Ray Charles

In: Film and Music

Submitted By roderickthomas95
Words 699
Pages 3
Roderick M. Thomas Jr.
American Popular Music
October 25, 2013

Personal Selection Paper I decided to do my paper on Ray Charles because he is a staple in music history. He was always a very influential person in music and revolutionized music by mixing the sound of gospel with blues. Personally, my favorite song to listen to preformed by Ray Charles is “Hit the Road Jack”, which is a part of the blues genre written by Percy Mayfield. The reason I enjoy this song is because it explains a story of a woman who is fed up with a good-for-nothing man who tries to get her back but she does not fall for his deception. I enjoy songs that explain a situation that is going on or a song that is telling a story. You can really get into it with the song when you listen because you get wrapped up in what is happening. Ray Charles Robinson was born September 23, 1930 in Albany, Georgia. He was born to the parents of Aretha (Williams) Robinson, a sharecropper, and Bailey Robinson who was a railroad repairman, a handyman and mechanic. When he was still a baby, his family moved to a poor black community on the west side of Greenville, Florida. He became interested in music at young age when he was at Mr. Wiley Pit’s Red Wing Café. He would watch Pit play the piano while he was the café. Mr. Pit would often watch Ray and Ray’s little brother, George. Ray started to lose his sight at the age of five and became completely blind by the age of seven from glaucoma. From then he began attending Florida School for the Deaf and Blind from 1937 to 1945. Here at school, he began to develop his musical talent. He left school in 1946 when his mother died and moved to Jacksonville, Florida to live with two of his mother’s friends. There he began his music career where he played the piano for bands at the Ritz Theatre in LaVilla for over a year for $4 a night. In 1951, he joined Swing…...

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