I miss Ray Charles. Anyone ever meet him? What's your FAVORITE Ray Recording?

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Steve Hoffman, Jul 15, 2007.

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  1. oxenholme

    oxenholme High Quality Posts™ a speciality

    My favourites are Take These Chains From My Heart And Set Me Free - it's on an English Sequel label CD, mastered by SH - and Georgia On My Mind, on a Rhino CD, I think from before Rhino had anything to do with Warner's.
  2. Bob Lovely

    Bob Lovely Super Gort Staff

    "Faded Love" as mixed and mastered by Steve. Ray took a country classic and turned it in to a smokey blues number...

  3. Paul G

    Paul G Forum Resident

    New York, NY, USA
    Never met him.

    My favorite Ray tracks include "Mess Around," "I Believe to My Soul," "Busted," and "Here We Go Again." During an NYC meetup a few years ago, Forums member Todd Fredericks found me the DCC LP of Ray Charles and Betty Carter, which has the best-ever recording of "Baby, It's Cold Outside." I have used mono pressings of volumes 1 and 2 of Modern Sounds in County and Western Music that I need to clean and transfer to CD.

  4. RicP

    RicP All Digital. All The Time.

    In the ether
    Every Ray fan should get the DVD set of The Dick Cavett show that's dedicated to Ray, it's simply fantastic!

    Impossible for me to pick one recording, I adore them all. Not a week goes by that "Birth of Soul" or "Uh-Huh" or the DCC Gold of "Greatest Country & Western" doesn't hit my player.

    Ray was a true genius in every sense of the word.
  5. stereoptic

    stereoptic Anaglyphic GORT Staff

    No, I never met Ray. I have too many favorites! During my childhood I heard so many of his hits on the radio (in the kitchen that was locked on WNEW's Make Believe Ballroom) or in the car radio on the way to Orchard Beach, they bring back so many memories.

    Great picture Steve! Ray always looks like he's having a good time. Looks like you are giving Brother Ray the Mr. Spock shoulder pinch!
  6. posieflump

    posieflump New Member

    A former colleague of mine was the studio manager for an interview Ray gave to BBC radio around 15 years ago. I'm sure he won't mind me relating this story:

    My friend was excited about meeting one of his idols, and went overboard in making sure that the green room hospitality suite had every conceivable alcoholic drink and mixer available for Ray.

    Ray arrives with his entourage, gets settled in with little trouble, and is offered a drink. He asks for milk.

    It's late, the canteen is closed. There is no milk in hospitality, save for about a quarter-of-a-pint left in the fridge. (Hospitality mostly used that artifical creamer that tastes like Tipp-Ex.)

    An assistant is sent out in a hurry with £5 from petty cash and the instruction to buy as much milk as he can with the money.

    Ray downed about three pints in the course of a 90-minute interview.
    Hep Alien likes this.
  7. John DeAngelis

    John DeAngelis Senior Member

    New York, NY
    You're not sure?
  8. Mike

    Mike New Member

    New Jersey
    Today it would be "Mess Around", such a funky piano, actually every little thing about it is totally funky. This morning I snagged the "Pure Genius" box on half.com from a reliable seller described as "LIKE NEW" for 50 bucks - psyched!
  9. jmrife

    jmrife Wife. Kids. Grandkids. Dog. Music.

    Wheat Ridge, CO
    As I have said many times, "Live at Newport" was a life changing experience for me. Saw the Man live four times. Nobody before or since has meant as much to me as RC.
  10. Joel1963

    Joel1963 Forum Resident

    Early in the Morning (Atlantic) is fun.
  11. Gary Freed

    Gary Freed Forum Resident

    Just about anything Ray is great, but my favorites are Georgia and America
    beyond that his album with Betty Carter is a real treat.
  12. musiclover56

    musiclover56 New Member

    Sunnyside-Up USA
    Ray Charles, Saturday Morning

    I remember meeting Ray Charles on a Saturday morning at his RPM International studio on Washington Blvd.

