Ray Charles

Knowledge Identifier: +Ray_Charles


Ray Charles

American musician known by his shortened stage name Ray Charles to avoid confusion with champion boxer Sugar Ray Robinsonadd

Category: Music

Born in 1930.

Countries: United States (59%), United Kingdom (9%), (7%)

Main connections: Georgia on My Mind, Quincy Jones, Hoagy Carmichael

Linked to: Columbia Records, Paine College, Chaka Khan, Oricon




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Ray Charles was born in 1930 add something


Charles started to lose his sight at the age of 5. add something


He attended school at the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind in St. Augustine, Florida from 1937 to 1945, where he developed his musical talent. add something


Lowell Fulson - At the age of eighteen, he moved to Ada, Oklahoma, and joined Alger "Texas" Alexander for a few months in 1940, but later moved to California, forming a band which soon included a young Ray Charles and tenor saxophone player, Stanley Turrentine


Robert Blackwell - Born "'Robert Alexander Blackwell"' in Seattle, Washington, he led a jazz group in the late 1940s that included pianist Ray Charles and trumpeter Quincy Jones


Cannonball Adderley - Both Cannonball and brother Nat played with Ray Charles when Charles lived in Tallahassee during the early 1940s


Ray Charles (composer) - In May 1944, Chuck Offenberg changed his name to Ray Charles


Brenda Lee - "'Brenda Mae Tarpley"' , known as "'Brenda Lee"', is an American performer who sang rockabilly, pop and country music, and had 37 US chart hits during the 1960s, a number surpassed only by Elvis Presley, The Beatles, Ray Charles and Connie Francis


When his mother died in 1946, Charles was 15 years old and didn't return to school. add something


He moved to Seattle in 1947, where he first met and befriended, under the tutelage of Robert Blackwell, a 14-year-old Quincy Jones. add something


Ray Charles (composer) - The Ray Charles Singers are known for a series of 30 choral record albums produced in the 1950s and 1960s for Essex, MGM, Decca and Command labels


Sled Allen - The arena was host to many events, including an interracial dancing event featuring Ray Charles in the 1950s


Ahmet Ertegun - The company expanded through the 1950s, with Jerry Wexler and, later, Nesuhi Ertegun on board as partners, and with hit artists including Ruth Brown, Joe Turner, The Clovers, The Drifters, The Coasters, and Ray Charles


Charles laid low from recording until early 1953 as Atlantic executives cleared out Charles' contract with Swingtime. add something


George Coleman - After working with Ray Charles, Coleman started working with B.B. King in 1953, at which point he switched to tenor saxophone


Jesse Stone - In 1953 he wrote Ray Charles' hit "Losing Hand" , and wrote "Money Honey", which became the first hit record for The Drifters, topping the national R&B chart for 11 weeks


Late in 1954, Charles recorded his own composition, "I Got a Woman", and the song became Charles' first number-one RB hit in 1955 and brought him to national prominence. add something


He had three children from his second marriage, to Della Beatrice Howard Robinson from April 5, 1955 to April 26, 1977. add something


In 1956, Charles recruited a young all-female singing group named the Cookies, and reshaped them as The Raelettes. add something


Clydie King - Discovered by songwriter Richard Berry, King began her recording career in 1956 with Little Clydie and the Teens; before she was a member of Ray Charles' Raeletts for three years and contributed to early 1960s recordings by producer Phil Spector


Doc Pomus - Pomus wrote "Lonely Avenue", which became a 1956 hit for Ray Charles


By 1958, Charles was not only headlining black venues such as The Apollo Theater and The Uptown Theater but bigger venues such as The Newport Jazz Festival. add something


During this time, Charles worked with jazz vibraphonist Milt Jackson, releasing Soul Brothers in 1958 and Soul Meeting in 1961. add something


Later in 1959, and released his first country song, a cover of Hank Snow's "Movin' On", and had recorded three more albums for the label including a jazz record, a blues record and a traditional pop/big band record. add something


Harry Nilsson - As early as 1958, Nilsson was intrigued by emerging forms of popular music, especially rhythm and blues artists like Ray Charles


Another son, Charles Wayne, was born in 1959 during his six-year long affair with original Raelettes vocalist Margie Hendricks. add something


Choosing not to renegotiate his contract with Atlantic, Ray Charles signed with ABC-Paramount Records in November 1959, obtaining a much more liberal contract than other artists had at the time. add something


