CDs by Ray
The Genius of Ray Charles
Genius + Soul = Jazz
Modern Sounds in Country
and Western Music
Charles: Ultimate Hits Collection (1999)
The Very Best of Ray Charles (2000)
Ray!: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (2004)
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Ray Charles Chronology
Sept. 23, 1930 Born Ray
Charles Robinson in small town Albany, Ga. Grew up with his
mother and two other children in Greenville, Fla., where they
lived in extreme poverty, Fla. His father was a handyman and
itinerant railroad worker.
1935 Began losing his sight from an unknown
ailment that may have been glaucoma.
1937 Lost sight when he was 7. He began to learn
piano from Wylie Pitman, a local boogie-woogie pianist. Soaked
up gospel music at the Shiloh Baptist Church and rural blues
from musicians including Tampa Red.
1937 to 1945 Attended the St. Augustine School for
the Deaf and the Blind and learned to repair radios and cars and
started formal piano lessons. Learned to write music in Braille
and played Chopin and Art Tatum. Learned to play clarinet, alto
saxophone, trumpet and organ.
1945 Left school at 15, after his mother died, and
went to Jacksonville, Fla., to earn a living as a musician.
Played where he could as a sideman or a solo act,. Took jobs all
over the state. Changed his name to Ray Charles to distinguish
himself from the boxer Sugar Ray Robinson. Modeled himself on
two urbane pianists and singers, Nat King Cole and Charles
Brown, carefully copying their hits and imitating their
1948 Moved to Seattle. Formed the McSon Trio,
named after its guitarist, Gosady McGee, and the "son"
from Robinson. Became addicted to heroin, lasted 17 years.
1949 Made his first single, "Confession
Blues," in Seattle, credited to the Maxin (a different
spelling of McSon) Trio.
1950 Recorded "Baby Let Me Hold Your
Hand" (second single),
by the Ray Charles Trio in Los Angeles with musicians who
had played with Cole. Both singles were hits on the "race
records" (later rhythm-and-blues) charts. Moved to Los
1951-1953 Joined the band led by the blues
guitarist Lowell Fulson, and became its musical director. Toured
United States for two years. Left
Fulson to resume his own career.
1953 Signed to Atlantic Records. Moved to New
Orleans to work with Guitar Slim as pianist and arranger.
1954 Recorded with Guitar Slim's "Things That
I Used to Do" (a million-selling single),
featuring Charles on piano. Abandoned his imitative style
and freed his own voice. Moved to Dallas and formed a band
featuring the Texas saxophonist David (Fathead) Newman.
Convinced Atlantic to let him record with his touring band,
playing arrangements that had been road-tested on the
1955 Recorded "I've Got a Woman" (first
national hit) in a radio-station studio in Atlanta with his
seven-piece band, starting a string of bluesy, gospel-charged
hits, among them "A Fool for You," "Drown in My
Own Tears" and "Hallelujah I Love Her So."
1950s Became an architect of soul music, which
brought the fervor and dynamics of gospel to black secular
music. Expanded his band to include the Raelettes, female backup
singers who provided responses like a gospel choir, and they
became a permanent part of his music.
1958 Made clear his allegiance to jazz, recording
an album with Milt Jackson of the Modern Jazz Quartet and
appearing at the Newport Jazz Festival.
1959 Recorded "What'd I Say" (a
late-night jam session), a blues with an electric-piano riff, a
quasi-Latin beat ,and cheerful come-ons that gave way to
wordless call-and-response moans. Single banned by some radio
stations banned. Became a Top 10 pop hit and sold a million
copies. Recorded "The Genius of Ray Charles" (his next
album) with a lush string orchestra, half with a big band.
Recorded his first country song, a version of Hank Snow's
"I'm Movin' On. " Recorded also with Atlantic the
massively popular singles "Don't Let the Sun Catch You
Cryin'," "Am I Blue," "Come Rain or Come
Shine" and "Let the Good Times Roll."
1959 Left Atlantic (after recording "The
Genius of Ray Charles") for ABC-Paramount Records when it
offered him higher royalties and ownership of his master
recordings. Charles left Atlantic for which he had arranged the
1960 Began to reach a larger pop audience with
songs including two No. 1 hits, his definitive version of Hoagy
Carmichael's 1930 classic "Georgia on My Mind" (one of
his first songs to win a Grammy). Next came "Hit the Road
1961 Expanded his group to become a big band. Made
an instrumental jazz album, "Genius + Soul = Jazz,"
playing Hammond organ with a big band featuring Count Basie
sidemen. Made duet album with the jazz singer Betty Carter, two
highly idiosyncratic voices sounded utterly compatible, that
that included a favorite rendition of the strongly flirtatious
"Baby, It's Cold Outside."
Arrested on drug charges in an Indiana hotel room before a
performance. Police found heroin and marijuana, but case
dismissed because officers lacked a warrant.
1962 Released album "Modern Sounds in Country
and Western Music," remaking country songs as big-band
ballads. His "I Can't Stop Loving You" reached No. 1
and sold a million copies.
After recording "Modern Sounds in Country and Western
Music, Vol. 2," settled into an office building and studio
in Los Angeles that remained his headquarters.
