Ray Charles helped to draw up the blueprint for what R&B is today by merging rhythm and blues, gospel, and jazz. His influences from gospel, blues, and jazz with a touch of his own style helped him grab the eyes and ears of America despite his color, race or even his disability. Charles is responsible for racially integrating the United States and pop music during the 1960s with his crossover success (Modern Sounds album) on ABC Records. Ray Charles was and will always be a trendsetter that helped to create a genre that we still enjoy. His music destroys lines and boundaries that were created by ignorance and intolerance. There is no surprise that Ray Charles was named by Rolling Stone as a "100 Greatest Artists of All Time". It is great to see that artists still sample and are influenced by this great man and musician. So for today, on his birthday, we would like to shed light on his achievements and send a warm thank you and happy birthday.
Full Name: Ray Charles Robinson
RIP: September 23, 1930 – June 10, 2004
Skills: Singer, Songwriter, Composer, Innovator & Barrier Breaker
Influences: Country Blues, Barrelhouse, Stride Piano, Jazz, Blues, Rhythm & Blues
Influencers: Louis Jordan, Charles Brown, Art Tatum, Nat King Cole & Louis Armstrong
Frank Sinatra: “Charles is the only true genius in show business.”
Billy Joel: “This may sound like sacrilege, but I think Ray Charles was more important than Elvis Presley.”
They still love the sound.