Ray Charles

Rhythm and Blues/Soul

Thomas Kragh


Ray Charles was born in 1930 and died in 2004. In his childhood, he suffered from poverty and lost his sight due to congenital juvenile glaucoma. His mother sent him to a deaf and blind school in St. Augustine. Although no one in his family was musical, he developed interest from gospel music in church, jazz from the radio, and blues from jukeboxes.

Ray Charles began his musical career by moving to Seattle in 1948 to pursue opportunities in the West. There he released his first hit, "Baby, Let Me Hold Your Hand". After his success, he signed with Atlantic Records and continued his career.

Overall, Ray Charles won thirteen Grammy Awards, recorded 60 albums, was inducted into the Rock n' Roll Hall of Fame, and performed in over 10,000 concerts. Ray Charles died from liver disease in 2004.


In the Georgia State Music Hall of Fame
Star in the "Hollywood Walk of Fame"

Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award (1987)

Grammy Award for Best Vocal Performance, Male (1961)

Kennedy Center Honoree (1986)


R&B features a soulful singer and includes a smaller group of instruments than the big bands of jazz. R&B evolved from the gospel, jazz, and swing genres of music. It was played from the late 1940s to the 1960s and was mostly appealing to the African American urban population.

Top Albums

  1. Ray Charles
  2. Ray Charles in Person
  3. Crying Time

Top Songs

  1. "Baby It's Cold Outside" (1961)
  2. "Hit The Road Jack" (1993)
  3. "Georgia" (1960)
  4. "I Got A Woman" (1957)
  5. "America the Beautiful" (1972)
  6. "Mess Around" (1957)
  7. "Baby, Let Me Hold Your Hand" (1952)
Ray Charles - Hit The Road Jack (Original)

"Hit the Road, Jack"

S- Saxophones. backup vocals, main vocals, bass, trumpets,

H-saxophones, backup vocals, bass, trumpets

M- main vocals

R- moderate, in 4

G- moderate-soft


intro, chorus, verse 1, chorus, verse 2, chorus, bridge, outro


Work Cited

"Rhythm and Blues Music: Overview." New Georgia Encyclopedia. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Apr. 2015.

"Ray Charles (1930-2004)." New Georgia Encyclopedia. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Apr. 2015.

Bio.com. A&E Networks Television, n.d. Web. 20 Apr. 2015.