Irving Berlin - Add Ray Charles's big-band version in 1959, and "Alexander" had a dozen hit versions in a bit under a half century


Brenda Lee - It was recorded at Decca Records' number two studio at their West Hampstead complex, as was the B-side, a version of Ray Charles' 1959 classic cut, "What'd I Say-", which wasn't released in America


What'd I Say - "'What'd I Say"'" is an American Rhythm and blues song, by Ray Charles released in 1959


With his first hit single for ABC-Paramount, Charles received national acclaim and a Grammy Award for the Sid Feller-produced "Georgia on My Mind", originally written by composers Stuart Gorrell and Hoagy Carmichael, released as a single by Charles in 1960. add something


Gene McDaniels - After the late 1960s, McDaniels turned his attention to a more black consciousness form, and his best-known song in this genre was "Compared to What," a jazz-soul protest song made famous by Les McCann and Eddie Harris on their album, "Swiss Movement", and covered by Roberta Flack, Ray Charles, Della Reese, John Legend, The Roots and others


Onzy Matthews - He is best known for the big band arrangements done for the Lou Rawls albums "Black and Blue" and "Tobacco Road", as well as arrangements for several of Ray Charles' 1960s releases


Peter King (saxophonist) - He worked with Johnny Dankworth's orchestra from 1960 to 1961, and went on to work with the big bands of Maynard Ferguson, Tubby Hayes, Harry South, and Stan Tracey, the Brussels Big Band, and the Ray Charles band on a European tour


Hoagy Carmichael - In 1960, Ray Charles' version of "Georgia on My Mind" was a major hit, receiving Grammys both for Best Male Vocal and Best Popular Single


Zoot Money - Inspired by Jerry Lee Lewis and Ray Charles, he was drawn to rock and roll music and became a leading light in the vibrant music scene of Bournemouth and Soho during the 1960s


Alicia Keys - Keys performed "If I Ain't Got You" and joined Jamie Foxx and Quincy Jones in a rendition of "Georgia on My Mind", the Hoagy Carmichael song made famous by Ray Charles in 1960 at the 2005 Grammy Awards


BB Brunes - The band's musical influences are punk and rock groups from the 1960s and 1970s as well as current groups such as The Strokes, Amy Winehouse, The Clash, David Bowie, Ray Charles and singers like Serge Gainsbourg, Jacques Dutronc, etc


Georgia on My Mind - "'Georgia on My Mind"'" is a song by Hoagy Carmichael and Stuart Gorrell, closely associated with the cover version by Ray Charles, a native of Georgia, who recorded it for his 1960 album "The Genius Hits the Road"


Georgia on My Mind - It was not until Ray Charles' 1960 recording on "The Genius Hits the Road", that the song became a major hit, reaching the number one spot for one week in November 1960 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100


By late 1961, Charles had expanded his small road ensemble to a full-scale big band, partly as a response to increasing royalties and touring fees, becoming one of the few black artists to crossover into mainstream pop with such a level of creative control. add something


This success, however, came to a momentary halt in November 1961, as a police search of Charles's hotel room in Indianapolis, Indiana during a concert tour led to the discovery of heroin in his medicine cabinet. add something


Bruce Conner - In 1961, Conner completed his second film, COSMIC RAY, a 4 minute, 43 second black-and-white quick edit collage of found footage and film that Conner had shot himself, set to a soundtrack of Ray Charles' "What'd I Say


Percy Mayfield - In 1961, he came to the attention of Ray Charles with his song "Hit the Road Jack"


Jerry Lee Lewis - It was at the latter studio that Lewis recorded his only major hit during this period, a rendition of Ray Charles' "What'd I Say" in 1961.


Ray Charles - Hit the road Jack !  



