Ray Charles



Ray Charles, also known as "The Genius" was born on September 23, 1930 and he died on June 10, 2004. At the age of 7, Ray Charles, was blind. Ray Charles' musical curiosity began at Mr. Wylie Pitman's Red Wing Cafe, when Ray Charles heard Pitman play on an old piano; Pitman then taught Charles how to play piano. After leaving school, Charles moved to Jacksonville with some friends of his mother. He began to earn money for his talent on the piano when he started to play the piano for bands at the Ritz Theatre in LaVilla, earning $4 a night. He also joined the musicians’ union in the hope that it would help him get work. At age 16, he moved to Orlando, where he lived in poverty and often went without food for days. For the first few years of his musical career, he only played in other's bands, until he moved to Seattle in 1948. While he played for the public, he caught the eyes of a recording company, he signed onto was the Atlantic Records in 1952.

Event That propelled Ray Charles to fame

His popularity began to take off in 1949, when he released his first single, "Confession Blues". His single did well on the R&B charts and he eventually signed to Atlantic Records.


He was the first to be introduced into the Georgia State Music Hall of Fame. in 1981, he was given a bronze star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and was one of the first inductees of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1986.

Popular Songs and Albums

Some of Ray Charles' best known songs are:

"Hit the Road Jack"

"I Can't Stop Loving You"

"Georgia on My Mind"

"Baby it's Cold Outside"

Some of his albums are:

Genius Loves Company

The Genius Hits The Road

True to Life

Characteristics of R&B Music

R&B is a genre of popular African-American music that originated in the 1940s. The term R&B became popular at a time when jazz based music was becoming more popular. R&B bands usually consisted of piano, one or two guitars, bass, drums, saxophone, and sometimes background vocalists.

"I Can' t Stop Loving You"

S-Keyboard, main vocals, back up vocals, drum set, bass, electric guitar

H-Keyboard, back up vocals, drum set, bass, electric guitar

M-Main Vocals

R-slow, in 4

G-Soft, Line

Intro, Verse 1, verse 2, bridge, verse 3, verse 4, bridge, outro

This song was first recorded on December 30, 1957, and it was released in 1958, the song was originally composed by Don Gibson, and Ray Charles covered it in 1962.

Works Cited

Bio.com. A&E Networks Television, n.d. Web. 21 Apr. 2015

"The New Yorker: The Critics: Musical Events." The New Yorker: The Critics: Musical Events. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Apr. 2015.