Is Ray Charles a soul, blues, country or a jazz singer? Yes.
Whatever genre or style of song Ray attempted, he redefined it as his very own and infused it with an astounding amount of soul.
I'm watched many Ray clips this week looking for just the right one, a wonderful if damn near impossible task. My conclusion: We could select a Ray Charles video every Friday for the next year and have a great series here. While we have to go with just this week, we will stretch our usual limit of just 1 song to 3 songs, as after all, this is Ray Charles.
First, up, "My Bonnie" reportedly recorded live in Brazil in 1963. Love Ray's vocal and David "Fathead" Newman's sax solo:
Next up, the classic "Hit The Road Jack" from the same concert. The Raelettes backing is terrific, especially the searing solo vocal by Margie Hendricks, one of the great all time moments in American music ("You ain't got money, you're justa no good!").
One more, the original recorded version so perfect we're going with that. Again, Margie Hendricks' vocal is slamming. Here's the great Ray Charles, tearing it up in the Soul Corner, on "(Night Time is) The Right Time":