Where people listen
Ray Charles was a poor, blind, newly orphaned teenager living in Tampa, Florida, in when he decided to move to Seattle, picking the city because it was as far away as he could get from where he was. He stayed only two years, but during that time he cut his first record and began to develop the genre-bending musical style that would make him an international star. The people were friendly, the people took to me right away. Seattle is the town where I made my first record. And if you ever want to say where I got my start, you have to say that" MacDonald.
Born in Georgia in , Ray Charles was a legendary musician who pioneered the genre of soul music during the s. His father, a mechanic, and his mother, a sharecropper, moved the family to Greenville, Florida when he was an infant. One of the most traumatic events of his childhood was witnessing the drowning death of his younger brother. Soon after his brother's death, Charles gradually began to lose his sight. He was blind by the age of 7, and his mother sent him to a state-sponsored school, the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind in St. Augustine, Florida—where he learned to read, write and arrange music in Braille. He also learned to play piano, organ, sax, clarinet and trumpet. The breadth of his musical interests ranged widely, from gospel to country, to blues. Charles's mother died when he was 15, and for a year he toured on the "Chitlin' Circuit" in the South. While on the road, he picked up a love for heroin.
Ray Charles Robinson September 23, — June 10, was an American singer, songwriter, pianist, and composer. Among friends and fellow musicians he preferred being called "Brother Ray. Charles pioneered the soul music genre during the s by combining blues , jazz , rhythm and blues , and gospel styles into the music he recorded for Atlantic. Frank Sinatra called Ray Charles "the only true genius in show business," although Charles downplayed this notion.