Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Long live Ray Charles.

Forty-seven years ago this week, Ray Charles hit No. 1 on Billboard’s album chart with “Modern Sounds In Country and Western Music.” The LP stayed at No. 1 for 14 weeks. Music critics today consider it a masterpiece.

My mom and dad didn’t own a lot of records. But they owned this one.

The track I loved as a wee little kid was “Hey, Good Lookin’,” a jumping remake of the Hank Williams hit. Click here to hear it on my Vox blog. And if you’d like to hear the Hank Williams original, click here.

Mr. Charles put out a sequel LP (“Modern Sounds In Country and Western Music, Vol. 2”) within six months. Now, the Concord Music Group has remastered and reissued both volumes on a single CD.

Time for me to get deeper into those sessions...


quirkychick said...

I Can't Stop Loving You is one of my favorites when Ray goes to the country.

Undercover Black Man said...

^ My mom loved that cut. I played it for her repeatedly during her last day of life.

dickster1961 said...

Ray can sing anything.

Anonymous said...

My favorite from that album is "Bye Bye Love." I have always admired Ray Charles for his eagerness to explore different types of music. He also did a great "Ring Of Fire," on the Johnny Cash show.

I recently started looking at the variety shows that singers had back in the day. (I was too young to remember them when they originally aired.) Johnny Cash had Ray Charles on his show, Flip Wilson had Bobby Darin on his. The Muppets had guests like Lena Horne. There just seemed to be a real sense of friendship going on.

I hate to say it, but I can't think of a single singer today with enough talent to host a weekly variety show.

John B. said...

Country music has always been very popular in Nigeria.

A few months ago Comb & Razor did a couple of good posts on the subject:

Undercover Black Man said...

^ Wow. I never knew, John.

And thanks for pointing to those Comb & Razor posts, which I had missed.