|One of Ray Charles last public performances, at the 2003 Montreal International Jazz Festival.|
Ray Charles, 2004 US singer, songwriter Ray Charles died aged 73. Glaucoma rendered Charles blind at the age of six. He scored the 1962 UK & US No.1 single 'I Can't Stop Loving You' plus over 30 other US Top 40 singles and the 2005 US No.1 album 'Genius Loves Company.' Charles who was married twice and fathered twelve children by nine different women appeared in the 1980 hit movie, The Blues Brothers, which was also the winner of 17 Grammy Awards.
Ray Charles possessed one of the most recognizable voices in American music. He was the first artist to combine rhythm & blues and gospel. The best memories of Ray Charles rest in his music legacy...
'Hit the Road Jack' was the winner of the 1961 Grammy for Best Male Rhythm and Blues Recording. The continuing popularity of this song is evident by the many professional and semi-professional hockey teams playing the first few lines whenever a player is sent to the penalty box. The song is also played at baseball games when the manager takes out the pitcher.
"I Can't Stop Loving You" is a popular song written and composed by country singer, songwriter and musician Don Gibson, who first recorded it on December 30, 1957, for RCA Victor Records. It was released in 1958 as the B-side of "Oh, Lonesome Me", becoming a double-sided country hit single. The song was covered by Ray Charles in 1962 winning the Grammy for Best Rhythm & Blues recording that same year.
According to the hit movie Ray, Charles was banned from performing in Georgia in 1961, following his refusal to play to a white-only audience. Mr. Charles was never banned from performing in his home state of Georgia. In 1979 the General Assembly did welcome him. He sang the classic Hoagy Carmichel song "Georgia." Source: Our Georgia History
And the music goes on beating to the rhythm of the changing times...