Acrobat Music

Jukebox Hits
Jukebox Hits

Ray Charles
Catalogue Number: ACMCD4326
There was no dedicated national US black music chart until Billboard inaugurated the Harlem Hit Parade in October 1942. Before that there were charted hits by black artists, but only on the mainstream Pop charts that went under various guises - Hit Parade/Radio Airplay, Juke Box Chart and Best Selling Records – and of course a black artist needed to be considerably more popular with the minority black audience, and sell more records, than did a white artist to get a chart placing.The Harlem Hit Parade was replaced in 1945 by the Race Records charts, which was itself replaced by the Rhythm & Blues charts in 1949. In 1958 the name was abbreviated to the Hot R&B chart, and the name endures to the present day for the Billboard black music chart. Ray Charles Robinson (September 23, 1930 – June 10, 2004), known by his stage name Ray Charles, was an American pianist and musician who shaped the sound of Rhythm and Blues. He brought a soulful sound to Country music and Pop standards. Frank Sinatra called him "the only true genius in the business". With a career that continued right up until his death, Ray was always at the forefront of what was possible in music. At the age of 7 becoming completely blind he was enrolled at St. Augustine School for the Deaf and Blind. Shortly before leaving the school Ray had begun to perform with local bands. He decided to move to Seattle in 1947 and started recording for Swingtime Records, achieving his first hit with “Baby I Want To Hold Your Hand”. By 1952 he had signed with Ahmet Ertegün at Atlantic Records, this relationship would last for 7 years and produce many hit records, until he signed a more lucrative deal with CBS in 1959. Ray Charles’s success continued right up to his death, with several major hits and even one of his songs being proclaimed the state song for Georgia. In 2004, Rolling Stone Magazine ranked Charles #10 on their list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time

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