Ray Charles

I Got a Woman

Composed by Ray Charles / Renald Richard

Song Review by

Ray Charles and Renald Richard -- one of his earliest bandleaders who likewise happened to blow a pretty mean trumpet -- co-wrote "I Got a Woman" during a road trip in the fall of 1954. As legend has it, the pair were listening to a gospel number on the radio when Richard began to improvise scat vocals atop the soulful groove. Charles inquired whether Richard could work up a similar-sounding piece and the rest, as they say, is history. The song was cut in Atlanta, GA, where Charles and company were doing a run of shows at the famous Peacock Club. As the artist felt he and his combo had prepared sufficient material, Charles summoned his producer, Jerry Wexler, and Atlantic Records head Ahmet Ertegun down to Atlanta to oversee the session on November 18, 1954 -- which was held at Georgia Tech University's radio station. Although from a technological perspective the facilities were no great shakes, Charles, who essentially produced the platter, was able to turn the results into his first R&B chart-topper. Also documented at the same time were three additional Charles originals: "Blackjack," "Greenbacks," and "Come Back Baby." Backing Brother Ray are Joe Bridgewater (trumpet), Charles Whitley (trumpet), Don Wilkerson (tenor sax), David "Fathead" Newman (baritone sax), Wesley Jackson (guitar), Jimmy Bell (bass), and Glenn Brooks (drums). Standing most prominently are the jaunty pacing and staccato horn impacts that are briskly interjected underneath Charles' definitive and soulful wails. As if further confirmation were needed, "I Got a Woman" was almost immediately covered by a sizable chunk of the concurrent Sun Records roster, including Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash, and Carl Perkins, as well as Bill Haley and Link Wray. Since then, even more luminaries, ranging from pre-British Invasion era Beatles to traditional folkie Ramblin' Jack Elliott, jazz organist Jimmy Smith, and Van Morrison and Them, have all had their way with "I Got a Woman."

