I have no words to describe the musical gear that this man packed. Nobody, noBODY could consistently and successfully put his unique stamp on so many different kinds of music. After having â€œinventedâ€ soul music and having been one of the preeminent singers of jazz, pop, and big band music, he decided that he wanted to try his hand at â€œCountry and Westernâ€ music. Many people in the music business thought he had lost his mind, and yet, his foray into â€œCountry and Westernâ€ brought us â€œI Canâ€™t Stop Loving You,â€ and what is perhaps my favorite, â€œBorn to Lose,â€ which just might be the best Cry-in-Your-Beer song ever.
He was the seminal singer of â€œsoulâ€ music, and no one could phrase a lyric better than Ray Charles. In addition, he was known in the music business as â€œOne Take Ray,â€ because he was known to show up at a recording session and get it exactly right the first time. He was, however, according to an interview I heard of one of regular sidemen, tough as hell on drummers. His fellow musician said, â€œRay would drive drummers crazy, because some of his songs are so slow.â€ Drummers never seemed to be able to play slow enough for Ray Charles. I can completely relate. Ray Charles never needed a drummer to keep the beat; he had an internal metronome that was flawless. A good drummer didnâ€™t lead Ray Charles. A good drummer followed Ray Charles.
Man, he was great. What a loss.