Ray Charles

Ray Charles (aka Hallelujah I Love Her So)
Atlantic 8006
Released June, 1957

Ray’s debut album was heavily stocked with hit singles that had already reached Number One on the R&B singles charts: “I’ve Got A Woman,” “A Fool For You,” “Maryann,” and “Drown In My Own Tears.” Released as “Ray Charles” in 1957, and re-released in 1962 as “Hallelujah I Love Her So”.

Tracks
Ain’t That Love
Drown In My Own Tears
Come Back Baby
Sinner’s Prayer
Funny (But I Still Love You)
Losing Hand
A Fool For You
Hallelujah I Love Her So
Mess Around
This Little Girl Of Mine
Mary Ann
Greenbacks
Don’t You Know
I’ve Got A Woman

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The Great Ray Charles
The Great Ray Charles
Atlantic 1259
Released August, 1957

This was Ray’s first jazz album, a mix of the trio and band sessions. In the liner notes, Ray reveals the four piano players who have most influenced him: Art Tatum, Bud Powell, Nat “King” Cole, and Oscar Peterson. Ray’s close friend Quincy Jones penned the leadoff track, “The Ray.”

Tracks
The Ray
My Melancholy Baby
Black Coffee
There’s No You
Doodlin’
Sweet Sixteen Bars
I Surrender Dear
Undecided

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Soul Brothers ray-milt
Soul Brothers – With Milt Jackson
Atlantic 1279
Released June, 1958

Milt Jackson was the star vibraphonist of the Modern Jazz Quartet, but when he appeared for his sessions with Ray Charles, he came carrying an electric guitar. Ray brought his saxophone. “How Long Blues” remains the most extended example of Ray’s sax playing on record. The album is a fine mix of jazz and R&B.

Tracks
Soul Brothers
How Long Blues
Cosmic Blues
Blue Funk
‘Deed I Do

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Ray Charles at Newport
Ray Charles At Newport
Atlantic 1289
Released October, 1958

The Newport Jazz Festival was Ray’s initiation into the jazz circuit, even though he was slated to play on the Festival’s first “Blues Night.” The concert was recorded “live” on July 8, 1958. The young boppers flocked to Ray who started out the set with jazz, moved onto his R&B hits and closed with the rockin’ “I’ve Got A Woman.” Many felt that Ray’s Newport appearance helped move jazz towards a “back to roots” movement. At the end of 1958, Downbeat Magazine named Ray Charles their “Best Male Star – New Singer”.

Tracks
(Night Time Is) The Right Time
In A Little Spanish Town
I’ve Got A Woman
Blues Waltz
Hot Rod (The Spirit – Feel)
Talkin’ ‘Bout You
Sherry
A Fool For You

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Yes Indeed!
Yes Indeed!
Atlantic 8025
Released October, 1958

Legendary recording engineer Tom Dowd introduced the new world of eight-track recording to Ray Charles on the sessions for this album, and before long, Ray was using the technology to record his music in ways it never been presented before. By this time, girl group The Cookies were doing backing vocals and would soon become The Raeletts.

Tracks
What Would I Do Without You
It’s All Right
I Want To Know
Yes Indeed
Get On The Right Track Baby
Talkin’ ‘Bout You
Swanee River Rock (Talkin’ ‘Bout That River)
Lonely Avenue
Blackjack
The Sun’s Gonna Shine Again
I Had A Dream
I Want A Little Girl
Heartbreaker
Leave My Woman Alone

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What'd I Say
What’d I Say
Atlantic 8029
Released September, 1959

Ray Charles gets his first Top Ten pop hit and first Gold Record Award with the single, “What’d I Say.” The song gets play on both the R&B and mainstream pop charts, sparking a new sub-genre of R&B called “soul.” It is widely considered to be one of the most influential songs in R&B and Rock and Roll history. Rolling Stone ranked it as #10 on their list of the “500 Greatest Rock and Roll Songs of All-Time” in 2004.

Tracks
What’d I Say
Jumpin’ In The Mornin’
You Be My Baby
Tell Me How Do You Feel
What Kind Of Man Are You
Rockhouse
Roll With My Baby
Tell All The World About You
My Bonnie
That’s Enough

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The Genius of Ray Charles
The Genius of Ray Charles
Atlantic 1312
Released October, 1959

This is the all-American pop album Ray Charles had always dreamed of recording, with a full orchestra and strings. Quincy Jones and Ralph Burns wrote the charts. Atlantic Records’ VP Jerry Wexler stated that they had wanted to use the “Genius” title, but held back for two years. On this album, there was absolutely no doubt that the time was right and the title fit. The album won the 1960 Grammy Award in the Pop category for “Best Vocal Performance – Album” as well as the 1960 Grammy for “Best Rhythm & Blues Performance” on “Let The Good Times Roll.”

Tracks
Let The Good Times Roll
It Had To Be You
Alexander’s Ragtime Band
Two Years Of Torture
When Your Lover Has Gone
‘Deed I Do
Just For A Thrill
You Won’t Let Me Go
Tell Me You’ll Wait For Me
Don’t Let The Sun Catch You Cryin’
Am I Blue
Come Rain Or Come Shine

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Ray Charles In Person
Ray Charles In Person
Atlantic 8039
Released May, 1960

Many consider this recording to be the best documentation of a “live” Ray Charles performance. It is Ray’s first, last and only unintended album, recorded with a single mike, high above the stage at Atlanta’s Herndon Stadium by disc jockey Zenas Sears. Though Sears only wanted to use bits of the recording to advertise other “live” concerts, Atlantic’s Jerry Wexler was totally knocked out by the tape, and convinced Ray to put out this live recording.