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Mess Around 1953 Atlantic
Rock & Roll 1957 Friday Music
Ray Charles at Newport 1958 DOL 6:24
No Image 1961 Atlantic
No Image 1963 HMV
Live in Concert 1965 6:10
No Image 196? Atlantic
Ray Charles Live [Atlantic] 1973 Rhino / Atlantic/WEA 6:24
No Image 1978 Atlantic
No Image 1981 USA/IVE
No Image 1984 Charly Records
Atlantic Rhythm & Blues 1947-1974, Vol. 2 (1952-1955) 1985
Various Artists
Atlantic 2:52
The Right Time 1987 Atlantic
No Image 1988 Rhino
The Rock 'N' Roll Era: 1954-1955 1988
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 2:55
No Image 1989 Spa
Giants of Soul [Movieplay] 1990
Various Artists
Movieplay Music 2:53
The Birth of Soul 1991 Rhino / Atlantic 2:50
Unvergeßliche Songs 1992 Arcade Music 6:17
The Blues: A Smithsonian Collection of Classic Blues Singers 1993
Various Artists
Smithsonian Records 2:52
The Best of Ray Charles: The Atlantic Years 1994 Rhino 2:52
The Very Best of Ray Charles [Carrere] 1994 Carrere
Brother Ray's Blues 1995 Wonderful Music
Classics 1995 Rhino
She's on the Ball 1996 Prime Cuts 6:16
Berlin, 1962 1996 Pablo 6:07
No Image 1996 Excelsior Recordings
I've Got a Woman & Other Hits 1997 Rhino Flashback 2:52
Genius & Soul: The 50th Anniversary Collection 1997 Rhino 2:55
Ultimate 50's R&B Smashes 1998
Various Artists
Rhino 2:54
Ultimate Hits Collection 1999 Rhino 2:54
Forever Gold [Double Disc] 1999 St. Clair
The Very Best of Ray Charles [Rhino] 2000 Rhino 2:54
Le Genius of Soul [Wea International] 2000 WEA International 2:51
Golden Legends [Direct Source] 2000 Direct Source 6:16
Down Home Blues [Direct Source] 2000
Various Artists
Direct Source 6:18
20 Golden Classics 2000 Golden Music / Goldenlane 6:15
Birth of the Blues [Box Set] 2000
Various Artists
Direct Source 6:18
Georgia on My Mind [Mastersound] 2000 Mastersound 6:08
Sizzlin' Jazz 2001
Various Artists
Rhino 6:18
Say It Loud! A Celebration of Black Music in America [Box Set] 2001
Various Artists
Rhino 2:55
Definitive Ray Charles 2001 WEA International 2:55
Georgia on My Mind [Laserlight] 2001 Double Pleasure 6:14
Late in the Evening [Park South/Town Sound] 2002 Park South Records / Town Sound 3:02
Genius [TKO] 2002 Starburst Recordings 6:12
Essential Collection [Cleopatra] 2002 Cleopatra / Goldenlane 6:17
Ray's Blues [Past Perfect] 2002 Past Perfect 2:50
Ray, Rare and Live 2003 Universe 6:15
Hall of Fame 2003 Laserlight 6:19
All the 60's 2003
Various Artists
Warner Music 2:57
No Image 2003 Rhino 6:11
45 Great Performances 2003 Prism Leisure 6:16
Simply the Best Platinum Soul 2003
Various Artists
WEA International 2:50
In Concert 2004 Rhino 6:10
Georgia on My Mind/Rockin' Chair Blues 2004 Laserlight 6:19
Ray [Original Soundtrack] 2004 Atlantic / WMG - Wagner Music Group / Rhino 2:52
What'd I Say: Live 2004 Solo 6:19
The Best of Ray Charles: Live 2004 St. Clair 6:15
Blues Is My Middle Name 2004 Mojo Music (Independent) 3:01
Live at the Olympia 2000 2005 Mk2 5:50
Ray Charles Live [St. Clair] 2005 St. Clair 6:16
Blowing the Fuse: 29 R&B Classics That Rocked the Jukebox in 1955 2005
Various Artists
Bear Family Records 2:53
The Collection [Rainbow] 2005 Brilliant / Rainbow Records 6:14
The One and Only 2005 Legacy 2:52
The Atlantic Story 1952-1954 2005 Avid 2:54
Music from the Award-Winners and Nominees 0405 2005
Various Artists
Golden Stars 2:50
1953-1954 2005 Classics 2:52
The Soul of a Genius 2005 Bud 5:22
Songs from the Motion Pictures 2005
Original Soundtrack
Wonderful Music Of 2:50
Can Anyone Ask for More? 2005 Pure Gold (Germany)
Genius Remixed [Hypnotic] 2005 Hypnotic 4:04
Sinner's Prayers 1951-54 2005 Rev-Ola Records 2:50
The Right Time: The Platinum Collection 2005 Warner Elektra Atlantic Corp. / Warner Platinum 2:57
I'm a Soul Man 2005
Various Artists
Saga / Saga Blues 2:56
We're Gonna Rock: We're Gonna Roll 2005
Various Artists
Proper Box 2:51
The Ray Charles Collection 2005 Music & Melody 2:49
We're Gonna Rock We're Gonna Roll: Blues & Rhythm 2005
Various Artists
Proper Sales & Dist. 2:51
Atlantic Rhythm & Blues 1947-1974, Vol. 2: 1952-1954 2006
Various Artists
WEA International 2:51
R&B Soul 2006 Direct Source 5:03
I Got a Woman [Ground Floor] 2006 Ground Floor
Here's Ray Charles 2006 Disky 2:54
Live in Concert [Noble Price] 2006 MSI Music Distribution / NOBLE PRIC
The Ray Charles Songbook 2006 Music Brokers / Pmb 6:16
Fabulous 50s: Yakety Yak 2006
Various Artists
Laserlight 4:54
Atlantic R&B Box Set 2006
Various Artists
WEA International 2:51
The Best of Rhythm & Blues: Hits 1954-1955 2006
Various Artists
EPM 2:56
Heart and Soul 2006 Primo Records 2:54
Rhythm & Blues: The Golden Era 2006
Various Artists
Golden Stars 2:51
Rhythm and Blues 2006 Chrome Dreams 2:50
46 Titres Originaux 2006 Intense Records
Golden Legends: Ray Charles Live 2006 Madacy 6:16
The Soul of a Man 2007 SPV Blue Label 2:51
Forever Gold: Ray Charles 2007 St. Clair 6:17
Jazz Characters, Vol. 2: Les Jazzmen Qui Ont Fait l'Histoire 2007
Various Artists
Le Chant du Monde 2:52
