In the early '50s, Ray Charles took the fiery passion of gospel and the hard-hitting sound of the blues, and by putting them together he created a whole new sound in rhythm & blues that helped make him a legend in American music.
Ray Charles is an American legend beyond compare. This deluxe eight-disc box set proves it by encompassing Ray's entire Atlantic Records repertoire on the first six CDs. Additionally, the set includes an entire disc (27 tracks, all but three previously unreleased) of outtakes, live recordings, and alternate versions. Plus, there's a bonus DVD that features Ray live at the Newport Jazz Festival in 1960 and an exclusive interview with Ahmet Ertegun, conducted by Ray Director Taylor Hackford. Special packaging features a record player-style box and a linen-bound hardback book.
When Ray Charles signed his precedent-shattering contract with ABC-Paramount in 1959, he was determined to make good on an early ambition to be the most versatile recording artist the music business had ever known.
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". He was often referred to as "The Genius". Charles was blind from the age of seven.
Ray Charles' explorations into country music were no mere dalliance. They have their genesis in "I'm Movin' On," the last record he made for Atlantic before moving on to ABC Paramount in 1960. But it was with the enormously successful Modern Sounds in Country & Western series of albums in 1962 (and the career making single "I Can't Stop Lovin' You") that made their mark, crossing over genre boundaries that were unthinkable at the time. An African-American doing hillbilly music was not a first, nor were uptown arrangements of hillbilly songs, but here was the Genius of Soul validating the music of the white working class, plain and simple.