In 1962, he founded his own record label, Tangerine Records, which ABC-Paramount promoted and distributed. add something


Richard Barrett (musician) - He recorded "Some Other Guy" in 1962, which was modeled on Ray Charles' "What'd I Say" and was assured immortality, if not a hit single, following cover versions performed by The Beatles and other Liverpool groups of the time


Two years later, in 1963, Charles and Sandra Jean Betts welcomed daughter Sheila Raye Charles Robinson. add something


By 1964 Charles' drug addiction caught up with him and he was arrested for possession of marijuana and heroin. add something


With the rise of younger soul performers such as James Brown, Otis Redding and Motown singers such as Smokey Robinson, Marvin Gaye and its own blind artist, Stevie Wonder, Charles' successes on the pop and RB charts peaked after 1964 though he remained a huge concert draw. add something


Thelonious Monk - According to biographer Kelley, the 1964 Time appearance came because "Barry Farrell, who wrote the cover story, wanted to write about a jazz musician and almost by default Monk was chosen, because they thought Ray Charles and Miles Davis were too controversial.


In 1965, Charles' career after being arrested for a third time for heroin halted after he agreed to go to rehab to avoid jail time. add something


After spending a year on parole, Charles reemerged on the charts in 1966 with a series of hits composed with the fledgling team of Ashford & Simpson including the dance number, "I Don't Need No Doctor", "Let's Go Get Stoned", which became his first No. 1 RB hit in several years, and "Crying Time", which reached No. 6 on the pop chart and later helped Charles win a Grammy Award the following March. add something


Charles responded to the saga of his drug use and reform with the songs "I Don't Need No Doctor", "Let's Go Get Stoned", and the release of his first album since having kicked his heroin addiction in 1966, Crying Time. add something


In 1966, a daughter named Alicia was born by a woman who remains unidentified to this day, followed by another daughter, Alexandra, born to a woman named Chantal Bertrand. add something


In 1967, he had a top twenty hit with another ballad, "Here We Go Again". add something


Steve Turre - In 1968, Turre played with Rahsaan_Roland_Kirk; in 1970 he recorded with Carlos_Santana; and in 1972 he toured with Ray Charles


Jose Feliciano - In a 1969 interview, he mentioned soul music in general, and Ray Charles in particular, as influences on his singing


Charo - She was headlining Vegas shows by 1971 and reportedly being paid as much as Frank Sinatra, Ray Charles or Dean Martin


Charles' 1972 album, Message from the People, included his unique gospel-influenced version of "America the Beautiful". add something


In 1974, he left ABC Records and recorded several albums on his own Crossover Records label. add something


Ben Fong-Torres - A Fong-Torres interview with Ray Charles was awarded the Deems Taylor Award for Magazine Writing in 1974


His 1975 recording of Stevie Wonder's hit, "Living for the City" later helped Charles win another Grammy. add something


Porgy and Bess - In, 1976, for RCA Victor, Ray Charles and Cleo Laine recorded an album of excerpts in which the two of them sang several roles


In 1977, he reunited with Ahmet Ertegun and Jerry Wexler and re-signed to Atlantic Records where he recorded the album, True to Life. add something


In November 1977 he appeared as the host of NBC's Saturday Night Live. add something


Red Top Young - During that time he met and married his second wife Janice in 1978, continued to record with Lanzo Records and moved to San Destine, Florida with his wife and young son, continuing to perform with his group and with Jo Jo Benson and Johnny Taylor, B.B. King, Pinetop and Ray Charles in France along with many other blues groups throughout Europe


Barry Manilow - "The Second Barry Manilow Special" in 1978, with Ray Charles as his guest, was nominated for four Emmys


In 1979, Charles was one of the first of the Georgia State Music Hall of Fame to be recognized as a musician born in the state. add something


In April 1979, Charles' version of "Georgia On My Mind" was proclaimed the state song of Georgia. add something


Elvis Costello - Costello's standing in the U.S. was bruised for a time when in March 1979, during a drunken argument with Stephen Stills and Bonnie Bramlett in a Columbus, Ohio Holiday Inn bar, the singer referred to James Brown as a "jive-ass nigger", upped the ante by pronouncing Ray Charles a "blind, ignorant, nigger"


Charles stayed with his old label until 1980. add something


In 1980, he made a cameo on the film, The Blues Brothers. add something


Toto Cutugno - He won in 1980 with the song "Solo noi", and subsequently finished second in six editions: in 1984 with the song "Serenata" , in 1987 with "Figli" , in 1988 with "Emozioni" , in 1989 with the song "Le mamme" , in 1990 with Ray Charles with the song "Gli amori" and in 2005 with Annalisa Minetti with the song "Come noi nessuno al mondo"


Blues Brothers & Ray Charles - Shake a tailfeather  



In 1981, he was given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and was one of the first inductees to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame at its inaugural ceremony in 1986. add something


