Ray Charles

The Soul Explosion 1954-1960

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Although with hindsight it seems like an obvious thing to have done, when Ray Charles seamlessly fused R&B, blues, country, jazz, and gospel together and delivered all of it into a secular pop setting in the 1950s and 1960s, it was actually a fairly radical thing musically. Of course, it helped that Charles was a once-in-a-lifetime singer and artist, and probably could have sung the want ads from the morning newspaper and made it work. Along the way he invented soul, became an American icon, and remained a compelling recording and performing artist right up to his death in 2004. This set features 28 tracks Charles recorded for Atlantic between 1954 and 1960, including Charles' iconic classics "What'd I Say" and "I Got a Woman," among others.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 2:50
2 2:48
3 3:04
4 2:34
5 2:39
6 2:14
7 2:52
8 3:50
9 2:17
10 2:24
11 2:50
12 2:44
13 2:19
14 2:48
15 2:54
16 2:02
17 2:29
18 2:53
19 2:14
20 2:45
21
3:27
22 2:45
23 3:02
24 2:40
25 6:27
26 2:22
27 3:01
28 2:18
blue highlight denotes track pick