Tracks
(Night Time Is) The Right Time
What’d I Say
Yes Indeed
The Spirit – Feel
Frenesi
Drown In My Own Tears
Tell The Truth

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The Genius Hits The Road
Genius Hits The Road
ABC/Paramount 335
Released July 1960

With a theme revolving around various parts of the U.S., this concept album was Ray’s first release on the ABC/Paramount label. It reaches #9 on the pop album charts and a #1 hit single with “Georgia On My Mind,” which also won two Grammy Awards in 1960 for “Best Performance by a Pop Single Artist” and “Best Performance Single Record or Track”

Tracks
Alabamy Bound
Georgia On My Mind
Basin Street Blues
Mississippi Mud
Moonlight In Vermont
New York’s My Home
California, Here I Come
Moon Over Miami
Deep In The Heart Of Texas
Carry Me Back To Old Virginny
Blue Hawaii
Chattanooga Choo-Choo

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Dedicated To You
Dedicated To You
ABC/Paramount 355
Released January, 1961

Ray was interested in developing albums on a theme and “Genius Hits The Road” proved he was on the right track. This album is dedicated to the ladies, and all the tracks on this romantic record are songs about different women. Jazz arranger Marty Paich wrote the charts.

Tracks
Hardhearted Hannah
Nancy
Margie
Ruby
Rosetta
Stella By Starlight
Cherry
Josephine
Candy
Marie
Diane
Sweet Georgia Brown

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Soul Meeting Ray Charles Milt Jackson
Soul Meeting – With Milt Jackson
Atlantic 1360
Released February, 1961

Atlantic begins to mine their unreleased Ray Charles material. They release this additional set of material from the 1957 and 1958 sessions that Ray Charles recorded with Milt Jackson which so successfully blended cool jazz with the blues.

Tracks
Hallelujah I Love Her So
Blue Genius
X-Ray Blues
Soul Meeting
Love On My Mind
Bag Of Blues

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Genius  Soul  Jazz
Genius + Soul = Jazz
Impulse 2
Released February, 1961

Ray Charles recorded this Big Band album over a two-day session with several members of the Count Basie Orchestra. Phillip Guilbeau is featured extensively on trumpet, and Ray played the Hammond B3 organ for the first time on a recording. “One Mint Julep” became Ray’s first instrumental hit, reaching #1 on the R&B charts and #8 on the pop charts.

Tracks
From The Heart
I’ve Got News For You
Moanin’
Let’s Go
One Mint Julep
I’m Gonna Move To The Outskirts Of Town
Stompin’ Room Only
Mister C
Strike Up The Band
Birth Of The Blues

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The Genius After Hours
The Genius After Hours
Atlantic 1369
Released June, 1961

All of the songs on this Atlantic release were recorded during the three sessions in 1956 that produced “The Great Ray Charles” LP.

Tracks
The Genius After Hours
Ain’t Misbehavin’
Dawn Ray
Joy Ride
Hornful Soul
The Man I Love
Charlesville
Music, Music, Music

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Ray Charles and Betty Carter
Ray Charles and Betty Carter
ABC/Paramount 385
Released July, 1961

Ray Charles said that Betty Carter had “a free jazz voice; she had a floating quality that haunted me.” When he found out that Betty was also signed to ABC Records, he was delighted and felt that they should record together. The seduction play Ray and Betty created in “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” is a perfect example of why Ray considered this project “pure pleasure.”

Tracks
Ev’ry Time We Say Goodbye
You And I
Intro: Goodbye/We’ll Be Together Again
People Will Say We’re In Love
Cocktails For Two
Side By Side
Baby, It’s Cold Outside
Together
For All We Know
Takes Two To Tango
Alone Together
Just You, Just Me

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The Genius Sings The Blues
The Genius Sings The Blues
Atlantic 8052
Released September, 1961

Covering ground from his first session with Atlantic to his last, this compilation showcased Ray Charles stylistic development as an artist, with a combination of piano blues, jazz and R&B. It is a great collection from his years at Atlantic Records.

Tracks
Early In The Mornin’
Hard Time (No One Knows Better Than I)
The Midnight Hour
(Night Time Is) The Right Time
Feelin’ Sad
Ray’s Blues
I’m Movin’ On
I Believe To My Soul
Nobody Cares
Mr. Charles’ Blues
Some Day Baby (Worried Life Blues)
I Wonder Who

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Do The Twist With Ray Charles
Do The Twist! (aka The Greatest Ray Charles)
Atlantic 8054
Released November, 1961

Needless to say, Ray Charles never recorded a song about the popular dance craze, The Twist. That didn’t seem to stop Atlantic Record’s attempt to cash-in on the hype. It made it to #11 on the album charts.

Tracks
Tell Me How Do You Feel
I’ve Got A Woman
Heartbreaker
Tell The Truth
What’d I Say
Talkin’ ‘Bout You
You Be My Baby
Leave My Woman Alone
I’m Movin’ On

Modern Sounds In Country and Western Music
Modern Sounds In Country And Western Music
ABC/Paramount 410
Released April, 1962

In a move that surprised everyone but himself, Ray Charles totally changed direction, and recorded a landmark album of country western music. He single-handedly gave this music mass appeal, and also succeeded in bending racial barriers in music with this blend of soul and country. Ray loved the lyrics, the story and the emotion contained in these songs. “I Can’t Stop Loving You” spent five weeks at #1 on the pop charts and 16 weeks at #1 on the R&B charts and won the 1962 Grammy Award for “Best Rhythm and Blues Recording”. Four charting singles received airplay on country, pop and R&B radio.

Tracks
Bye Bye, Love
You Don’t Know Me
Half As Much
I Love You So Much It Hurts
Just A Little Lovin’
Born To Lose
Worried Mind
It Makes No Difference Now
You Win Again
Careless Love
I Can’t Stop Loving you
Hey, Good Lookin’

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Modern Sounds In Country & Western Music Vol.2
Modern Sound In Country And Western Music Volume 2
ABC/Paramount 435
Released October, 1962

After Volume 1 sold more than a million copies, Ray Charles went back into the studio to record another set of country western songs. On this album, however, he recorded Side One with his Big Band and The Raeletts on charts arranged and conducted by Gerald Wilson. Side Two features lush orchestral arrangements with a string section and charts arranged and conducted by Marty Paich. “You Are My Sunshine” reached #1 on the R&B charts and #7 on the pop charts.

