September 23, 2010

Happy Birthday to a Southern Gent!


Ray Charles would be 80 years old today. He remains my grandfather’s favorite musician of all time. A day just wasn’t complete if we didn’t listen to Brother Ray. My Pa Richard has every record, every cassette tape, every cd, every dvd that Ray ever released. I knew all the words to “Hit the Road, Jack” by the time I was five years old. I asked him once why he loved Ray Charles so much. My pa told me it was because he could relate to him. He explained to me that Ray had grown up dirt poor…with obstacles to overcome. My pa said that “Ray Charles was a good southern fellow who loved his Mama” and that he’d be pretty willing to bet Ray was a a democrat as well. Being southern and a democrat ranked a person pretty high in my grandpa’s book.

I’m sharing this video of Ray Charles singing my favorite of his songs…with his pal Willie Nelson. Willie is a character and has a certain appeal, but when Ray opens his mouth to sing, it’s like the words have new life. I’m glad I was exposed to music like this from an early age and I know I’ll always think of my pa when I hear a Ray Charles song. Happy Birthday Ray!


  1. Ray does have quite the awesome and unique voice. He's one of my mom's favorites and we saw him in concert some years ago.

  2. Love Ray Charles ... he gave us all wonderful memories with his great musical style. So good to hear Willie and Ray sing this great song together ... thanks for posting this.

  3. FAB video.
    I love me some Willie.
    Did you see he cut his hair?

  4. I love Ray. What a wonderful musician and he really did overcome so much in life. What a true talent.

  5. This post is awesome and so is your grandpa.

  6. What a sweet post! And I love Ray too.

  7. Ray Charles not only sang, he told us stories. You don't see that too much in modern music. Happy Birthday Ray!

  8. This is one of my favorite songs by one of my favorite artists! Love Ray! I have his Genius Loves Company cd and it's amazing. I wanted to let you know that I tagged you in a little game in my post. I hope you don't mind. If you don't want to participate, I completely understand; however, if you would consider it, that would be great!!

    Have a wonderful weekend, Candace

  9. I tagged you in eight questions if you have time to answer great. If not it is totally fine.

    Have a great weekend.

    Carol-the gardener

  10. Love me some Ray Charles and tune.

    Carol-the gardener

    ps. thank you for the very kind comment. It made me smile for sure.

  11. Ray Charles was one of the are so right! Thanks for stopping by yesterday. It is so nice to meet you! I'll be hitting Mayberry days later today in the 92 degree heat!

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