In 1983, Charles signed a contract with Columbia Records and recorded a string of country albums. add something


Ray Charles (composer) - It was here where he met the "other" Ray Charles and was able to convince the entertainer to perform "America the Beautiful" before it was heard at the 1984 Republican Convention


In 1985, he appeared among a slew of other popular musicians in the USA for Africa charity recording, "We Are the World". add something


In 1985, he performed for Ronald Reagan's second inauguration, and in 1993 for Bill Clinton's first. add something


Billy Burnette - In 1985, Eddy Raven and Ray Charles both charted with Billy Burnette songs


Willie Nelson - In 1985, Nelson had another success with "Half Nelson", a compilation album of duets with a range of artists such as Ray Charles and Neil Young


Dionne Warwick - In 1985, Warwick contributed her voice to the multi-Grammy *award winning charity song We Are the World, along with vocalists like Michael Jackson, Diana Ross, and Ray Charles


He received the Kennedy Center Honors in 1986. add something


After 1987, his Columbia contract ended and Charles returned to recording pop music after signing with Warner Bros. add something


In 1987, he was awarded the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. add something


Little Richard - In November 1988, Ray Charles introduced him at the Legends of Rock n Roll concert in Rome , as "a man that started a kind of music that set the pace for a lot of what's happening today


Prior to this, Charles returned on the pop charts in another duet, with singer Billy Joel on the song, "Baby Grand" and in 1989, recorded a cover of the Southern All Stars' "Itoshi no Ellie", releasing it as "Ellie My Love" for a Japanese TV ad for Suntory releasing it in Japan where it reached No. 3 on its Oricon chart. add something


The song hit number-one on the RB charts in 1990 and won Charles and Khan a Grammy for their dual work. add something


Chaka Khan - In 1990, she was a featured performer on another major hit when she collaborated with Ray Charles and Quincy Jones on a new jack swing cover of The Brothers Johnson's "I'll Be Good to You", which was featured on Jones' "Back on the Block"


James Morrison (musician) - Morrison has performed with Dizzy Gillespie , with Don Burrows, as a member of the Don Burrows Band, and with Ray Charles and B. B. King for a 1990 world tour


Charles' popularity increased among younger audiences in 1991 after he appeared where he popularized the catchphrase "You Got the Right One, Baby" The catchphrase came from a song that was composed by Kenny Ascher, Joseph C. Caro and Helary Jay Lipsitz. add something


In 1991, he was inducted to the Rhythm & Blues Foundation. add something


In 1993, he was awarded the National Medal of Arts. add something


James Brown - On November 20, 1993, Mayor Charles DeVaney of Augusta, Georgia held a ceremony to dedicate a section of 9th Street between Broad and Twiggs Streets, renamed "James Brown Boulevard", in the entertainer's honor


Roger Ingram - Ingram left Jazz at Lincoln Center in 1997 to tour and record with the legendary Ray Charles for two years


In 1998 he was awarded the Polar Music Prize together with Ravi Shankar in Stockholm, Sweden. add something


Susie Arioli - Their first big opportunity came in 1998 when after a successful outdoor show they were asked by the Montreal International Jazz Festival to open for Ray Charles


Blue's Clues - The show's first direct to video production was "Blue's Big Musical Movie" , featuring Ray Charles and The Persuasions; it received mostly positive reviews and has sold over 3 million copies since 2006


Lilian Garcia - WWE Chairman Vince McMahon asked her to sing America the Beautiful at "WrestleMania 2000" and "WrestleMania 21", joining a renowned list of legendary recording artists that includes Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles, Reba_McEntire, Gladys Knight and Willie Nelson


From 2001-2002, Charles appeared in commercials for the New Jersey Lottery to promote its 'For every dream, there's a jackpot' campaign. add something


In 2002, he played and lost to American Grandmaster and former U.S. Champion Larry Evans. add something


Charles gave 10 of his 12 children checks for one million USD in December 2002 at a family luncheon, while the other two could not make it. add something


In 2003 Charles performed "Georgia On My Mind" and "America the Beautiful" at a televised annual electronic media journalist banquet held in Washington, D.C. His final public appearance came on April 30, 2004, at the dedication of his music studio as a historic landmark in the city of Los Angeles . add something


In 2003, Charles was awarded an honorary degree by Dillard University. add something


