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After school they would gather, transfixed, around the hi-fi console blaring this new live album from their hero. I wonder if you like this album, but I’m more interested in what you think of this story, both as a Ray Charles fan and as one who studies how American culture is formed.
Does it surprise you that Ray Charles could be their towering figure, or that 1950s white middle class kids could be pulled so far into black music without any help from Elvis?
We feel great sadness and loss in your resignation. You have asked questions no one else has asked, and refused to accept obfuscation, lies, or evasions in response.
You have done this without self-aggrandizement, and with respect for the body of which you are a part.
There’s a directness, a forthrightness, to the singing and the songwriting, and an absence of clutter in the music.I never remotely grasped what a great song this is until I heard it from this night.I knew Rick, but I never understood how much of himself he never revealed until I played this over and over and over.“Mess Around,” “Lonely Avenue,” “Hallelujah I Love Her So,” and “What’d I Say” were epochal records, new species of life, but their favorite, and the first LP they saved up the money to buy, was 1958’s .For these white middle class kids, Charles’ savage howling on “The Right Time” and, especially, the six wailing minutes of “I Got A Woman” were moments of transformative freedom. Dad’s answer: “We would scream.” Fats Domino made fine music, but they wanted to BE Ray Charles.