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Ray Charles Mastermix

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Brother Ray’s passing is unfortunate, but it does provide a good excuse to happily root through bunches of his old recordings.

It was often said that Ray Charles could sing the phone book, and make it sound convincing. Better trick: He could turn “Take Me Home, Country Roads” into soul music.

Anyway, I put together a mastermix CD of Ray for friends and neighbors. It’s mostly stuff on the Genius and Soul box set. The Sings for America album has a couple of them.

It starts out more rockin’ and swingin’ and gradually works toward more sad ballad stuff. Something like:

I’m Movin’ On
What’d I Say – Parts I & II
Hit the Road Jack
Hardhearted Hannah
Let’s Go Get Stoned
Makin’ Whoopee
(Nightime Is) The Right Time
Hallelujah, I Love Her So
I Got a Woman

Eleanor Rigby
Unchain My Heart
Baby, It’s Cold Outside (w/Betty Carter)
Georgia On My Mind
Born to Lose
Crying Time
I Can’t Stop Loving You
Sail Away
America the Beautiful
Seven Spanish Angels

Of course, it constitutes pure criminality to leave off any number of things, but for just one 77 minute CD, this seems a decent sample.

There’s one special missing item, however, with which I would love help. It’s something of a holy grail in Brother Ray rarities. I’m looking for the song “Questions.” It is a Ray Charles composition, the last song from the 1980 album Brother Ray Is At It Again. As far as I know, it has never been released on CD. My only copy is on a vinyl album that I’m a dozen years past having any way to play.

P2P has been no use. Anybody?

Ray Charles Is God at MoreThings.

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  • sonny


    wish i could help, but i’m in the same boat. i had the ‘brother ray is at it again’ album and have also been lookin for it for years. no luck.

    perhaps, now, everything not currently available on cd will come out. on rhino, for instance.


  • sonny

    btw, for anyone interested, rhino’s streamin a best of collection (includin a healthy number from al’s mix):


  • I have a copy of the vinyl as well and the only thing i can think of is to go to a music store where there are savvy employees who were fans of Ray Charles, this may be your best bet

  • Am I interpreting this correctly? You have the vinyl, but don’t own turntables? If that’s the case, that seriously f’d up, dude.

    What, I have to start some sort of international charity because the USAians can’t protect and preserve their cultural heritage?

    I guess I better get started before The Hegemon listens to the petitions of The Audio Cartel to plug the Analogue Gap.

  • yep, al has gone over to the mp3-devil darkside.

  • Mark, I STARTED OUT on the mp3 dark side, and my evil only grows. Wait till I get broadband down on the farm. Ha!

    At one point, I had a modest 600 or so vinyl albums. I gave them away in mass several years ago. I’d long since replaced almost everything worthwhile.

    I have probably two dozen vinyl albums now, mostly saved for the artwork or some sentimental reason. The old man thoughtfully took it on himself to give away my original fire cover copy of Street Survivors to some gun trading buddy, so there’s not much left of any cash value.

    I have two or three albums out of that that I actually need to convert to digital, notably the Ray Charles.

    Good news is that apparently one of my partners in the city actually does have a turntable set up for just such usage. I hadn’t thought to ask him specifically, but he picked up on the need from reading my blog.

    When I get this accomplished, I promise to spread that “Questions” song far and wide.

    And it would be just like that damned commie Canuck Carruthers to want to start some idiot bureaucracy over a couple of old slabs of vinyl.

  • Nah, it would be a guerrilla hit and run squadron who would parachute into backwards areas with turntables, Powermacs and a Linksys wireless router to liberate unknown music and bring it to the people! Even ones who are too sour to deserve it. Totally NGO, yo!

    Can someone who doesn’t own a turntable (or two), really love music?

  • Mark

    I have seen Ray Charles in concert several times but I cannot get a song out of my head from a 1992 concert in Chicago at the Chicago Theatre. I don’t know the name but some of the lyrics went “be life to me, be wife to me” and I believe the last line of the song was “be mine”.

    Please help!

    And I love brother Ray’s music.

    🙂 Mark