Coming from a very poor family, Ray Charles gradually loses sight after glaucoma detected at the age of 4 years. He became completely blind at the age of 7 years and is seen placed in specialized educational institute in St. Augustine, Florida. There he discovered music and develops multi-instrumentalist composer talent.
Orphaned at 15, he left the institute, and is host to a friend of her mother in Jacksonville, starting his musical career in piano bars. In 1949 he recorded his first album and over the album, Ray Charles developed his personal style, rhythm and blues oriented, and had his first truly great success in the 1960s, including ” What I’d Say .”
In 1960, he joined the ABC Paramount label, which leaves him total artistic freedom. Thus Ray Charles made his greatest hits including “Georgia on my mind” , became anthem of Georgia after Ray Charles refused to produce it, victim of segregation laws. It was at this time that he acquired the nickname ” Genius “, given by Frank Sinatra . This is also the period when Ray is lost in addiction: it is weaned in 1965 and returns to the front of the stage by taking a musical turn oriented pop music.
He died at age 73 from liver disease at his home in Beverly Hills, after a career of over 50 years and titles that marked forever the history of music.
True legend of legend Ray Charles would have turned 86 years old today , back on 10 titles that have marked his career:
Source: Jazz Radio