Tracks
You Are My Sunshine
No Letter Today
Someday (You’ll Want Me To Want You)
Don’t Tell Me Your Troubles
Midnight
Oh, Lonesome Me
Take These Chains From My Heart
Your Cheating Heart
I’ll Never Stand In You Way
Making Believe
Teardrops In My Heart
Hang Your Head In Shame

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Ingredients In A Recipe For Soul
Ingredients In A Recipe For Soul
ABC/Paramount
Released August, 1963

It was back to R&B for this album. Producer Sid Feller and Ray laid the songs out in a dramatic sequence, with Ray playing a character going through a sequence of emotions in each song. He starts flat broke in a song he borrowed from Johnny Cash, called “Busted.”. It hit #4 on the pop charts and #3 on the R&B charts and won the 1963 Grammy Award for “Best Rhythm & Blues Recording. Billboard praised the album’s “soulful songs of loneliness and loss.”

Tracks
Busted
Where Can I Go
Born To Be Blue
That Lucky Old Sun
Ol’ Man River
In The Evening (When The Sun Goes Down)
A Stranger In Town
Ol’ Man Time
Over The Rainbow
You’ll Never Walk Alone

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Sweet and Sour Tears
Sweet And Sour Tears
ABC/Paramount 480
Released January, 1964

John F. Kennedy’s assassination in November of 1963 left the country somber and blue. Ray decided to record an album of “cry songs” and producer Sid Feller came up with a dozen classics for this album. The arrangements return to the clear strings and big band sound. Frustratingly, the now more polished pop Ray Charles on ABC Records found himself competing with the rawer sounds of earlier Ray Charles, as Atlantic Records continued to repackage and release his 50′s material.

Tracks
Cry
Guess I’ll Hang My Tears Out To Dry
A Tear Fell
No One To Cry To
You’ve Got Me Crying Again
After My Laughter Came Tears
Teardrops From My Eyes
Don’t Cry Baby
Cry Me A River
Baby, Don’t You Cry (The New Swingova Rhythm)
Willow Weep For Me
I Cried For You

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Have A Smile With Me
Have A Smile With Me
ABC/Paramount 495
Released June, 1964

The mood changes dramatically on this album of comedy songs. The atmosphere in the studio is relaxed and fun, the songs saucy and silly.

Tracks
Smack Dab In The Middle
Feudin’ And Fightin’
Two Ton Tessie
I Never See Maggie Alone
Move It On Over
Ma (She’s Making Eyes At Me)
The Thin
The Man With The weird Beard
The Naughty Lady Of Shady Lane
Who Cares (For Me)

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Ray Charles Live In Concert
Ray Charles Live In Concert
ABC/Paramount 500
Released January, 1965

Recorded during a concert at The Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles on September 20, 1964, Ray Charles had no idea that this concert was being recorded. Ray’s manager, Joe Adams, solely came up with this idea and didn’t even tell the executives at ABC-Paramount Records. The end result was so successful that the record label purchased a brand new Cadillac for Mr. Adams.

Tracks
Opening
Band: Swing A Little Taste
I’ve Got A Woman
Margie
You Don’t Know Me
Hide ‘Nor Hair
Baby, Don’t You Cry
Makin’ Whoopee
Hallelujah I Love Her So
Don’t Set Me Free
What’d I Say
Finale

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Country and Western Meets Rhythm and Blues
Country And Western Meets Rhythm And Blues (aka Together Again)
ABC/Paramount 520
Released August, 1965

This is the first album recorded at RPM, Ray’s own studio, housed in his building on West Washington Blvd. in Los Angeles which also contained offices for his business, artist management and publishing. The four-track studio was built by recording engineer Tom Dowd and Ray very quickly became experienced at running all the equipment. Unlike many of his previous ABC releases, this album didn’t have an overall theme. Ray was too busy experimenting in his new recording studio.

Tracks
Together Again
I Like To Hear It Sometime
I’ve Got A Tiger By The Tail (Swingova)
Please Forgive And Forget
I Don’t Care
Next Door To The Blues
Blue Moon Of Kentucky (Swingova)
Light Out Of Darkness
Maybe It’s Nothing At All
All Night Long
Don’t Let Her Know
Watch It Baby

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Crying Time
Crying Time
ABC/Paramount/Tangerine 544
Released January, 1966

Crying Time is considered to be one of Ray’s true masterpieces, the self-portrait of an artist in a season of despair. Having just kicked an addiction to narcotics, pursued by legal authorities, the songs and Ray’s voice reveals anguish and anger, sadness and pain. The song “Crying Time,” had previously been recorded by Buck Owens. Ray’s version hit the Top Ten on all the charts and won two 1966 Grammy Awards for “Best Rhythm & Blues Recording” and “Best Rhythm & Blues Solo Vocal Performance”.

Tracks
Crying Time
No Use Crying
Let’s Go Get Stoned
Going Down Slow
Peace Of Mind
Tears
Drifting Blues
We Don’t See Eye To Eye
You’re In For A Big Surprise
You’re Just About To Lose Your Clown
Don’t You Think I Ought To Know
You’ve Got A Problem

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Rays Moods
Ray’s Moods
ABC/Paramount/Tangerine 550
Released July, 1966

A variety album, with ballads, country, Raelett-powered R&B, some old chestnuts and some innovative arrangements. No hits on this LP, but we get an instrumental penned by Ray: “Chitlins With Candied Yams.”

Tracks
What-Cha Doing In There (I Wanna Know)
Please Say You’re Fooling
By The Light Of The Silvery Moon
You Don’t Understand
Maybe It’s Because Of Love
Chitlins With Candied Yams
Granny Wasn’t Grinning That Day
She’s Lonesome Again
Sentimental Journey
A Born Loser
It’s A Man’s World
A Girl I Used To Know

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Invites You To Listen
Invites You To Listen
ABC/Tangerine 595
Released June, 1967

Ray asked Sid Feller to write all the arrangements on this album. The backing was standard big band or orchestra with strings. As an experiment, Ray sings with a high sustained falsetto that he tried, he said, “for no other reason than self-satisfaction.” To connect with a younger audience, Ray recorded The Beatles‚ “Yesterday,” and gave the song some needed authority of age and experience. When it was released as a single, Ray scored a Top 40 pop hit and Top 10 R&B hit. A delighted Paul McCartney and John Lennon wired him, “Ray Charles‚ genius goes on and on. We love you heart and soul.”

