Yesterday Ray Charles passed away at age 73. A great musical artist and a legend. His impact on American Music cannot be overstated. His voice and intonation makes his music immediatly recognizable. I first remember hearing Ray Charles from my father playing 'Georgia' on his reel to reel. Then of course the hit 'What'd I Say' that I remember spinning on a 45 rpm record till I wore out the grooves. See da girl wit the red dress on... man, great stuff. I had the pleasure of seeing Ray Charles perform live, probably in the late '80s. I remember the concert well. It was the first time I heard a performer with a 12 or 15 piece band, and the Rayettes. It rocked! If Aretha is the queen of R&B, surely Ray Charles is the King! He also had an incredible range of material. R&B, Soul, Jazz, Blues... even country.
Looks like this is the official Ray Charles web site. Don't think it has been kept up to date, but check out the Autobiography and 'Ray Reflects' links. Good reading.
If you don't mind... I'll honor the memory of Ray Charles rather than the other passing (RR) that's been on the front pages all week.