Mr. Charles, Have You Been Blind All Your Life?

"Not yet."  True story.  I love that one.  It's not possible to praise Ray Charles too highly.  Like Nina Simone, he too recorded some awful material, "I can see clearly now," and other pop rubbish, not to mention the time he spent doing country, but who cares?  He's entitled.  The years he spent at Atlantic Records, pretty much creating R&B, were so absolutely amazing that it's impossible to fully gauge their influence.  I don't know the effect of being blind on his soul, or his difficult past, but it would be hard to find another singer anywhere who hung it all out to dry like Baby Ray.  Check out the live version of Drown In My Own Tears.  Then try Lonesome Avenue.   Ray Charles is an American treasure, like the Grand Canyon.  Yes Sir.
ElLagarto ElLagarto
56-60, M
8 Responses Aug 14, 2007

I'm not sure what you mean. In what respect has it affected your son as a musician? Charles was a towering talent - but he was also a tortured individual - an unrepentant heroin addict and philanderer who could not escape the guilt he felt over his brother's death.

I always loved his music and his covers of other people's songs. i think it was the movie 'Ray', that really made me respect him. My son is a musician(a great one) and he emerged from the movie deeply reflective.<br />
I really think the way was depicted has affected him as a musician.

baby! baby! can I get the Raylettes to join in with me? baby!

That's true. He was from a very rural, small, all-black community in northern Florida - I don't know the name.

was he really from Fl? If so what part? I never new that. J

Ah nice joke, Ray had good sense of humour too it seems :)

Believe me, I'm thoroughly familiar with his life. The joke comes from an interview done here in town. A starstruck newsman asked him if he had been blind all his life. Charles turned towards him, flashed that trademark smile and said, "Not yet." As if he had many happy years of blindness to look forward to. I thought the movie covered his life well - especially the extended version with all the bonus footage.

Ray's eyes got worse at the age of six and he turned totally blind at the age of seven. Ray was one of the best things to ever come out of Florida.