Tracks
She’s Funny That Way (I Got A Woman Crazy For Me)
How Deep Is The Ocean (How High Is The Sky)
You Made Me Love You (I Didn’t Want To Do It)
Yesterday
I’ll Be Seeing You
Here We Go Again
All For You
Love Walked In
Gee, Baby Ain’t I Good To You
People

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A Portrait of Ray
A Portrait Of Ray
ABC/Tangerine 625
Released March, 1968

No matter how times and styles changed, it was the songs that interested Ray, especially the ballads. What impressed him most about The Beatles were their ballads. After scoring a hit with “Yesterday,” he was inspired to interpret “Eleanor Rigby” on this LP. He gave it a faster pace, searing soul and The Raeletts.

Tracks
Never Say Naw
The Sun Died
Am I Blue
Yesterdays
When I Stop Dreamin’
I Won’t Leave
A Sweet Young Thing Like You
The Bright Lights And You Girl
Understanding
Eleanor Rigby

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I'm All Yours Baby
I’m All Yours Baby
ABC/Tangerine 675
February, 1969

The LP cover and liner notes promise “an elegant backdrop for any romance.” Ray and Sid Feller used old ballads and strings for the albums‚ seduction sequence. Many people thought the music too soft and missed the jazzy Big Band and Ray’s soulfulness.

Tracks
Yours
I Didn’t Know What Time It Was
Love Is Here To Stay
Memories Of You
Till The End Of Time
I Had The Craziest Dream
Someday
Indian Love Call
I Dream Of You (More Than You Dream I Do)
Gloomy Sunday

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Doing His Thing
Doing His Thing
ABC/Tangerine 695
Released May, 1969

Ray changed it up for this album, and got back into a funky Apollo-in-Harlem mood. Unlike past albums that had their share of Tin Pan Alley classics, all the tracks on “Doing His Thing” were written by the unknown Jimmy Lewis. Lewis had been in L.A. cranking out a living hustling songs and singing with The Drifters. Ray heard him singing demos, liked his raw style, and shocked Lewis by offering to do an entire album of his songs. Ray identified with Lewis‚ country-bred humor, and the two proved to have a real chemistry, so Ray made Jimmy Lewis one of his staff writers.

Tracks
The Same Thing That Can Make You Laugh (Can Make You Cry)
Finders Keepers, Losers Weepers
You Ought To Change Your Ways
Baby Please
Come And Get It
We Can Make it
I’m Ready
That Thing Called Love
If It Wasn’t For Bad Luck
I Told You So

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My Kind of Jazz
My Kind Of Jazz
Tangerine 1512
Released April, 1970

With a recording studio for a playground, Ray could afford to jam with musicians and record their experiments and inspirations. One such playtime nugget, a jam between Ray and his tenor saxman Andy Ennis, was called “Booty Butt,” ’cause that’s a nickname I like to call certain people,” explained Ray. It made it to #31 in the Pop Charts. My Kind Of Jazz is Ray’s band in the studio, playing and recording together with new technology, a modern 8-track recording console built by his new recording engineer David Braithwaite, a onetime apprentice of Tom Dowd.

Tracks
Golden Boy
Booty Butt
This Here
I Remember Clifford
Sidewinder
Bluesette
Pas-Se-O-Ne Blues
Zig Zag
Angel City
Senor Blues

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Love Country Style
Love Country Style
ABC/Tangerine 707
Released June, 1970

With an eight-track studio under his roof and at his command, Ray began to record differently. He would record all the backing tracks, and add his vocals and piano days or weeks later. Ray could work on several albums at once, pushing tracks through various stages of development, adding overdubs and instruments and mixing whenever he desired. He was driven, wanting to control the entire process. “Love Country Style” produced two modest hits with “Don’t Change On Me” and “If You Were Mine.” Of particular note is Ray’s incendiary rendition of the Johnny Cash/June Carter classic “Ring Of Fire.”

Tracks
If You Were Mine
Ring Of Fire
Your Love Is So Doggone Good
Don’t Change On Me
Till I Can’t Take It Anymore
You’ve Still Got A Place In My Heart
I Keep It Hid
Sweet Memories
Good Morning Dear
Show Me The Sunshine

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Volcanic Action of My Soul
Volcanic Action Of My Soul
ABC/Tangerine 726
Released April, 1971

Ray continues to explore the songs of contemporary writers, with two compositions by Jimmy Webb, and one each from Lennon/McCartney and George Harrison. Pedal steel guitar on the Webb tunes mixed beautifully with Sid Feller’s lush arrangements. Glen Campbell and Jerry Reed dropped by to play on the sessions.

Tracks
See You Then
What Am I Living For
Feel So Bad
The Long And Winding Road
The Three Bells
All I Ever Need Is You
Wichita Lineman
Something
I May Be Wrong (But I Think You’re Wonderful)
Down In The Valley

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A Message From The People
A Message From The People
ABC/Tangerine 755
Released April, 1972

Ray had definite messages he wanted to convey on this album and he spoke them and performed them with a depth of passion. One of Ray’s most beloved songs is his forever enduring interpretation of “America The Beautiful,” which was arranged by his good friend Quincy Jones. Ray sang in a slow rocking tempo, removing some verses, and emphasizing those that spoke about the beauty of the country and the bravery of the soldiers. “Then I put a little country church backbeat on it and turned it my way,” said Ray.

Tracks
Lift Every Voice And Sing
Seems Like I Gotta Do Wrong
Heaven Help Us All
There’ll Be No Peace Without All Men As One
Hey Mister
Look What They’ve Done To My Song, Ma
Abraham, Martin And John
Take Me Home, Country Roads
Every Saturday Night
America The Beautiful

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Through The Eyes of Love
Through The Eyes Of Love
ABC/Tangerine 765
Released August, 1972

A lush album featuring a blues ballad, “I Can Make It Thru The Days (But Oh Those Lonely Nights) written by Ray, Ruth Robinson and Dee Ervin, both of whom worked for Ray’s publishing company. The single reached #21 on the R&B charts. On “Rainy Night In Georgia,” Ray, the singer/storyteller, becomes so entwined in the lyrics and scene that he ends the song sounding drunk and in despair, pleading, “Aw, shut off that rain!”