Heartbreak Hotel [Essential Gold] 2007
Various Artists
Dynamic 2:52
Van Morrison's Jukebox: The Songs That Inspired the Man 2007
Various Artists
United States of Distribution / Chrome Dreams 2:51
Forever Ray Charles 2007 Madacy Distribution / Madacy 6:16
Ray Charles [St. Clair] 2007 St. Clair 6:16
The Way I Feel 2007 Proper / Proper Sales & Dist. 2:54
Brothers of Soul: Early Years Collection 2007 Music Products BV 2:51
I Got a Woman: Selected Singles 52-55 2007 Saga All Stars / Saga Records 2:54
Ray Charles: Trilogy 2007 Music Brokers 5:58
The Way I Feel: I Got a Woman 2007 Proper Sales & Dist. 2:54
No Image 2008
Various Artists
World Picture Records / ZYX / ZYX Music 2:50
World of Rock 'n Roll Legends 2008
Various Artists
ZYX Music 2:50
Yesterday's Gold: 60 Golden Oldies of the 50's 2008
Various Artists
Remember Records
No Image 2008
Various Artists
Delta 2:49
Best of Hits 2008 St. Clair 6:15
Well Worn Grooves: Golden Oldies of the 50's 2008
Various Artists
Golden Stars 2:47
Legend Lives On 2008 Golden Stars 2:51
The Legend Lives On [Immortal] 2008 Immortal 3:26
50's Super Hits 2008
Various Artists
Music Brokers 2:47
I Love Jazz [Wagram] 2008
Various Artists
Wagram Records 2:48
The Roots of Led Zeppelin 2009
Various Artists
Proper Box 2:47
The Roots of the Beatles 2009
Various Artists
Complete Roots / Snapper 2:50
Yes Indeed [Membran] 2009 Membran 2:56
What'd I Say [Delta] 2010 Delta Leisure Group / Xtra 2:48
The Absolutely Essential 3 CD Collection 2010 Big3 Records / Proper Uk 2:53
Six Classic Albums 2011 Imc Music Ltd. 6:19
The Genius in Person: Journey Through the Early Albums 1957-1960 2011 Jasmine / Jasmine Records
Lemon Popsicles and Strawberry Milkshakes [10 Disc Box Set] 2011
Various Artists
Go Entertainment 2:50
The Soul Explosion 1954-1960 2011 Chrome Dreams 2:48
I Got a Woman [Sound and Vision] 2012 Sound and Vision 6:16
Simply Rock 'n' Roll [2012] 2012
Various Artists
Simply
No Image 2012 AP Music
Soul: When a Man Loves a Woman 2012
Various Artists
Bellevue Publishing 2:56
What'd I Say/Hallellujah I Love Her So 2013 Hoo Doo Records 2:48
No Image 2013 Must Have Records 2:54
The R&B No. 1s of the '50s 2013
Various Artists
Acrobat / Acrobat Music 2:52
Sweethearts and Stolen Kisses: From the Movies 2014
Various Artists
Music Digital 2:49
The Greatest Ever... Love Songs [Bellevue] 2014
Various Artists
Bellevue / Wienerworld 2:59
In the 1950s 2014 Enlightenment 2:48
When Cool Was King 2015
Various Artists
Ministry of Sound 2:53
The Atlantic Years: In Mono 2016 ACG / Atlantic
Essential Original Albums 2016 Masters of Music 2:48
100 Hits of the 50's, Vol. 2 [Dwk]
Various Artists
Dwk Records 2:54
100 Hits: Soul [2015]
Various Artists
100 Hits
101 Hits from the Rock 'N' Roll Hall of Fame
Various Artists
DLG Digital 2:49
3/60: Soul Classics
Various Artists
Crimson Productions 2:54
300 Hits: Soul
Various Artists
Bellevue Publishing 2:56
No Image
Various Artists
Forever Classic Hits 2:47
No Image
Various Artists
Delta 2:47
Absolute Hits of the 50's
Various Artists
Eva
No Image Bella Musica Edition 2:50
No Image Rhino
No Image
Various Artists
TMC Entertainment 2:54
No Image
Various Artists
X5 2:56
De Pre Historie: 1955, Vol. 1
Various Artists
Eva 2:54
Early R & B Classics, Vol. 2
Various Artists
Cherished Records 2:55
No Image Must Have Records 2:54
No Image
Various Artists
Delta 2:47
No Image Real Gone Jazz
Golden Oldies Hit Series, Vol. 16
Various Artists
Forever Classic Hits 2:47
No Image 10TEN MEDIA 2:42
No Image
Various Artists
Labelle 2:54
Le  Coffret Idéal Soul
Various Artists
Warner Music
My Kind of Music: Vintage Soul - Original Soul Grooves
Various Artists
USM Media
No Image
Various Artists
Warner Music 2:52
Ray Charles Greatest Hits [MGI Classics] MGI Classics 2:55
No Image
Various Artists
Bluebird 2:52
No Image
Various Artists
Must Have Records 2:54
Rock 'n' Roll Forever: Best of the 50's
Various Artists
Dynamic 2:54
No Image
Various Artists
Must Have Records 2:54
No Image
Various Artists
Must Have Records 2:54
Rock n Roll Hits of the 50's, Vol. 1 [Excalibur]
Various Artists
Excalibur 2:54
Simply Ray Charles Simply / Union Square Music
Soul Music: The First Generation
Various Artists
Primo / Primo Records 2:53
No Image
Various Artists
Labelle 2:54
The  Original Sound of R&B 1955
Various Artists
Ideal 2:53
The Blues One & Only Blues
The Greatest Ever... Party Album
Various Artists
Bellevue / Wienerworld 2:59
No Image Must Have Records 2:54
The Road To Soul: 55 Tracks That Ushered In the Soul Era
Various Artists
Jasmine Records
The Rock 'N' Roll Era: R&B Gems - 1954-1955 [1]
Various Artists
Time/Life Music
No Image Labelle 2:54
No Image
Various Artists
Must Have Records 2:54
The Very Best Delta Distribution 2:47
Twist and Shout: 60 Songs That Influenced the Beatles
Various Artists
Big 3 2:50
Way It Was: Rock Around the Clock the 50's
Various Artists
Dynamic 2:55
No Image Puzzled Records 2:54
No Image
Various Artists
Com-Es Musik Schallplatten 2:48
blue highlight denotes editor's pick