1963 Returned to rhythm and blues with:
"Busted," Grammy Award winning.
1964 Charged in Boston with possession of
marijuana and heroin. Checked himself into a clinic for
treatment and rid himself of his habit in 96 hours.
Arrested for possession of heroin. Spent time in a California
sanatorium to shake his addiction and stopped performing for a
year, the only break during his long career. Record
"Country and Western Meets Rhythm and Blues."
1966 Recorded "Let's Go Get Stoned." Started
his own label, Tangerine, which released albums through ABC and
on its own. Grammy Awards "Crying Time."
1971 Joined Aretha Franklin for the concert she
recorded as "Aretha Live at Fillmore West."
1970s (mid) Started another label, Crossover,
which released albums."
best-selling autobiography, Brother Ray
1979 his version of "Georgia on My Mind"
was named the official state song of Georgia.
1980 Appeared in the movie "The Blues
1983 Signed to CBS Records' Nashville division and
made "Friendship," an album of duets with 10 country
stars, which included songs with George Jones and Willie Nelson
that reached the country Top 10
1984 Sang "America the Beautiful" at the
Republican National Convention
1985 Took a part in the famine relief recording
"We Are the World" (1985).
1986 -- Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Received Kennedy Center Honors, called "one of the most
respected singers of his generation . . . the pioneer who broke
down barriers between secular and sacred styles, between black
and white pop."
1987 Received a Grammy for Lifetime Achievement
1989 Appeared on Quincy Jones's album "Back
on the Block"
1990 -- Won another Grammy in 1990 for a vocal duet
with Chaka Khan on "I'll Be Good to You." All in all
he won a dozen Grammys for his recordings, as well as the
achievement award. Appeared in television ads for Diet Pepsi,
singing, "You got the right one, baby, uh-huh!"
1993 Received the Presidential Medal for the Arts.
Won his last Grammy for best R&B vocal performance for
"A Song for You."
2003 Underwent successful hip replacement surgery
2004 10 June Died at his home in Beverly
Hills, Calif 73. Mr. Divorced twice,. Left behind 12
children, 20 grandchildren and 5 great-grandchildren.
Reshaped American music for a half-century. Broke through
many categories with such songs as "Hallelujah I Love Her
So," "I Can't Stop Loving You," "Georgia on
My Mind, and "America the Beautiful." Claimed all of American
music as his birthright.
Made more than 60 albums, and his influence echoes through
generations of rock and soul singers, bringing the essence of
soul to country, jazz, rock, standards and every other style of
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Sex at the Margins
Migration, Labour Markets and the Rescue Industry
By Laura Marνa Agustνn
This book explodes several myths: that selling sex is completely different from any other kind of work, that migrants who sell sex are passive victims and that the multitude of people out to save them are without self-interest. Laura Agustνn makes a passionate case against these stereotypes, arguing that the label 'trafficked' does not accurately describe migrants' lives and that the 'rescue industry' serves to disempower them. Based on extensive research amongst both migrants who sell sex and social helpers, Sex at the Margins provides a radically different analysis. Frequently, says Agustin, migrants make rational choices to travel and work in the sex industry, and although they are treated like a marginalised group they form part of the dynamic global economy. Both powerful and controversial, this book is essential reading for all those who want to understand the increasingly important relationship between sex markets, migration and the desire for social justice. "Sex at the Margins rips apart distinctions between migrants, service work and sexual labour and reveals the utter complexity of the contemporary sex industry. This book is set to be a trailblazer in the study of sexuality."Lisa Adkins, University of London
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Greenback Planet: How the Dollar Conquered
the World and Threatened Civilization as We Know It
By H. W. Brands
In Greenback Planet, acclaimed historian H. W. Brands charts the dollar's astonishing rise to become the world's principal currency. Telling the story with the verve of a novelist, he recounts key episodes in U.S. monetary history, from the Civil War debate over fiat money (greenbacks) to the recent worldwide financial crisis. Brands explores the dollar's changing relations to gold and silver and to other currencies and cogently explains how America's economic might made the dollar the fundamental standard of value in world finance. He vividly describes the 1869 Black Friday attempt to corner the gold market, banker J. P. Morgan's bailout of the U.S. treasury, the creation of the Federal Reserve, and President Franklin Roosevelt's handling of the bank panic of 1933. Brands shows how lessons learned (and not learned) in the Great Depression have influenced subsequent U.S. monetary policy, and how the dollar's dominance helped transform economies in countries ranging from Germany and Japan after World War II to Russia and China today. He concludes with a sobering dissection of the 2008 world financial debacle, which exposed the power--and the enormous risks--of the dollar's worldwide reign. The Economy
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The White Masters of the
The World and Africa, 1965
By W. E. B. Du Bois
W. E. B. Du Bois
Arraignment and Indictment of White Civilization
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Ancient African Nations
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Negro Digest /
Browse all issues
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The Death of Emmett Till by Bob Dylan
The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll
Only a Pawn in Their Game
Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson Thanks America for
George Jackson /
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The Journal of Negro History issues at Project Gutenberg
Haitian Declaration of Independence 1804
January 1, 1804 -- The Founding of
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(Books, DVDs, Music, and more)
9 March 2012