Ray Charles was by no means one to abide by limitations, norms, or expectations. In his music, as in his life, he shattered all of them.
It appeared the whole lot was going in opposition to him: He was born poor and Black within the Jim Crow South and was blinded by glaucoma by age 7. His father was hardly ever round; his mom died by the point he was 15.
But regardless of obstacles that might have stymied almost anybody, Charles triumphed as an epochal, heartfelt musician who moved thousands and thousands past creed, class and colour. Within the dictionary, the phrase “grit” ought to embrace his picture.
Born on Sept. 23, 1930, he was raised in Greenville, Fla. As a lad, his ears have been a sonic sponge, absorbing the whole lot he heard: hymns at his Baptist church, barrelhouse and swing on the jukebox, and the Grand Ole Opry on the radio. At school, he realized to learn and write music in Braille, and to play Chopin and Mozart. After dropping out when his mom died, he turned knowledgeable musician, performing for a spell with a white nation music band. He nurtured high-definition listening to.