Rolling Stone ranked Ray Charles number ten on their list of “100 Greatest Artists of All Time” in 2004, and number two on their November 2008 list of “100 Greatest Singers of All Time”. In honoring Charles, Billy Joel noted: “This may sound like sacrilege, but I think Ray Charles was more important than Elvis Presley. Wow! That is quite a statement and whether you agree or not these are significant accolades to this pioneer of soul music.
The release of the movie, Ray, in 2004 at the Toronto International Film Festival brought his role in the development of integrated music genres, his songs and his voice to generations of new fans.
Ray Charles possessed one of the most recognizable voices in American music. In the words of musicologist Henry Pleasants: Sinatra and Bing Crosby before him, had been masters of words. Ray Charles is a master of sounds. His records disclose an extraordinary assortment of slurs, glides, turns, shrieks, wails, breaks, shouts, screams and hollers, all wonderfully controlled, disciplined by inspired musicianship, and harnessed to ingenious subtleties of harmony, dynamics and rhythm… It is either the singing of a man whose vocabulary is inadequate to express what is in his heart and mind or of one whose feelings are too intense for satisfactory verbal or conventionally melodic articulation. He can’t tell it to you. He can’t even sing it to you. He has to cry out to you, or shout to you, in tones eloquent of despair — or exaltation. The voice alone, with little assistance from the text or the notated music, conveys the message.
At Village Vinyl we have a very special piece of ‘Ray’ memorabilia. A suit he wore at a performance with an autographed photo of him in this suit at the performance and certificate of authenticity. This rare collectable was donated to a charity event for auction and is now in our gallery and for sale. So, “Hit The Road Jack” and see it for yourself here at V V !