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Thread: Ray Charles: The 2004 Movie

  1. #1
    Session Musician ronPrice's Avatar
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    Nov 2009
    George Town, Tasmania, Australia

    Default Ray Charles: The 2004 Movie

    Last night I watched a biopic on Ray Charles and I post my comment below on this TV movie.-Ron in Australia

    The biopic Ray, an October 2004 film, which portrayed Ray Charles’ life and career between 1930 and 1966, was on TDT TV last night.1 While I was growing-up in Canada in the 1950s there was an American musician, a pioneer in the genre of soul music, who fused rhythm and blues, gospel, and blues styles into his early recordings with Atlantic Records. He also helped racially integrate country and pop music during the 1960s with his success on ABC Records, most notably with his Modern Sounds albums. While with ABC, Ray Charles became one of the first African-American musicians to be given artistic control of his music by a mainstream record company.

    Frank Sinatra called Ray Charles the only true genius in show business. “I don't know if Ray was the architect of rock & roll, like Elvis Presley,” said Billy Joel, “but he was certainly the first guy to do a lot of things . . . Who the hell ever put so many styles together and made them work?"2—Ron Price with thanks to 1TDT TV, 11:00 p.m.-2:00 a.m. 24+25/12/’11 and 2Wikipedia.

    You got going, Charles, when I got
    going in the mid-1940s.1 After your
    Atlantic Records contract ended you
    signed with ABC Records ,11/’59, the
    month after I joined the Baha’i Faith,
    obtaining a more liberal contract than
    other artists had at the time, while I got
    a code to live by in a time of a complex
    social transition from the ‘50s to the ‘60s.

    Your ‘62 album, Modern Sounds in Country
    and Western Music and its sequel Modern
    Sounds in Country & Western Music, Vol. 2
    helped country into music’s mainstream.2
    I won’t say anymore here, Charles; what
    can I say about your genius for sound?!!3

    1 Ray Charles’ career began in Jacksonville Florida in 1945; I was in my first year of life in Hamilton Ontario.
    2 In 1962 Charles founded his own record label Tangerine Records which ABC-Paramount promoted and distributed; 1962 was also a big year for me as I began my travelling-pioneering for the Canadian Baha’i community in Dundas Ontario and finished high school.
    3 Ray Charles was 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.(Wikipedia)

    Ron Price
    25 December 2011

  2. #2
    Grumpy Old Man Music Head's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Lancaster, Kentucky, United States


    You're writing skills are superb sir
    Just wish you'd show up more.
    “A man only learns in two ways, one by reading, and the other by association with smarter people.”
    Will Rogers

  3. #3
    Session Musician ronPrice's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    George Town, Tasmania, Australia


    Thanks for your encouraging note, Grumpy Old Man--retired mod. I take nice pills to keep me from being grumpy although, like you, I am retired. Life is busy even in retirement, I find. In these middle years(65-75) of late adulthood(60-80), my days get filled and I can only drop in here occasionally. Still---thanks for your encouraging notes; they were appreciated. You can go to my website at: if you are keen to read more and, if not, here is another piece in relation to Ray Charles and soul music.-Ron in Tasmania

    There are several basic histories of soul music. Generally the late 1950s and early 1960s seem to be the common ground, the common time period, when soul music made its debut. I had just joined the Baha'i Faith then and was too busy with sport, girls and studies, as well as R &R to really get my teeth into soul. In A Brief History of Soul Music by Piero Scaruffi one sees dates for singers and songwriters who turned gospel music into a secular art form.1

    Various singers like Ray Charles, Nina Simone, Arethra Franklin, Sam Cooke and Otis Redding, among others--created sounds that came out of my little blue radio in these late 1950s and early 1960s as I finished high school and started university. This was my experience of soul mixed as it usually was with rock-and-roll, but I could not have told you soul from R & R, although I knew alot about baseball. My value-system was finding its home in these early years and the Bahá'í Faith became an essential sifting mechanism for my system of meaning and interpretation of society.

    Of course there are and were many influences that come/came to make up my set of values and beliefs. Music was for me one of these influences. Soul continued to occupy the edge of my musical space with its sensuality, lust, its primal qualities into the late 1960s and early 1970s as I moved from Canada to Australia. Soul was replaced, I am informed, by funk and disco music. I moved away from rock and roll by the late 1970s. By the early 1970s my life had turned many corners far away from soul music becoming dominated by academic life, marriage and earning a living. –Ron Price with thanks to Piero Scaruffi, History of Popular Music, 2005.

    Those years, back then, when
    life was so very simple and I
    had no idea what was in store
    for me down the long....stony
    and tortuous—but fascinating
    road ahead—I knew nothing
    about soul music, but I began
    to be interested in the nature
    of soul as described in words
    of a new religion that was in
    Canada by then for about 60
    years and had come out of a
    country on the edge of western
    civilization and even further on
    the edge of my life, but it moved
    to the centre by my adult years
    remaining there all my life-Iran.

    Ron Price
    20 May 2009
    Updated for: MusicDiscussion
    Let's Talk Music
    on: 25/12/'11
    Last edited by ronPrice; 25-12-2011 at 23:51. Reason: to add some words

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