The King of Soul, Ray Charles

Discover the King By: Jarrett Monroe & Joshua Marquardt

Early Life

  • Poor family
  • brother passed at age 5
  • Dad left him at young age
  • Mother died at age 15
  • Has eye disease called Glaucoma
  • Went to a special school for the blind and deaf called St. Augustine
  • Music gave him a way from escaping his problems
  • Worked at nightclub playing piano
  • Got an offer to move to Los Angeles, California and start a music career
  • Worked as a Rail road mechanic
  • Had a heroin addiction at 16

Ray's Influences

  • Learned how to play piano from kind shop owner
  • Spent many hours listening to music on the radio
  • He said "Music's the only way I've ever thought about making a living."
  • Percy Mayfield
  • Played in a western band

Time Period

  • Soviet union civil rights movement
  • War of poverty
  • President Kennedy gets assassinated in Texas by Lee Harvey Oswald
  • There was a halt invasion on North Korea from our ally South Korea
  • Lost the Vietnam war
  • Coming out of World War1

The notes he used to play

  • Soul
  • Bluesy
  • Lonely
  • "My Jesus Is All the World To Me"
  • "I got a Woman" 1954
  • "Baby, let me hold your hand"
  • "Gold Digger"
  • Used the Saxophone, piano, vocals, and his voice (Raspy!)

The King's Life Secrets

  • Dropped his last name so he wouldn't get confused with the boxer "Sugar Ray Robinson"
  • Despised Elvis Presley for becoming a copier of African American Music.
  • His music may resemble loneliness, but he had many friends
  • Born September 23, 1930. In Albany, Georgia.
  • Died on June 10, 2004 at the age of 73.

Works Cited

· "Ray Charles." Biography for Beginners--African-American Leaders, Vol. 2. 2008: 49-57. SIRS Discoverer. Web. 08 Feb. 2016.