Ray Charles The Father of Soul

By: Cailin Peluso and Spencer Cover

Early life

Ray Charles born on September 23 1930 in Georgia. He lived in poverty and was raised by his mother. His dad left when he was a child. He witnessed his brother drown and die. At age 7 he went blind from what doctors think was glaucoma. He went to school for the deaf and blind, and learned how to read music in braille. He also learned how to play the saxophone and the clarinet. His mother died when Ray Charles was 15 so he left school and started his music career.

Musical Influences

After his mother died he started studying music. His musical hero's were Frank Sinatra, Artie shaw, Glenn miller, Tampa Red, Muddy waters, Pete Johnson, Art Tatum, Nat king Cole.

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This is Ray singing and playing piano.

Time period

In the 1950s The cold war was getting bad, people were treated differently based on skin color, and the 1950s civil right movement was going on.

In the 1960s president Kennedy was shot and killed, Martin Luther king Jr. made his dream speech and was assassinated, Also there were a lot of city riots going on.

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Martin Luther king making his speech


Ray sang blues, jazz, R&B, pop, country. Some of the songs he sang are "A fool for you" (1955), "I got a women" (1955), "Confession" (1949), "I love you I love you" (1949), "Hallelujah I love her" (1956), "Drown in my tears"(1955) , "Georgia on my mind" (1962),

"Genius on the road" (1960), "I cant stop loving you" (1962).

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Ray Charles

Interesting facts

  • Won 2 Oscars
  • won a Grammy for life time achievement
  • born September 23 1930
  • hosted Saturday night live
  • was in sesame street a couple times
  • was in Pepsi commercials
  • picked up a heroine addiction
  • Produced R&B for 7 years
  • In the 1960s he had many country music albums
  • He's in the rock and role hall of fame
  • Helped make a movie about his life
  • his movie won 5 academy awards
  • died June 10 2004 from liver disease
  • married Della Altwine a gospel singer
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Charles making a peace sign.