The music of the genius
So good is Ray Charles the vocalist on “If I Were You” from Do I Ever Cross Your Mind that you barely even notice the inherent silliness of lyrics like “if I were you I’d fall in love with me”. A pedal steel guitar is featured throughout this lovely and touching tune but it never rises to the surface, acting more as background support. Still, thanks to the mellifluous honey drip of that pedal steel plus (very) occasional harmonica and fiddle, there is a... [read all]
Ray Charles' version of the classic blues "See See Rider" from 1950 shows his astonishing piano skills and his smooth, cool way with a vocal performance.
"Wondering And Wondering" is one of the earliest Ray Charles songs, a slow, hopeless blues recorded at home in Tampa in early 1948.
Ray Charles And Betty Carter begins with "Ev'ry Time We Say Goodbye", introducing the two singers separately and then uniting them on the song's final line.
"Soul Meeting" is a sprightly instrumental jazz number from 1957, dominated by Milt Jackson's vibraphone, Kenny Burrell's electric guitar, and Ray Charles' expert piano playing.
Album of the day
By the time Ray Charles released his second true studio album for Atlantic, June 1958’s Soul Brothers (Atlantic 1279), a pattern was emerging. Soul Brothers is an instrumental jazz collaboration with vibraphonist Milt Jackson; Ray would release R&B singles for the popular market, and use his full-length albums to explore his fascination with (and mastery of) modern jazz. (In fact, the ever-explorative Ray would abandon the R&B-singles/jazz-LPs approach after this album.) After... [read all]
Song of the day
From Ray Charles’ disco album Love And Peace of 1978 comes “Take Off That Dress”, one of two Jimmy Lewis songs that Ray recorded for the album. (The other is “Give The Poor Man A Break”.) “Take Off That Dress” might come as quite a shock to the casual Ray Charles listener: it’s straight-up disco, not traditional Ray with a hint of disco like some of his other songs from the late 1970s. But this is no sad bid for mainstream acceptance... [read all]