    The previous day I had taken possession of Ray's complete master reels from the Atlantic tape library, which were sent from Manhattan. It was my great responsibility and honor to deliver these reels, which were to be incorporated into Ray's personal tape vault.

    I arrived and pushed the backdoor buzzer, when, to my surprise, it was Ray himself who appeared at the door, in his stocking feet.

    After carefully hoofing the boxes up the steep stairs, around a few tight turns, it became rather obvious the only folks in the building were Ray and myself. I recall it being a warm day and the studio air was stuffy. I thought to myself, that's why he wasn't wearing shoes.

    Ray returned to stand behind the massive mixing board in the center of the room, with his coffee cup (a large beer stein) set exactly where he had left it, as I unloaded the reels.

    I somewhat nervously began a conversation with him. "What happened to your shoes, Ray?"

    Without missing a beat, he replied, "Man, don't you know nothin' 'bout recording?!" Then, almost whispering, his mouth curled with his trademark grin, he said "I don't want the sound of my shoes hitting the floor to be heard on the tape."

    "Now, what do you have there?"

    I begin to read song titles off the tape boxes -- familiar titles that we shared like a common friend we both knew and loved -- when I come across a label dated 5/10/53. Ray said, "Hand that to me." He slid down into his office chair and rolled backwards, snagging the box from me. He pulled out the tape and spooled it on a reel-to-reel machine behind him in seconds flat.

    There was a moment of silence as the leader passed over the playback head. Then, we were transported back in time, to a rehearsal session with Ahmet Ertegun in New York forty-six years earlier.

    What can I say? It was a thrilling moment, certainly a life-long memory, underscored only by the incredible joy of watching and listening to Ray sing along.

    As I later read aloud more song titles, we came across an Atlantic “45 RPM comp” tape of Ray and other label artists grafted onto a 12-inch reel, I mentioned a song title there by LaVern Baker. Ray began to sing a couple verses and the chorus of "Tweedlee Dee."

    Yep, that's right -- I'm a lucky so-and-so.

    With the greatest respect for the real deal, thank you, Ray Charles.

    -- Michael Johnson
    Co-Reissue Producer of The Complete Country And Western Recordings 1959-86
    Hep Alien likes this.
  13. stereoptic

    stereoptic Anaglyphic GORT Staff

    fantastic story, Michael! thanks for sharing it!
  14. Greatest Hits

    Greatest Hits Just Another Compilation

    Thanks for sharing this.

    The man must've had a extremely keen memory.:eek:
  15. Mike

    Mike New Member

    New Jersey
    Thanks Michael. That was great!
  16. mr.schneider

    mr.schneider Active Member

    N. Beechwood Dr.
    Ray Charles stayed at the hotel I used to work at. Our chef found this out and went to his room and knocked. Ray answered. The chef told Ray that he was a huge fan and it would be an honor to make him any dish he'd like. Ray thanked him and turned down the offer telling him that he was just on his way to Denny's to have his favorite meal- eggs benedict, because he loved the hollandaise sauce!
    Ray Charles can eat anything the chef would be willing to make him, but prefers to eat at Denny's! Genius!

    My David Lee Roth story is MUCH better!
    Hep Alien likes this.
  17. MikeP5877

    MikeP5877 Uh Huh

    Great story, thanks for sharing it. And as I've mentioned elsewhere on this Forum, that Ray C&W set is one of my favorite box sets ever. :thumbsup:
  18. Evan L

    Evan L Beatologist

    My favorite Ray Charles track is "Let's Go Get Stoned".

    A complex but good man....and of course, we all miss him.

  19. Claus

    Claus Eating is a necessity, enjoying is an art.

    fave: Genius + Soul = Jazz
  20. JukkaP

    JukkaP Forum Resident

  21. bartels76

    bartels76 Forum Hall Of Fame


    This isn't in your discography.


    I will have to pick up a copy!
  22. Never met the man, but did see him live several times in Los Angeles in the 90s. Simply a force of nature.