Tracks
My First Night Alone With You
I Can Make It Thru The Days (But Oh Those Lonely Nights)
Someone To Watch Over Me
A Perfect Love
If You Wouldn’t Be My Lady
You Leave Me Breathless
Never Ending Song Of Love
Rainy Night In Georgia

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Jazz Number II
Jazz Number II
Tangerine 1512
Released January, 1973

In case you had forgotten who fronted the hottest band in all the land, Ray released another groovin’ collection of jazz/soul instrumentals featuring “The Genius” on piano backed by his Big Band. Crafted in collaboration with arrangers Teddy Edwards, Jimmy Heath and Al Clausen.

Tracks
Our Suite
A Pair Of Threes
Morning Of Carnival
Going Home
Kids Are Pretty People
Togetherness
Brazilian Skies

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Ray Charles Live
Ray Charles Live
Atlantic 503
Released May, 1973

This album combines live tracks The Newport Jazz Festival in 1958 and the 1959 show at Herndon Stadium in Atlanta. Portions of the Newport show were originally released on Atlantic’s “Ray Charles At Newport”. The Atlanta show was previously released by Atlantic as “Ray Charles In Person”.

Tracks
(Night Time Is) The Right Time
In A Little Spanish Town
I’ve Got A Woman
Blues Waltz
Talkin’ ‘Bout You
Sherry
Hot Rod (The Spirit – Feel)
A Fool For You
(Night Time Is) The Right Time
What’d I Say
Yes Indeed
The Spirit – Feel
Frenesi
Drown In My Own Tears
Tell The Truth

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Come Live With Me
Come Live With Me
Crossover 9000
Released January, 1974

Ray and ABC part company. To begin fresh, and to reflect his ability to express multiple genres of music, Ray names his new record company, Crossover Records. Come Live With Me showcased ballads on Side One, including a beautiful, bluesy take on “Till There Was You,” and Jacques Brel’s “If You Go Away.” On the flip side, Ray got back to some raucous R&B, mixed with a splash of country on “Problems, Problems,” which had been a hit by The Everly Brothers in 1958.

Tracks
Till There Was You
If You Go Away
It Takes So Little Time
Come Live With Me
Somebody
Problems, Problems
Where Was He
Louise
Everybody Sing

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Renaissance
Renaissance
Crossover 9005
Released June, 1975

Ray met Stevie Wonder at a young age, before he was even signed to Motown. Though they had been longtime friends, “Living For The City” was the first song written by Stevie Wonder that Ray felt was right for him to record. “I do it a lot differently than Stevie; I cut out a lot of the musical flourishes and I put that long rap in the middle, talkin’ ‘bout the rats and roaches.” The song earned Ray a Grammy Award in 1975 for “Best Rhythm & Blues Vocal Performance, Male”.

Tracks
Living For The City
Then We’ll Be Home
My God And I
We’re Gonna Make It
For Mamma
Sunshine
It Ain’t Easy Being Green
Sail Away

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My Kind Of Jazz Part 3
My Kind Of Jazz Part III
Crossover 9007
Released October, 1975

Ray and his Big Band strike again, but this time they’re swingin’ in a refurbished 16-track RPM Studios. Listen for hard-bop trumpeter Johnny Coles and saxophonist James Clay dueling on Benny Golson’s “Ray Minor Ray.”

Tracks
I’m Gonna Go Fishin’
For Her
Sister Sadie
¾ Of The Time
Ray Minor Ray
Samba De Elencia
Metamorphosis
Nothing Wrong
Project “S”

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Live In Japan
Crossover/London (Japan) #535/#536
Released July, 1976

Ray Charles was truly a citizen of the world and nothing proves that more than the love affair that he enjoyed with Japanese audiences since his first visit in 1964. Of particular note on this album is Ray’s “death march” slow version of “Till There Was You” from the Broadway play “The Music Man”.

Tracks
Introduction
Metamorphosis
Pair Of Threes
Spain
Blowing The Blues Away
Introduction MC Ray Charles
Let The Good Times Roll
Then I’ll Be Home
Till There Was You
Feel So Bad
Georgia On My Mind
Busted
Am I Blue
Living For The City
I Can’t Stop Loving You
Take Me Home, Country Roads
Don’t Let Her Know
What’d I Say

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888072314863_Porgy & Bess
Porgy & Bess – with Cleo Laine
RCA 1831
Released November, 1976

Jazz producer Norman Granz convinced Ray to record George Gershwin’s “Porgy & Bess”. Ray’s first choice for the role of Bess was Gladys Knight but contractual difficulties made it impossible, and Cleo Laine was selected to sing the role. Frank DeVol arranged the music and conducted the 78-piece orchestra. Great instrumental artists like Joe Sample, Lee Ritenour, Joe Pass and Ernie Watts are just some of the many gifted in the orchestra. The album made it to #14 on the Billboard Jazz Album Charts.

Tracks
Summertime
My Man’s Gone Now
A Woman Is A Sometime Thing
They Pass By Singing
What You Want With Bess
I Got Plenty O’ Nuttin’
Buzzard Song
Bess, You Is My Woman Now
Oh, Doctor Jesus
Crab Man
Here Come De Honey Man
Strawberry Woman
It Ain’t Necessarily So
There’s A Boat That’s Leavin’ Soon For New York
I Loves You, Porgy
Oh Bess, Oh Where’s My Bess
Oh Lord, I’m On My Way

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888072314184_True To Life
True To Life
Crossover/Atlantic 19142
Released October, 1977

In 1977, Ray took his label Crossover and moved it back to Atlantic for distribution. Ahmet Ertegun at Atlantic pushed Ray to record tracks that would connect with a younger audience. Ray stood his ground and made the record his way, but succeeded in connecting with that young audience in a big, big way when he hosted and starred on NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” on November 12, 1977. He reunited his classic Big Band lineup for the show, including David Newman and Leroy Cooper. Ray’s cover of the Johnny Nash tune, “I Can See Clearly Now,” reached #35 on the R&B charts.

Tracks
I Can See Clearly Now
The Jealous Kind
Oh, What A Beautiful Morning
How Long Has This Been Going On
Be My Love
Anonymous Love
Heavenly Music
Game Number Nine
Let It Be

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Love And Peace
Crossover/Atlantic 19199
Released September, 1978

RPM was now a 24-track studio, and Ray used them all on Love And Peace. He reluctantly tried to capture some of the popular disco sound, including the use of electronic synthesizers, which he kept mixing further and further into the background.

