Pianist, saxophonist, composer and vocalist, Robinson Ray Charles was born on 23 September 1930 in Albany City, Georgia, into a poor American family with African roots. His whole life was immersed in music, learning to play piano when only 3 years old. He lost his sight in an accident at the age of seven but this did not stop his playing. Music for Charles was not just a matter of entertainment, it gave him the strength to live. From that time he learned to play on the grand piano and saxophone and began to compose. Many years later he said in an interview, "I was born with music in my soul. It would take surgery to separate us."
When he was 15 he lost both parents and joined a group of country musicians; over the next ten years he toured throughout the southern states.
In1952 Ray Charles signed a contract with Atlanta Records; three years later the song 'I Got a Woman' brought him popularity. By the age of 24 he had recorded more than 40 singles.
With the release of the song, 'What'd I say?' in 1959, the combination of Rock, R'n'B, Jazz, and Country saw the birth of 'Soul Music'.
From 1960-66 he received 9 awards, and for the three consecutive releases: 'Hit the Road Jack', 'I Can't Stop Loving You' and 'Busted' he was awarded a Grammy for the Best R'n'B style composition. In all, he received 12 awards including, in 1993, a further Grammy for, 'A Song For You'. Numerous songs went Gold or Platinum.
In 1993 Bill Clinton presented him with a medal for his contribution to National Art. In 1996 he was given the name 'Pearl of Los Angeles'. A star in his name was placed on Hollywood Boulevard of Honour and his bronze bust was placed in the Halls of Fame of Rock 'n' Roll, Jazz, Blues and Country.

A medal was struck in his honour and presented to him when the singer was in France. His song, 'I Got a Woman' was one of the most successful songs in Rock 'n' Roll and his hit 'Georgia on My Mind' was adopted as the anthem of Georgia state in 1979.


1957 Ray Charles [Atlantic]
1957 The Great Ray Charles
1958 Ray Charles at Newport [live]
1958 Yes, Indeed!!
1958 Soul Brothers
1959 What'd I Say [live]
1959 The Genius of Ray Charles
1960 Ray Charles in Person
1960 Genius + Soul = Jazz
1960 Ray Charles Sextet
1960 The Genius Hits the Road
1961 Dedicated to You
1961 Ray Charles and Betty Carter
1961 The Genius Sings the Blues
1961 Do the Twist With Ray Charles!
1961 The Genius After Hours
1961 Soul Meeting
1962 Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music
1962 The Original Ray Charles
1962 Spotlight on Ray Charles
1963 Ingredients in a Recipe for Soul
1964 Sweet & Sour Tears Rhino
1964 Have a Smile With Met
1965 Live in Concert
1965 Country & Western Meets Rhythm & Blues
1965 Cincinnati Kid [Soundtrack]
1966 Crying Time
1966 Ray's Moods
1967 A Man & His Soul
1967 Ray Charles Invites You to Listen
1969 I'm All Yours-Baby!
1969 Doing His Thing
Ray Charles

Ray Charles was regarded as a founding father by the twentieth century generation of Rock and Pop stars. Elvis Presley, Joe Cocker, Billy Joel and Stevie Wonder accepted him as their master. Eric Clapton, Carlos Santana, Michael Bolton, Michael Jackson and other famous musicians all sang his songs and sang in his honour. Charles worked ceaselessly to the end of his life. He wax due to record a new album at the end of summer 2004, but it was not to be. He died, surrounded by close friends and family, in his villa in Beverly Hills after a period of serious illness, three months short of his 74th birthday.

1970 My Kind of Jazz
1970 Love Country Style
1971 Volcanic Action of My Soul
1972 A Message from the People
1972 Through the Eyes of Love
1972 Presents the Raelettes
1973 My Kind of Jazz, Number
1973 Genius in Concert L.A. [live]
1974 Come Live with Me
1975 Renaissance
1975 My Kind of Jazz, Pt. 3
1975 World of Ray Charles, Vol. 2
1975 Live in Japan Crossover
1976 Porgy & Bess
1977 True to Life
1978 Love & Peace
1979 Ain't It So
1980 Brother Ray Is at It Again
1983 Wish You Were Here Tonight
1984 Do I Ever Cross Your Mind?
1984 Friendship
1985 The Spirit of Christmas
1986 From the Pages of My Mind
1988 Just Between Us
1988 Modern Sounds In Country and Western Music...
1990 Would You Believe?
1993 My World
1996 Strong Love Affair
2002 Thanks for Bringing Love Around Again Crossover
2002 Live at the Montreux Jazz Festival
2002 Thanks for Bringing Love Around Again [Japan]