia On My MindHallelujah I Love Her So Here We Go Again … Hit The Road Jack I Can’t Stop Loving You I Got A WomanI’m A Fool To Care Mess Around … Seven Spanish AngelsShake Your Tail Feather Take These Chains From My HeartTogether Again   Unchain My Heart … What’d I Say   Your Cheating Heart You Don’t Know Me

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