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Ray Charles

1930 - 2004 Photo by Michael Romanos I loved this man and his music. That's all I can say. For your listening pleasure, my parent's song. This is the song they danced to the first time they met and the song that, well over forty years later, still gets them misty eyed. Ray Charles - Georgia on My Mind Update: I uploaded the wrong version of Georgia last night - the correct (Ray Charles) version is now at the link.


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What a week we're having! :(

Dammit. Dammit. Dammit.

My favorite song by Ray Charles...

"You Don't Know Me"

As A kid I listened to "Hit the Road Jack"on the jukebox in my Grandmother's bar over and over again.Sad day today>

"The Sun's Gonna Shine Again"
Love that song!

Nobody ever sang "America the Beautiful" better.

dave, I agree. Appropriately for this week, I seem to recall that Ronald Reagan was also a huge fan of Ray Charles's rendition of "America the Beautiful."

michele, thank you for the mp3 of "Georgia on My Mind." I have no special association with it, but when I hear Ray Charles sing it, I still get misty eyed. It is a beautiful song and he performs it so beautifully. Examples of such musical excellence are rare and to be treasured.

How about an all Ray Charles ASV radio tonight?

There's an album called 'Ain't that Fine' where mostly he is giving a dead-on impression of Nat Cole, but near the end he finds his own voice. 'I'm Going Down to the River' is aching blues and my favorite example of the elemental power of his voice.

And ever mourn forever lost
A soul that never should have died.

The loss of two great voices... sigh.

Gee, I have to agree with the others above, what a week we are having.

Excuse me while I become catatonic for another few days.

I remember seeing a clip of Coach Dick Vermeil on the sideline before the Super Bowl. He turned to the referee next to him.

"You hear that on the loudspeaker? That's Ray Charles singing 'America the Beautiful.' Look at where we are! No matter who wins, we can't lose."


It sounds crazy, but both Reagan and Ray Charles were people you never expected to die; they were just supposed to go on and be around forever.

that song is MY song, too ... all my life i knew he was singing it for me, because my name is actually georgia :) i finally saw him in concert about 10 years ago and it was almost over and he hadn't sung 'the song'..., i was so sad. and then it started and i bawled all the way through.
aside from being named after my favorite aunt, that song was the best thing about being named georgia ... guys have been serenading me since forever with that song :) and they still do.
but NOBODY sings it like ray...

umm..., your mp3 link? i'm pretty sure that that's NOT ray charles :)
it IS a lovely rendition of 'georgia on my mind' though...

God must be lonely, because he's taken two of the best. (Either that, or he's throwing one huge party for Dutch.)

Ugh..did I upload the wrong one? I'll check.

Ray Charles OWNED "Georgia on My Mind" and "America the Beautiful." No one before or since has come close to his renditions. Sure, he had his problems with addiction, but coming from such a hard background to achieve such greatness as a singer and as a man, well, where else but America can that happen so often.

RIP Ray. Your music is your monument.

Another one of the greatest... gone. Bless him, a true musician and a great soul.

I live in Atlanta, so here we're mourning the loss of one of our native sons.

"Georgia on My Mind" has been running through my...well, my mind...ever since I heard the news. For me it's a toss-up as to which version I like better...Ray Charles' or Willie Nelson's. They're both great. Ray is definitely the sentimental favorite. How many other states have such a beautiful song written about them?

Stone Mountain Park, just outside Atlanta, is a huge exposed granite hill that has been turned into a sort of memorial to the Confederacy. During the summer, if you go out to the park to watch the nightly laser show, you will see Ray's image painted on the side of the mountain while he sings "Georgia on My Mind." And the whole crowd goes wild every time, thus proving that down here he is loved and appreciated even by rednecks.

Godspeed, Ray. You will be missed.

To paraphrase a song about the passing of Stevie Ray Vaughn... I've always loved the imagery of this lyric...

"The Voodoo Child reached out his hand.
Said, 'Hello Brother' Welcome to the Band."

Heaven's rocking and a rolling tonight.

My parents' first date was a blind date to a Ray Charles concert. It was a double-date, and in the middle, the couples basically switched, and my dad ended up with my mom. I suppose I owe my existence to the music of this man -- who set the romantic setting for my parents.

Ray Charles was a genuine musical genius, in stark opposition to many of today's marketing-based phenoms. He was only 73, which does not seem nearly as old to me as it once did.

RIP, Ray.

I'm with Big Brother, but the week has sucked the energy out of me. I can't even manage dammit.

Memories of a magic night:

Ray Charles walking into a boxing ring and singing "America The Beautiful";

Sugar Ray Leonard--still smarting from the first loss of his career months before--getting pumped up from Ray's wonderfulness;

Roberto Duran--great but thuggish fighter who beat Leonard in their prior fight, contemptuously sneering at Mr. Charles' performance;

Sugar Ray coming out charging and subjecting Duran to eight rounds of humiliation before the loser turned his back on Leonard and whimpered, "No mas."

Magic--and the golden voice of Mr. Charles was a big part of it. Thanks, Ray.

I'm also reminded of Marvin Gaye's one performance of The Star-Spangled Banner at the 1983 NBA All-Star Game.

I had the privilege of meeting Ray Charles at Atlanta's Hartsfield Airport in 1987.

He was on his way to a flight, and I summoned up enough bad manners to go up to him, introduce myself, and tell him I was a lifelong fan because my dad introduced me to his music when I was much younger. I told him my dad remembered seeing him perform in a roadhouse near Albany Georgia in the late 50s.

He shook my hand warmly, and thanked me. He was as gracious as a man can be.

does anyone have the live version of Mr. Charles singing "America the Beautiful"? I'm really aching to hear it just now. Thanks so much