“As long as I can remember, music has always been something extraordinary in my life. It's always been something that completely captured my attention.” ~ Ray Charles
Dear patient readers. I am sitting here at my key board and I am struggling with a massive case of writer’s block. I just don’t quite know what to say or where to begin.
I’ve just finally had the time to view my copy of Ray Charles – Live at Montreux 1997 and I am ready to write a thoughtful review of a brilliant performance and yet here I am, completely stumped. My mind is blank and I’m at a complete loss for words.
I know; it’s insane. How can I be at a loss for words about the legendary Ray Charles; the genius of soul, the icon, the music pioneer? Even if you‘ve never heard of the Mr. Ray Charles (say if you’ve been hiding under a rock for the past fifty years in a vacuum sealed soundless capsule on Mars or something), you just have to Google him (just when did Google become a verb anyway?) to find a ridiculous amount of information.
Born in 1930 in Albany GA., Ray Charles Robinson was blind by the age of 7 due to Glaucoma and subsequently attended Saint Augustine’s School for the Blind. His professional career started in Jacksonville Florida in 1946 but he moved to Seattle in 1948 and changed his professional name to Ray Charles. He released in first single “Confession” under the Swingtime label in 1949, had his first R&B hit with “It Should Have Been Me” in 1954 and his first crossover hit on the pop charts with “Swanee River Rock” in 1957.
However it was in 1959 that the legend that is Ray Charles was truly born with his mega hit and signature song, “What’d I say!” From then on he went on to make Ray Charles history and created the very definition of Soul Music to this day.