Ray Charles

Six Classic Albums

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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 '60s, it was actually a fairly radical thing. 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 three-disc set combines six of Charles' early and influential LPs for Atlantic Records, including 1957's Ray Charles (later retitled and re-released as Hallelujah I Love Her So in 1962), 1958's Ray Charles at Newport, 1959's What'd I Say and The Genius of Ray Charles, and 1960's Ray Charles in Person and The Genius Hits the Road.

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