Ray Charles Robinson
Today we talk about the icon, the legend, which left a deep mark in the music history of the XX century. The name of this legend ray Charles. He became an idol not only for lovers of jazz, Blues and soul, but for every music lover.
Ray Charles born September 23, 1930 in Albany, Georgia. But soon the family moved to Greenville, South Florida. His father left them almost immediately after birth ray. Mother struggled to raise two sons, and all possible assistance in the upbringing of children had a grandmother. Since childhood, ray knew that the lack of money and injustice. From the age of three he became interested in music, watching deft passages of the pianist of the local cafes and imitating him. However, the family suffered another misfortune: five-year-old ray saw his brother George slipped and fell in the trough for washing, filled with water, but to save him failed. Soon after this tragic event, ray began to go blind and after 2 years has completely lost the ability to see. It is not known what caused this, but one version is glaucoma. Ray’s mother, Aretha Robinson, immediately began to prepare their son for him of the upcoming difficulties, teaching orientation in space, causing to help around the house, despite his blindness. The only way to get an education for ray became a boarding school for the blind and deaf. There he was, in addition to read Braille, mastered the skills to play many instruments: piano, saxophone, clarinet and trombone. At the age of fifteen He was orphaned.
Music is not the only one that has not yet become for the people the Apple of discord.
Ray’s musical career began after graduating from boarding school at the age of 17. The young musician is influenced by their idols – Artie Shaw, Art Tatum, count Basie began playing with his first band «The florida playboys». However, collecting the small sum of $ 600, ray decided to go where his talents would be appreciated by right in Seattle. And he was not mistaken, the group «Maxim» with guitarist Gossage McGee immediately noticed the representatives of the record companies. The first label ray became Swingtime records. But later, in 1952, more favorable conditions for cooperation, he was proposed Atlantic records. Was elected stage name ray Charles is ray Robinson, not to be confused with the famous boxer sugar ray Robinson, who was also a musician. Then our hero had a ball and was addicted to heroin.
The first marriage with Eileen Williams (1951) broke through year second marriage, to della Beatrice Howard, lasted 22 years. Ray had 12 children (!), but only 3 of them were born in wedlock.
Studio Atlantic ray realized that copying the style of their idols have to finish and barabati your own. And it is in search of his unique style of performance born of the famous single, «Mess around». Thank the blind African American pianist skyrocketed. Started Golden time ray Charles. In 1955 with the single «I got a woman», he tops the R&B charts. At that time his work has caused ambiguous reaction of the public, because ray was mixing Blues with gospel.
The song «what’d I say», which became a worldwide hit, has inspired many musicians, and even considered that influenced the development of rock-n-roll. Rumor has it that this song ray wrote at the concert, right, to fill the time of performance, contractual.
In the 60s came the triumph of the performer, but from the soul, jazz and Blues it is moved in the direction of the style «pop» with the use of orchestras and choir. Then ray became one of the most highly paid artists and moved to Beverly hills. The well-known «Hit the road Jack» took off in the first place and R&B and pop charts and brought our hero a Grammy award.
Ray Charles was a staunch opponent of racism, which at that time were not uncommon, and once cancelled a performance in Georgia, where whites and blacks remained separate from each other. Later, for several years, ray did not attend the GA concerts, but in the end agreed to sing the song «Georgia in my mind» at the government house, and that day she became the anthem of the state. Ray repeatedly caught by the police for possession of drugs, but each time he managed to avoid prison. In the 70s he managed to cope with addiction, but this is strongly reflected in his work: there was no more outstanding hits, ray has sung other people’s songs, but, of course, in its distinguished style.
In the ‘ 80s in pursuit of the recognition of youth he participated in various musical projects, released the album «Friendship», performed the song at wrestlemania for the advertisement of Pepsi and even starred in the movie «the Blues Brothers».
In the 90 years, ray still remained popular. He sang the famous «Georgia in my mind» at the opening of the Olympic games in Atlanta, sang at the inauguration of bill Clinton and visited the first concert in Russia. The second time he came to Russia in 2000, 4 years before his death.
We need to live every day like it’s your last, because someday you will be right.
He died a great performer and composer at the age of 73 at his home in Beverly hills in 2004-m to year. After hip surgery shortly before his condition deteriorated. Some believe that the cause was liver cancer.
Honored with a star on the Hollywood walk of fame, he has immortalized himself in the halls of fame and rock and roll, jazz, has won 17 Grammy awards and numerous other awards. Ray Charles truly is an iconic person in the music culture.
In 2004 came the film «ray», which received two Oscars. Unfortunately, the ray Charles was able to catch only a preliminary version of the film.