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From the Vault: Ray Charles Hits the Road

From a very interesting 2012 interview with Ray Charles by Lydia Hutchinson in Performing Songwriter. The question was how he stayed connected to songs he performed many times: “It’s the easiest thing in the world. You take a song like ‘Georgia,’ I’ve sung it thousands of times. But what happens is when I sing something, I never ever sing it the same way twice. And that’s not because I’m trying to be different, but it’s because I sing according to what I feel that night. Every day of our lives we feel different.” Click here or on the image for “The Ultimate Collection” at Amazon or here for “The Genius of Ray Charles” from iTunes.
That’s a lot of genius to pack into two minutes and nineteen seconds. Here’s a later version of the same song. It isn’t clear if it is the same version of the

I am not a critic or analyst, but was struck by the idea that the whole song is a conversation between Charles and the Raelettes. That seems to me to be unique.

Other videos of note – among the dozens of good ones at YouTube – are Georgia on My Mind and America, the Beautiful.

His website has a lot of material, including a biography and discography. Finally, here is a link to the IMDb listing for the very good 2004 biopic “Ray,” which starred Jamie Foxx. They had the good sense to have Foxx lip sync the music.

Note: TDMB continually re-posts great music from the early days of the site. This post, in a slightly different form, originally appeared on March 14, 2012. Performing Songwriter’s Lydia Hutchinson is quoted in the blue box. 

Below is “What I’d Say.”

 

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