Biography of Ray Charles and music career

Published At: 06 January 2021 , 08:31 PM

Biography Ray Charles

American Ray Charles is a pianist, vocalist, and songwriter in the jazz, blues, rock, and roll, and country styles, weaving these styles together. Genius put Charles on a par with the best musicians of the 20th century and turned him into one of the symbols of American culture. Rolling Stone named him tenth on the List of Immortals and second in the Top 100 Vocalists of All Time.

Childhood and youth

Ray Charles Robinson was born on September 23, 1930, in the family of Aretha and Bailey Robinson. But soon the parents broke up, and Aretha and her sons moved from Georgia to South Florida, to the tiny village of Greenville. There she raised her sons, trying to get out of hopeless poverty. When Ray was five years old, his younger brother George drowned. The elder brother could not save him.

Singer Ray Charles

After this tragedy, Ray began to lose his sight and was blind by the age of seven. It was necessary to learn to live with this, and the boy was sent to a boarding school. There, Ray developed his musical abilities. He sang in a choir, learned to play the piano, organ, saxophone, trombone, and clarinet. After the death of his parents, the blind young man had to make his way in life on his own. At seventeen, Ray Robinson formed the MacSon Trio. In 1949, his song became a hit for the first time.


In the 50s, the musician's official pseudonym was born. The surname has been dropped to avoid confusion with boxer Ray Robinson. Ray Charles is looking for his style, achieving a unique sound of compositions. Experiments with the voice, including wheezing, screaming, and other sounds in songs that enhance the emotional coloring of words.

Ray Charles in his youth

In 1955, his soul single I Got a Woman climbed to the top positions in the R&B charts. During this time, Ray sang gospel songs and blues ballads. He performed traditional "black" music, revealing its beauty to everyone.

The first iconic song was written entirely by Ray, What'd I Say, has become a rock and roll classic. Ray collaborated with major orchestras, jazz musicians, and experimented with country music. The result was the award of a Grammy. The vocalist's powerful and spacious expressive voice impressed music critics and ordinary listeners.