Raymond Charles Robinson was not just a legend, “the genius”, a “force of nature” and “a presence”. He was also pure energy, the source of a radiant glow that dazzled everyone who ever came near him. His passion for music, women, and rhythm, coupled with his love of life and laughter, were ingredients that made his work a monument of 20th century culture. He left essential traces – in jazz, blues, soul and R&B – because music is something inseparable and Ray lived its rhythms from the inside.
Born in poverty, raised in America’s racist South, blind at seven and an orphan at 15, Ray had all it took to be a success… Those attributes, plus a few titles in his case that he’d recorded for Swing Time, made such an impression on Ahmet Ertegun that he signed Ray to Atlantic in 1952. The next ten years forged the legend of Ray Charles. And now, six decades later, the tracks on this album are still hits hummed by all generations.