Tracks
You 20th-Century Fox
Take Off That Dress
She Knows
Riding Thumb
We Had it All
No Achievement Showing
A Peace That We Never Before Could Enjoy
Is There Anyone Out There?
Give The Poor Man A Break

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Ain’t It So
Crossover/Atlantic 19251
Released September, 1979

Knowing that he had to please himself first when he recorded, that’s exactly what Ray did on “Ain’t It So”. He returned to his unique blend of songs and sounds both old and new. Ray transforms “Some Enchanted Evening” from a romantic ballad into an irresistible rocker. Earlier this year Georgia’s House of Representatives proclaimed “Georgia On My Mind” their official state song and invited Ray to sing it at the capital in Atlanta.

Tracks
Some Enchanted Evening
Blues In The Night
Just Because
What’ll I Do
One Of These Days
Love Me Or Set Me Free
Drift Away
(Turn Out The Lights And) Love Me Tonight

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Brother Ray Is At It Again
Crossover/Atlantic
Released March, 1980

At the start of the 80s, Ray was on a mission to recreate himself. He began appearing in concert with symphony orchestras. He asked Sid Feller to begin converting his record charts into a full concert program for a string and woodwind concert. Ray was rejuvenated. A cameo in The Blues Brothers movie was enjoyable, and like the Saturday Night Live appearance, succeeded in introducing Ray to a younger audience as the cat who is still cooler than cool.

Tracks
Compared To What
Anyway You Want To
Don’t You Love Me Anymore?
A Poor Man’s Song
Now That We’ve Found Each other
Ophelia
I Can’t Change It
Questions

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Wish You Were Here Tonight
Columbia 38293
Released March, 1983

Ray took a couple years off from recording, trying to assess which direction to take. A duet with Clint Eastwood, “Beers To You,” from the film “Any Which Way You Can” reached #50 in the country charts. He played The Grand Ole Opry with Loretta Lynn and received a standing ovation. Country fans are known for their loyalty, and Ray was feeling back at home. Columbia Records in Nashville came calling. His first single, “Born To Love Me,” climbed to #20 on the country single charts.

Tracks
3/4 Time
I Wish You Were Here Tonight
Ain’t Your Memory Got No Pride At All
Born To Love Me
I Don’t Want No Stranger Sleepin’ In My Bed
Let Your Love Flow
You Feel Good All Over
String Bean
You’ve Got The Longest Leaving Act In Town
Shakin’ Your Head

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Do I Ever Cross Your Mind
Columbia 38990
Released July, 1984

On his second country album for Columbia, Ray is still trying to fine-tune his approach. “When I first sang country music in the ‘60s,” said Ray, “I had lots of strings and a chorus of singers. This time I wanted to do more down home pure country, with the real Nashville cats in the studio, I wanted to hear those crying steel guitars.”

Tracks
I Had It All
Do I Ever Cross Your Mind
Woman Sensuous Woman
Then I’ll Be Over You
(All I Wanna Do Is) Lay Around And Love On You
Love Of My Life
They Call It Love
If I Were You
Workin’ Man’s Woman
I Was On Georgia Time

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Friendship
Columbia 39415
Released February, 1985

The idea of a country duets album had been brewing in Ray for a long time. For this album, he came to Nashville to record and Columbia gave him veteran country producer Billy Sherrill. The top Nashville players were recruited and found themselves star struck at the opportunity to play on a Ray Charles session. Ray was having a ball singing with country legends Merle Haggard, George Jones and Willie Nelson (who went on to become one of Ray’s best friends). From the press and the fans reaction, and the participants themselves, they knew they’d created a masterpiece. Friendship shot up to #1 on the country album charts and spun off four Top 20 country singles including a #1 hit with Ray and Willie on “Seven Spanish Angels.”

Tracks
Two Old Cats Like Us w/Hank Williams Jr.
This Old Heart (Is Gonna Rise Again) w/Oak Ridge Boys
We Didn’t See A Thing w/George Jones and Chet Atkins
Who Cares w/Janie Fricke
Rock And Roll Shoes w/B.J. Thomas
Friendship w/Ricky Skaggs
It Ain’t Gonna Worry My Mind w/Mickey Gilley
Little Hotel Room w/Merle Haggard
Crazy Old Soldier w/Johnny Cash
Seven Spanish Angels w/Willie Nelson

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The Spirit Of Christmas
Columbia 39415
Released January, 1986

Ray Charles’s one and only album of Christmas songs. You can hear “That Spirit of Christmas” in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation film.
Reissued as Rhino R2-72842; September 1997.
Reissued as Concord CRE-31671-02; October, 2009.

Tracks
Tracks
What Child Is This
The Little Drummer Boy
Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town
This Time Of Year
Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer
That Spirit Of Christmas
All I Want For Christmas
Christmas In My Heart
Winter Wonderland
Christmas Time

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From The Pages Of My Mind
Columbia 40388
Released September, 1986

Producer Billy Sherrill is again at the helm of this recording. The material is comfortable laid-back country-pop, a mellow album filled with quiet treasures. It found modest success, but could not duplicate the gangbuster hit, Friends. The honors kept rolling in and Ray was inducted as a founding member into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and was also awarded The Kennedy Center Honors Medal, America’s most distinguished award for the arts.

Tracks
The Pages Of My Mind
Slip Away
Anybody With The Blues
Class Reunion
Caught A Touch Of Your Love
A Little Bit Of Heaven
Dixie Moon
Over And Over (Again)
Beaucoup Love
Love Is Worth The Pain

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Just Between Us
Just Between Us
Columbia 40703
Released September, 1988

Ray comes back home to his RPM studio to record with his own Big Band and a few familiar cats like Doc Pomus, Milt Jackson, Percy Mayfield, Ralph Burns and Marty Paich. This is Ray making an album just for Ray. He sings a tender ballad with Gladys Knight, “I Wish I’d Never Loved You At All.” Then he cuts up with Lou Rawls on “Save The Bones For Henry Jones.” Ray also has some fun with the synthesizers and plays them for various instrumental effects on the album.

