Ray Charles

I Got a Woman

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
Ray Charles [Atlantic] 1957 Atlantic / Rhino 0:00
No Image 1963 HMV
No Image 196? Atlantic
No Image 1971 GNP 2:50
No Image 1978 Atlantic
No Image 1981 USA / IVE
No Image 1984 Charly Records
The Right Time 1987 Atlantic
No Image 1988 Rhino
Anthology [Rhino] 1988 Rhino 6:20
Georgia on My Mind [Joker] 1988 Joker
The Genius 20 Greatest Hits 1988 Platinum Entertainment 6:17
The Rock 'N' Roll Era: 1954-1955 1988
Various Artists
Time / Life Music 2:55
No Image 1989 Spa
Atlantic Rhythm & Blues 1947-1974 [Box] 1991
Various Artists
Atlantic 2:52
Rhythm & Blues: Ray Charles - 1954-1966 1991 Time / Life Music
The Birth of Soul 1991 Rhino / Atlantic 2:50
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 R&B Box: 30 Years of Rhythm & Blues 1994
Various Artists
Rhino / Warner Bros.
Brother Ray's Blues 1995 Synergy Distribution 0:00
Classics 1995 Rhino 0:00
Mr. Holland's Opus [Original Motion Picture Soundtrack] 1996 PolyGram 2:50
Genius of Ray Charles [Deuce] 1996 St. Clair / Boxsets 6:16
She's on the Ball 1996 Prime Cuts 6:16
No Image 1996 Excelsior Recordings
Golden Archives 1997
Various Artists
Rhino Flashback 2:52
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
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
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 Laserlight 6:19
Late in the Evening [Park South/Town Sound] 2002 Park South Records / Town Sound 3:02
Essential Collection [Cleopatra] 2002 Cleopatra / Goldenlane 6:17
Ray's Blues [Past Perfect] 2002 Past Perfect 2:50
Hall of Fame 2003 Laserlight 6:19
All the 60's 2003
Various Artists
Warner Music 2:57
45 Great Performances 2003 Prism Leisure 6:16
Simply the Best Platinum Soul 2003
Various Artists
WEA International 2:50
Georgia on My Mind/Rockin' Chair Blues 2004 Laserlight 6:19
Ray [Original Soundtrack] 2004 Atlantic / Rhino / Warner Bros. 2:52
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 Roots of Elvis 2005
Various Artists
Rev-Ola Records 2:52
The Soul of a Genius 2005 Bud 5:22
Songs from the Motion Pictures 2005
Original Soundtrack
Wonderful Music Of 2:50
Genius Remixed [Hypnotic] 2005 Hypnotic 4:04
45 Classic Songs 2005 Dove 6:16
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
The Ray Charles Collection 2005 Music & Melody 2:49
I Got a Woman [Ground Floor] 2006 Ground Floor
Here's Ray Charles 2006 Disky 2:54
The Best of Rhythm & Blues: Hits 1954-1955 2006
Various Artists
EPM 2:56
Rhythm & Blues: The Golden Era 2006
Various Artists
Golden Stars 2:51
The Soul of a Man [SPV] 2007 SPV
Forever Gold: Ray Charles 2007 St. Clair 6:17
Forever Ray Charles 2007 Madacy Distribution / Madacy 6:16
I Got a Woman: Selected Singles 52-55 2007 Universe 2:50
The Soul Explosion 1954-1960 2011 Chrome Dreams 2:48
No Image 2013 Must Have Records
Essential Original Albums 2016 Masters of Music 2:48
The Genius, Vol. 2 2017 Vintage / Zebralution
No Image Bella Musica Edition
No Image Rhino
No Image 10TEN MEDIA
No Image
Various Artists
No Image Must Have Records
No Image Puzzled Records
No Image
Various Artists
Must Have Records
No Image
Various Artists
Must Have Records
No Image
Various Artists
No Image Must Have Records
The Rock 'N' Roll Era: R&B Gems - 1954-1955 [1]
Various Artists
Time / Life Music
No Image Labelle
Way It Was: Rock Around the Clock the 50's
Various Artists
Dynamic 2:55
No Image Puzzled Records
No Image
Various Artists
Com-Es Musik Schallplatten