    As for favorite tracks - where to even begin with a man who is up there with the Beatles, Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, and James Brown as the five most important pop music figures of the last 50 years? Not only that, but with his eclecticism, he provided a bridge for me into so many other styles beyond rock, including country, jazz/pop vocal, early R&B - you name it.

    Just to pick one, I'm going to pull out an obscure B-side unearthed by Greg Allman on an early post-Allman's solo album called "The Brightest Smile In Town". The type of self-effacing pathos that only Ray could pull off so convincingly.
  23. musiclover56

    musiclover56 New Member

    Sunnyside-Up USA
    Ray Charles In Concert

    while we're discussing Ray, this is one of my faves (although off most radar):

    Ray Charles In Concert
    $39.98 CD

    An individually numbered, limited edition of 5000 copies from Rhino Handmade.
    As Ray Charles biographer David Ritz points out in the liner notes to this release, "Ray Charles the recording artist and Ray Charles the performing artist are separate people." Ray the performing artist -- the inspiration for this priceless collection -- is raw Ray."

    Reflecting the growing size of Ray's bands -- and the growth of his legend -- the 29 tracks on this two-disc collection are gathered from five live albums: Ray Charles At Newport; Ray Charles In Person; Berlin, 1962; Ray Charles Live In Concert; and Ray Charles Live In Japan. Sequenced chronologically, the performances were recorded between 1958 and 1975.

    In Concert begins with Ray's septet appearance at the 1958 Newport Jazz Festival. One of the great groups in jazz-based R&B, this unit features, among others, saxophonist David "Fathead" Newman and Hank Crawford in arrangements layered to approximate the sound of a big band. The power of the Raeletts singers, Margie Hendrix in particular, can be heard on the immortal "(Night Time Is) The Right Time." The same band joins Ray for the 1959 gig at Herndon Stadium in Atlanta, a performance captured with stunning clarity by a single microphone ("I got the chill bumps," recalls Atlantic's Jerry Wexler of hearing it for the first time). Included in the set is "What'd I Say," perhaps the most important hit of Ray's career.

    Soon Ray's lifelong dream of putting together a big band became a reality. With the hard-swinging Count Basie orchestra as its model, the '62 Berlin group brings grand-scale genius to bear on such standards as "Come Rain Or Come Shine" and "Georgia On My Mind," which was quickly becoming another Ray Charles signature song. The same basic band stirs L.A.'s Shrine Auditorium in '64, pulling back for a sparse "You Don't Know Me," which features just Ray with his rhythm section.

    By 1975 Ray's big band was led by Ernie Vantrease, the organist Ray called "The Deacon." The Tokyo and Yokohama tracks gathered here explode with animated stylings. Ray's preachin' stretches into a dramatic monologue during Stevie Wonder's "Living For The City." On "Feel So Bad," cut previously by Elvis, Ray muses on the very meaning of soul.

    Overflowing with musical excellence and emotional catharsis, the recordings on this collection span 20 of the richest years of Brother Ray's career. With many of the original albums out of print, Rhino Handmade's remastered In Concert is an essential document of Ray Charles the performer. Extensive liner notes include rare archival photos and an essay by celebrated author David Ritz.

    Ray Charles In Concert is available in an individually numbered limited edition of 5,000 copies. Because this title is expected to be released internationally as an unlimited edition, this Rhino Handmade edition is available only in the U.S. and Canada.

    Selection # 7826

    29 Tracks
    2 Discs
    Liner Notes by David Ritz
  24. music4life

    music4life Forum Resident

    South Elgin, IL
    I don't know how you guys survived meeting him. I probably would've dropped dead on the spot!
    One of my favorites is "Mess Around". His performance on that is just mind blowing! Probably one of the best uses of his songs when it was used in "Planes, Tranes, and Automobiles". I can't help but smile when John Candy mimes to that while driving the car when that comes on in one of the scenes.
  25. John B

    John B Once Blue Gort,<br>now just blue.

    Toronto, Canada
    Hit the Road Jack is part of my consciousness.
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