Tracks
Nothing Like A Hundred Miles w/B.B. King
I Wish I’d Never Loved You At All w/Gladys Knight
Too Hard To Love You w/Jim Johnson
Now I Don’t Believe That Anyone
Let’s Call The Whole Thing Off
Stranger In My Own Hometown w/Kenny Carr
Over The Top
I’d Walk A Little More For You
If That’s What’ Cha Want
Save The Bones For Henry Jones w/Lou Rawls and Milt Jackson

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Would You Believe
Would You Believe?
Warner Bros. 26343
Released October, 1990

Mo Ostin, Warner Bros. Records longtime president, delighted in having the opportunity to finally record Ray Charles. Ray had already been working on tracks with composer Jimmy Lewis, and had found arranger-keyboardist Rich Cason to be his synthesizer guru, showing Ray how to get bass, drums, horns and hand claps out of the magic keyboards.
The new use of synth brings in a contemporary sound. Earlier in 1990, Ray had a dance club hit in duet with Chaka Khan, “I’ll Be Good ToYou”, which reached #1 on the R&B chart, #20 on the pop chart and won them both a Grammy Award for “Best Rhythm & Blues Performance By A Duo or Vocal Group”.

Tracks
I’ll Take Care Of You
Your Love Keeps Me Satisfied
Ellie, My Love
I Can’t Get Enough
Let’s Get Back To Where We Left Off
Child Support, Alimony
Fresh Out Of Tears
Living Without You
Where’re The Stars
Leave Him!

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My World
My World
Warner Bros. 26735
Released March, 1993

A successful ad campaign with Diet Pepsi had changed the public’s perception of Ray. He was less of an old-timer and more of a hip star of the ‘90s. “You’ve got the right one, baby, uh-huh” became the popular catchphrase. Mo Ostin wants an album that will appeal to this new audience and brings in veteran producer Richard Perry. Ray loved Leon Russell’s “A Song For You”, and Ray’s version won a Grammy Award for “Best Rhythm & Blues Vocal Performance”. About Paul Simon’s “Still Crazy After All These Years” Ray told writer David Ritz, “Still Crazy fit me fine, especially the part that says, ‘I’m not the kind of man who tends to socialize/I seem to lean on old familiar ways.’ That’s me.”

Tracks
My World
A Song For You
None Of Us Are Free
So Help Me God
Let Me Take Over
One Drop Of Love
If I Could
Love Has A Mind Of It’s Own
I’ll Be There
Still Crazy After All These Years

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Strong Love Affair
Strong Love Affair
Warner Bros. 46107
Released January, 1996

“Strong Love Affair” is an amalgamation of introspection, experimentation and a long-distance recording process. Ray collaborated on the album with a French producer. The producer would send songs for Ray to select, record the instrumentals in Paris, and send them back to Ray for the vocals. Quincy Jones released the album on his Qwest label, distributed by Warner Bros. Records.

Tracks
All She Wants To Do Is Love Me
Say No More
No Time To Waste Time
Angelina
Tell What You Want Me To Do
Strong Love Affair
Everybody’s Handsome Child
Out Of My Life
The Fever
Separate Ways
I Need A Good Woman Bad
If You Give Me Your Heart

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Berlin 1962
Berlin, 1962
Pablo 5301
April, 1996

Jazz impresario Norman Granz issued this previously unreleased classic concert performance of Brother Ray with his swingin’ big band (that included David “Fathead” Newman and Hank Crawford) backed by The Raeletts, in their prime and on stage in Berlin, circa 1962. Ray hits on all cylinders, leaving the audience begging for more.

Tracks
Band Intro
Strike Up The Band
One Mint Julep
I’ve Got A Woman
Georgia On My Mind
Margie
The Danger Zone
Hallelujah I Love Her So
Hide ‘Nor Hair
Alexander’s Ragtime Band
I Believe to My Soul
Hit The Road Jack
Night Time Is The Right Time
Bye, Bye Love
Unchain My Heart
What’d I Say

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Thanks For Bringing Love Around Again
Thanks For Bringing Love Around Again
Crossover 4000
Released May, 2002

Ray shows that he loves the mechanics of making music as much as performing it on this album. Instead of musicians playing organic instruments, Ray uses a variety of synthesizers for backing strings, horns and percussion on many of these tracks. Deeply moving is “Mother,” the first time Ray had put his feelings for his mother ‘Retha into music.

Tracks
What’d I Say (New Arrangement)
Can You Love Me Like That
How Did You Feel The Morning After
I Love You More Than I Ever Have
Really Got A Hold On Me
Thanks For Bringing Love Around Again
Save Your Lovin’ Just For Me
I Just Can’t Get Enough Of You
Ensemble
New Orleans
Mr. Creole
Mother

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Ray Charles Sings For America
Ray Charles Sings For America
Rhino 605748
Released September, 2002

A year after the terrorist attacks on America, this compilation album was issued that thematically and musically gave us Ray’s America. There were two new tracks, including the spoken “Ray Reflects On America” and “God Bless America Again,” with featured performances by Slash and Billy Preston. This collection stars Ray’s stirring, iconic version of “America The Beautiful,” a rendition that brought healing and hope to a nation in pain.

Tracks
America The Beautiful
Imagine (featuring The Harlem Gospel Singers)
Let It Be
New York’s My Home
Over The Rainbow
That Lucky Old Sun
Ol’ Man River
Carry Me Back To Old Virginny
Take Me Home, Country Roads
Ray Reflects on America
My God And I
Lift Every Voice And Sing
There’ll Be No Peace Without All Men As One
Light Out Of Darkness
Heaven Help Us All
Abraham, Martin and John
Hey Mister
Sail Away
The Danger Zone
God Bless America Again (previously unreleased, with Billy Preston and Slash)

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Genius Loves Company
Genius Loves Company
Concord 2248-2
Released August, 2004

“I’ve recorded with so many amazing artists in my career but never on a duets album all my own. I thought it was time to have some of the friends that I love and the artists that I admire come into my studio and sing with me live,” explains Ray Charles on the genesis of “Genius Loves Company”. “All the guests brought their own magic to each song. That’s what we wanted and that’s exactly what we got.” “Genius Loves Company” stands as a remarkable hallmark in a remarkable career. In his brilliant debut for Concord Records, Ray sings a dozen duets with a dazzling array of guest artists from virtually every genre.

