Ray Charles

Charles in the 1960s
Charles in 1968
Charles in 1971
Charles meeting with President Richard Nixon, 1972 (photo by Oliver F. Atkins)
Charles at the 2003 Montreal International Jazz Festival, one of his last public performances
Quincy Jones worked with Ray Charles.
Star honoring Charles on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, at 6777 Hollywood Boulevard
Statue by Andy Davis in Ray Charles Plaza in Albany, Georgia

American singer, songwriter, pianist, and composer.

- Ray Charles

500 related topics


ABC Records

American record label founded in New York City in 1955.

ABC Paramount 78rpm record and original sleeve

Ray Charles formed Tangerine Records in March 1962 and arranged for ABC-Paramount to distribute Tangerine's records.

Soul music

Popular music genre that originated in the African American community throughout the United States in the late 1950s and early 1960s.

Al Green (1973), one of the genre's major pioneering artists
Ray Charles pioneered the soul music genre during the 1950s by combining blues, rhythm and blues, and gospel styles
James Brown was known as the "Godfather of Soul"
Sam Cooke is acknowledged as one of soul music's "forefathers".
Solomon Burke recorded for Atlantic in the 1960s
Aretha Franklin is widely known as the "Queen of Soul"
Marvin Gaye shifted to a soul sound with his 1971 hit "What's Going On"
Levi Stubbs singing lead with the Four Tops in 1966
Soul singer Otis Redding was an electrifying stage presence
Isaac Hayes performing in 1973
Adele performing in 2016

Ray Charles is often cited as popularizing the soul music genre with his series of hits, starting with 1954's "I Got a Woman".

Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music

Sid Feller (left) and Ray Charles in 1962

Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music is a studio album by American singer and pianist Ray Charles.

Charles Brown (musician)

American singer and pianist whose soft-toned, slow-paced nightclub style influenced West Coast blues in the 1940s and 1950s.

Brown performing in 1996

He influenced such performers as Floyd Dixon, Cecil Gant, Ivory Joe Hunter, Percy Mayfield, Johnny Ace and Ray Charles.

Jerry Wexler

Music journalist who turned music producer, and was a major influence on American popular music from the 1950s through the 1980s.

He coined the term "rhythm and blues", and was integral in signing and/or producing many of the biggest acts of the time, including Ray Charles, the Allman Brothers, Chris Connor, Aretha Franklin, Led Zeppelin, Wilson Pickett, Dire Straits, Dusty Springfield and Bob Dylan.

Quincy Jones

American record producer, musician, songwriter, composer, arranger, and film and television producer.

Jones in May 2014
Logo of Quincy Jones Productions used from 1970s to early 1990s
Jones in 1989
Jones worked with Michael Jackson as a producer on Off the Wall (1979), Thriller (1982) and Bad (1987).
Jones during an annual meeting in 2004 of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, January 21, 2004
Pharrell Williams and American astronaut Leland D. Melvin present a NASA montage to Jones.
Jones in 1997
President Barack Obama presenting Jones with the National Medal of Arts

At age 14, Jones introduced himself to 16-year-old Ray Charles after watching him play at the Black Elks Club.


Music genre and musical form which originated in the Deep South of the United States around the 1860s by African-Americans from roots in African-American work songs and spirituals.

American blues singer Ma Rainey (1886–1939), the "Mother of the Blues"
A minor pentatonic scale;
Musicologist John Lomax (left) shaking hands with musician "Uncle" Rich Brown in Sumterville, Alabama
Sheet music from "Saint Louis Blues" (1914)
Bessie Smith, an early blues singer, known for her powerful voice
A typical boogie-woogie bass line
John Lee Hooker
Blues legend B.B. King with his guitar, "Lucille"
Texas blues guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughan, 1983
Italian singer Zucchero is credited as the "Father of Italian Blues", and is among the few European blues artists who still enjoy international success.
Eric Clapton performing at Hyde Park, London, in June 2008
Duke Ellington straddled the big band and bebop genres. Ellington extensively used the blues form.
The music of Taj Mahal for the 1972 movie Sounder marked a revival of interest in acoustic blues.

There are also 16-bar blues, such as Ray Charles's instrumental "Sweet 16 Bars" and Herbie Hancock's "Watermelon Man".

Atlantic Records

American record label founded in October 1947 by Ahmet Ertegun and Herb Abramson.

Atlantic Records logo from its inception in 1947 to 1966 (it was still used on 7" single releases), used again from 1979 to 1981 and 2004 to 2015.
Atlantic logo used from 1966 to 2005. It was revived in 2015.
"Weird Al" Yankovic edits Atlantic Records' Wikipedia page to read "YOU SUCK!" in the music video for the song "White & Nerdy"

Over its first 20 years of operation, Atlantic earned a reputation as one of the most important American labels, specializing in jazz, R&B, and soul by Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles, Wilson Pickett, Sam and Dave, Ruth Brown and Otis Redding.

Georgia on My Mind

1930 song written by Hoagy Carmichael and Stuart Gorrell and first recorded that same year by Hoagy Carmichael.

Stuart Gorrell's letter to the Bremen Enquirer, August 3, 1961

However, the song has been most often associated with soul singer Ray Charles, who was a native of the U.S. state of Georgia and recorded it for his 1960 album The Genius Hits the Road.


Seaport city on the West Coast of the United States.

Seattle's first streetcar, at the corner of Occidental and Yesler, 1884. All buildings depicted were destroyed by fire five years later.
Seattle and King County in 1891
Pioneer Square in 1917 featuring the Pioneer Building, the Smith Tower, and the Seattle Hotel
Building the Seattle Center Monorail, 1961 (looking north up Fifth Avenue from Virginia Street)
Satellite photo of Seattle
Map of racial distribution in Seattle, 2010 U.S. Census. Each dot is 25 people:
Washington Mutual's last headquarters, the WaMu Center, (now the Russell Investments Center) (center left) and its headquarters prior, Washington Mutual Tower (now the 1201 Third Avenue Tower) (center right).
Amazon headquarters building (named "Day 1") in the Denny Triangle
Seattle Central Library
Kreielsheimer Promenade and Marion Oliver McCaw Hall at Seattle Center
Benaroya Hall has been the home of the Seattle Symphony since 1998.
210 cruise ship visits brought 886,039 passengers to Seattle in 2008.
The sign of Pike Place Market, a popular public market and tourist destination
The Seattle Great Wheel
Lumen Field, home of the Seattle Seahawks, Seattle Sounders FC, and Seattle Dragons
T-Mobile Park, home of the Seattle Mariners
Climate Pledge Arena, home of the Seattle Kraken
Lumen Field during a Sounders match
Lake Union Park at the southern end of Lake Union
The city council consists of two at-large positions and seven district seats representing the areas shown.
Suzzallo Library at the University of Washington
Seattle Children's in Laurelhurst
Interstate 5 as it passes through downtown Seattle
King County Water Taxi, and downtown Seattle
1 Line light rail trains in the Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel at the University Street Station
King Street Station, used by Amtrak and commuter trains

The jazz scene nurtured the early careers of Ray Charles, Quincy Jones, Ernestine Anderson, and others.