Musicians Born In 1953 – He is considered one of the most iconic and influential singers in history, often being referred to by contemporaries as “De Gius”. Among friends and fellow musicians he preferred to be called “Brother Ray”.
Charles pioneered soul music in the 1950s, combining blues, jazz, rhythm and blues and gospel styles in the music he recorded for Atlantic Records.
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He contributed to the integration of country music, rhythm and blues and pop music in the 1960s with his crossover success on ABC Records, especially with his two Modern Sounds albums.
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While at ABC, Charles became one of the first black musicians to be given artistic control by a mainstream record label.
Charles’ 1960 hit “Georgia On My Mind” was the first of his three no.
Charles has had multiple singles reach the Top 40 on various Billboard charts: 44 on the US R&B Singles chart, 11 on the Hot 100 Singles chart, 2 on the Hot Country Singles chart.
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Charles has cited Nat King Cole as a primary influence, but his music has also been influenced by Louis Jordan and Charles Brown.
He had a unique and occasional lifelong partnership with Quincy Jones. Frank Sinatra has called Ray Charles “the only true genius in show business”, although Charles has downplayed this notion.
Billy Joel said, “This may sound sacrilegious, but I think Ray Charles was more important than Elvis Presley.”
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For his musical contributions, Charles has received Knedy Cter Honors, the National Medal of Arts and the Polar Music Prize. He was one of the inaugural inductees of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986. He has won 18 Grammy Awards (5 posthumous),
The Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1987, and 10 of his recordings have been inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.
In 2022, he was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame as well as the Black Music & Tertainmt Walk of Fame.
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He was the son of Bailey Robinson, a laborer, and Aretha (or Reatha) Robinson (née Williams), a laundress, of Greville, Florida.
During Aretha’s childhood, his mother died. Her father could not keep her. Bailey, a man her father worked with, took her in. The Robinson-Bailey family, his wife Mary Jane, and her mother informally adopted her and Aretha adopted the surname Robinson. A few years later, 15-year-old Aretha became pregnant with Bailey. During the prosecution’s scandal, she left Greville in the late summer of 1930 to stay with her family in Albany. After the birth of the child, Ray Charles, she and the infant Charles moved back to Greville. Aretha and Bailey’s wife, who had lost a child, shared in Charles’s upbringing. The father left the family, left Greville and married another woman elsewhere. On his first birthday, Charles had a brother, George. Later, no one could remember who George’s father was.
Karel was deeply devoted to his mother, and later, despite her health and adversity, he relied on her perseverance, self-reliance, and pride as guides in his life.
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In his early years, Charles showed an interest in mechanical objects and often saw his neighbors working on their cars and farm machinery. His musical curiosity was piqued at Wylie Pitman’s Red Wing Cafe at the age of three, where Pitman played boogie woogie on an old upright piano; Afterwards, Pitman taught Charles to play the piano. Charles and his mother were always welcome at the Red Wing Cafe and always lived there when they were in financial need.
Pitman would also babysit Ray’s younger brother George to take some of the burden off of their mother. George accidentally drowned himself in his mother’s sink when he was four years old.
Engaged, uneducated and grieving the loss of her youngest child, Aretha Robinson used her connections in the local community to find a school that would accept a blind African-American student. Despite his initial protest, Charles attended the Florida School for the Deaf and Blind in St. Augustine from 1937 to 1945.
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And was taught to play classical piano music by Bach, Mozart and Beethoven. His teacher, Mrs. Lawrce, taught him to use music in braille, a difficult process that required learning left hand movements by reading braille with his right hand and learning right hand movements by reading braille with his left hand. and the two parts combine.
Charles’s mother died in the spring of 1945, when he was 14 years old. Her death came as a shock to him; he later said that the deaths of his brother and mother were “the two great tragedies” of his life. Charles decided not to go back to school after the funeral.
After leaving school, Charles moved to Jacksonville to live with Charles Wayne Powell, who was free with his late mother. He played piano for over a year for bands at the Ritz Theater in LaVilla,
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). He joined Local 632 of the American Federation of Musicians, hoping it would help him get a job,
And he could use the union piano to practice, as he didn’t have one at home; he learned piano lessons by copying the other musicians there.
He began building a reputation as a talented musician in Jacksonville, but the jobs didn’t come quickly enough for him to build a strong identity, so at age 16 he moved to Orlando, where he lived on the edge of poverty and days without food. .
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It was difficult for musicians to find work; since the end of World War II, there were no more “G.I. Joes” to preserve.
Charles began writing possible arrangements for a pop band, and in the summer of 1947 he unsuccessfully auditioned to play piano for Lucky Millinder and his sixteen-piece band.
In 1947, Charles moved to Tampa, where he held two jobs, including one as a pianist on Charles Brantley’s Honey Dippers.
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Early in his career, Charles was inspired by Nat King Cole. His first four recordings – “Wandering and Wondering”, “Walking and Talking”, “Why Did You Go?” and “I Found My Baby There”—were supposedly made in Tampa, although some discographies claim he recorded them in Miami in 1951 or Los Angeles in 1952.
Charles had always played the piano for other people, but he wanted his own band. He decided to leave Florida for a big city and, finding Chicago and New York too big, followed his friend Gossie McKee to Seattle, Washington, in March 1948, knowing that the biggest radio hits came from northern cities.
With Charles on piano, McKee on guitar and Milton Garred on bass, the McSon Trio (named after McKee and Robinson) began playing from 1pm to 5pm. rocking chair shift.
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The publicity photos of this trio are some of the earliest known photos of Charles. In April 1949, he and his band recorded “Confession Blues”, which became their first national hit, reaching No. 2 on the Billboard R&B chart.
While still working on the rocking chair, Charles also arranged songs for other artists, including Cole Porter’s “Ghost of a Chance” and Dizzy Gillespie’s “Emanon”.
After the success of his first two singles, Charles moved to Los Angeles in 1950 and spent the next few years touring with blues musician Lowell Fulson as Fulson’s musical director.
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In 1950, Charles appeared in a hotel in Miami under the impression of Harry Stone, who recorded a record by Ray Charles Rockin, which did not gain popularity. During his stay in Miami, Charles was required to remain in the segregated but thriving black community of Overtown. Stone later helped Jerry Wexler find Charles in St. Petersburg.
After signing with Swing Time Records, Charles recorded two more R&B hits under the name Ray Charles: “Baby, Let Me Hold Your Hand” (1951), which reached #5, and “Kissa Me Baby” (1952). ), which reached No. 8. Swing Time folded the following year and Ahmet Ertegun signed Charles to Atlantic.
In addition to being a musician, Charles was also a music producer, producing Guitar Slim’s #1 hit “The Things That I Used to Do”.
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His first recording session for Atlantic (“The Midnight Hour”/”Roll with My Baby”) took place in September 1952, although his final Swing Time release (“Misery in My Heart”/”The Snow Is Falling”) didn’t show up. . until February 1953.
In 1953, “Mess Around” became his first minor hit for Atlantic; the following year he had hits with “It Should’ve Be Me” and “Don’t You Know”.
In late 1954, Charles recorded “I’ve Got a Woman”. The lyrics were written by bandleader Rald Richard. Charles demanded the composition. She later admitted that the song was reminiscent of Southern Tones ‘It Must Be Jesus’ (1954). It became one of his most notable hits, reaching #2 on the R&B chart.
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“I’ve Got a Woman” combined elements of gospel, jazz, and blues. In 1955 he had hits with “This Little Girl of Mine” and “A Fool for You”. Over the next few years, hits included “Drown in My Own Tears” and “Hallelujah I Love Her So”.
Charles also recorded jazz as well as
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