“Genius Loves Company” was Ray’s final studio album. Fittingly, it won a basketful of Grammy Awards: “Heaven Help Us All” with Gladys Knight, won “Best Gospel Performance”. “Here We Go Again” with Norah Jones won “Best Pop Vocal Collaboration” and “Record Of The Year”. The album was voted “Best Pop Vocal Album” and “Album Of The Year”. “Genius Loves Company” took home three other Grammys, including one to arranger Victor Vanacore for his arrangement on “Over The Rainbow.” The album went multi-platinum and hit #1 on the album charts in several countries.

Tracks
Here We Go Again w/Norah Jones
Sweet Potato Pie w/James Taylor
You Don’t Know Me w/Diana Krall
Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word w/Elton John
Fever w/Natalie Cole
Do I Ever Cross Your Mind w/Bonnie Raitt
It Was A Very Good Year w/Willie Nelson
Hey Girl w/Michael McDonald
Sinner’s Prayer w/B.B. King
Heaven Help Us All w/Gladys Knight
Over The Rainbow w./Johnny Mathis
Crazy Love w/ Van Morrison

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Ray Charles Celebrates A Gospel Christmas (With The Voices Of Jubilation)
Madacy Records 50827
Released: September, 2004

In the 1950′s, Ray Charles began his career mixing the fiery passion of gospel and the hard-hitting sound of the blues to create a whole new sound in rhythm & blues that helped make him a legend in American music. On this album, Ray revisits his gospel roots and joins forces with the 120-member “Voices of Jubilation Gospel Choir” from Newark, New Jersey for a stirring program of Christmas music. This concert performance was originally filmed for television and was directed by Stuart Benjamin who also produced the feature film, “Ray.”

Tracks
What Kind Of Man Is This
The Christmas Song
All Night, All Day
Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas w/Harold Dudley
Oh, Happy Day
Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer
Hark! The Herald Angels Sing w/Stefanie Minatee
Silent Night
Little Drummer Boy
America The Beautiful

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Genius and Friends
Genius And Friends
Rhino 73185
Released September, 2005

Trying to prove that lightning could strike in the same place twice, Atlantic Records and Rhino released tracks that Ray had been worked on in the 1990′s and fused them with vocals by contemporary artists to create another duet album. To many, it was just a painful reminder that The Genius had left the building.

Tracks
All I Want To Do w/Angie Stone
You Are My Sunshine w/Chris Issak
It All Goes By So Fast w/Mary J. Blige
You Were There w/ Gladys Knight
Imagine w/ Ruben Studdard and the Harlem Gospel Singers
Compared To What w/ Leela James
Big Bad Love w/ Diana Ross
I Will Be There w/ Idini Menzel
Blame It On The Sun w/ George Michael
Touch w/ John Legend
Shout w/ Patti LaBelle & The Andre Crouch Singers
Surrender To Love w/ Laura Pausisni
Busted (Live) w/Willie Nelson

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Ray Sings Basie Swings
Ray Sings Basie Swings
Concord 30026-2
Released October, 2006

“Ray Sings, Basie Swings” combines archival, never-before-heard Ray Charles vocal recordings with brand-new performances by the current Count Basie Orchestra. This ground breaking CD gives listeners the unprecedented experience of hearing Ray Charles at the dazzling peak of his vocal prowess. Ray Sings, Basie Swings was created with the most up-to-date recording and mixing technology, offering sound quality that is state-of-the art.

A Project Summary… The producers of this CD discovered archival reels of Ray Charles performing live in 1973. Although the vocals were superior, the remaining elements were of extremely poor quality. They decided to bring the current Basie Orchestra into the studio and, using the latest technology, they carefully and painstakingly laid down a new instrumental backdrop for Ray’s towering vocals.

Tracks
Oh, What A Beautiful Morning
Let The Good Times Roll
How Long Has This Been Going On
Every Saturday Night
Busted
Crying Time
I Can’t Stop Loving You
Come Live With Me
Feel So Bad
The Long And Winding Road
Look What They’ve Done To My Song
Georgia On My Mind

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Rare Genius
Rare Genius
Concord 32196-25

Released October, 2010

In celebration of the 80th birthday of the legendary Ray Charles in 2010, Rare Genius: The Undiscovered Masters includes a treasure trove of newly discovered recordings that is highlighted by a duet with fellow icon Johnny Cash.

Culled from four decades worth of demos and other previously unreleased material, Rare Genius showcases the remarkable artistic vision, stylistic range and emotionally rich vocals that crafted Charles enduring legacy. Listening to the ten gems from the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s that comprise this CD, fans will have no trouble envisioning the late singer rocking back and forth at the piano as he effortlessly segues between R&B/soul, pop, country and gospel.

Tracks
Love’s Gonna Bite You Back
It Hurts To Be In Love
Wheel Of Fortune
I’m Gonna Keep On Singin’
There’ll Be Some Changes Made
Isn’t It Wonderful?
I Don’t Want No One But You
A Little Bitty Tear
She’s Gone
Why Me Lord?

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Rare Genius
Ray Charles Forever
Concord 34827-00

Released September, 2013

Ray Charles was commemorated on September 23, 2013, his 83rd birthday, with a United States Postal Service Music Icons Forever® Stamp. Concord Records celebrates the occasion with the release of Ray Charles Forever, a deluxe CD/DVD collection on September 24th.

In addition, Concord Records produced a special edition of Ray Charles Forever with an exclusive bonus track, available at major Post OfficeTM locations across the country, as well as online at usps.com and ebay.com/stamps. Various launch events will be held across the U.S. to pay tribute to this momentous occasion, including at the GRAMMY Museum in Los Angeles, CA and the Ray Charles Performing Arts Center at Morehouse College in Atlanta, GA.

Disc One

Song For You

I’m Gonna Move To The Outskirts Of Town

Ring Of Fire

Come Rain Or Come Shine

They Can’t Take That Away From Me

Till There Was You

Isn’t It Wonderful

None Of Us Are Free

Imagine

If I Could

So Help Me God

America the Beautiful

Disc Two

Ray Charles Forever

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