In 2003, Ray Charles headlined the White House Correspondents Dinner in Washington, D.C. where the President, First Lady, Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice attended. add something


One of Ray Charles last public performances, at the 2003 Montreal International Jazz Festival. add something

Ray Charles died in 2004 add something


The biopic Ray, released in October 2004, portrays his life and career between 1930 and 1979 and stars Jamie Foxx as Charles. add something


Patrick Bauchau - He appeared in 2004 in the Ray Charles biopic "Ray" as Dr. Hacker


Taylor Hackford - He received two Oscar nominations in 2004 for the Ray Charles biopic "Ray"


Van Morrison - In 2004, Morrison was one of the guests on Ray Charles' album, "Genius Loves Company", featuring the two artists performing Morrison's "Crazy Love"


Billy Preston - In 2004, Preston performed as a jazz organist on Ray Charles' "Genius Loves Company", an album of duets, on the song "Here We Go Again" with Charles and Norah Jones


Norah Jones - Jones appeared on Ray Charles' final album, Genius Loves Company, in 2004, on "Here We Go Again".


Michael McDonald (singer) - McDonald recorded a duet with Ray Charles on Charles' 2004 "Genius Loves Company"


Art Tatum - On the recommendation of Oscar Peterson, Tatum is portrayed by Johnny O'Neal in "Ray", a 2004 biopic about R&B artist Ray Charles


Richard Schiff - Schiff appeared in the 2004 film "Ray" as Ray Charles's producer, Jerry Wexler, shaving his beard for the role


Diana Krall - She joined Ray Charles on his "Genius Loves Company" album in 2004 on the song, "You Don't Know Me"


Stuart Benjamin - Benjamin was one of the Executive Producers of the Ray Charles Tribute Concert which took take place on October 8, 2004 at the Staples Center and was a CBS Television special


James Brown - In 2005, Charles "Champ" Walker and the We Feel Good Committee went before the County commission and received approval to change Augusta, Georgia 's slogan to "We Feel Good"


Gladys Knight - In 2005, a duet between Knight and Ray Charles of "You Were There" was released on Charles' duets album "Genius & Friends"


Leela James - In 2005, she lent her voice to the posthumously released Ray Charles album "Genius & Friends", duetting with the singer on the song "Compared to What"


Idina Menzel - She appears on Ray Charles's album "Genius and Friends", which was released in 2005, on the track "I Will Be There


Alexa Ray Joel - In 2006 Joel said "I like slow-burning jazz songs," and in 2008 cited Ray Charles, Norah_Jones, Billie Holiday and Etta James as influences


This performance appears on Morrison's 2007 album, "The Best of Van Morrison Volume 3" add something


On December 7, 2007, Ray Charles Plaza was opened in Albany, Georgia, with a revolving, lighted bronze sculpture of Charles seated at a piano add something


Stuart Benjamin - In the Fall of 2007 Benjamin successfully launched a live theatrical production based upon the life of Ray Charles


Barbara Mandrell - Time-Life recently released a DVD collection called "The Best of Barbara Mandrell and the Mandrell Sisters" on May 1, 2007, which features more than 40 guest musical performances including country superstars Johnny Cash, Alabama, Marty Robbins, Kenny Rogers, Dolly Parton, The Statler Brothers, Ray Charles, John Schneider, Glen Campbell and many more, as well as comedy legend Bob Hope


On August 4, 2013, in an interview with a Turkish newspaper, Hurriyet, former Pink Floyd member Roger Waters stated as " I was about 15 add something


The United States Postal Service issued a forever stamp honoring Ray Charles as part of it Musical Icons series on September 23, 2013 add something


Stuart Benjamin - The Life and Music of Ray Charles " is scheduled to make its Broadway debut in the Fall of 2013


Stuart Benjamin - The Life and Music of Ray Charles " is scheduled to make its Broadway debut in the Spring of 2014


In 2016, US president Obama said that "Ray Charles's version of 'America the Beautiful' will always be in my view the most patriotic piece of music ever performed--because it captures the fullness of the American experience, the view from the bottom as well as the top, the good and the bad, and the possibility of synthesis, reconciliation, transcendence add something


On June 25, 2019, "The New York Times Magazine" listed Ray Charles among hundreds of artists whose material was reportedly destroyed in the 2008 Universal fire add something