Ray Charles

Ray Charles

Known For: Acting · Birthday: 1930-09-23 · Deathday: 2004-06-10 (73 years old) · Gender: Male · Place of Birth: Albany, Georgia USA

61 Movies · 25 TV shows

Biography

Ray Charles Robinson (September 23, 1930 – June 10, 2004) was an American singer, songwriter, pianist, and composer. Among friends and fellow musicians he preferred being called "Brother Ray." He was often referred to as "The Genius." Charles was blinded during childhood due to glaucoma.Charles pioneered the soul music genre during the 1950s by combining blues, jazz, rhythm and blues, and gospel styles into the music he recorded for Atlantic. He contributed to the integration of country music, rhythm and blues, and pop music during the 1960s with his crossover success on ABC Records, notably with his two Modern Sounds albums. While he was with ABC, Charles became one of the first Black musicians to be granted artistic control by a mainstream record company.Charles' 1960 hit "Georgia On My Mind" was the first of his three career No. 1 hits on the Billboard Hot 100. His 1962 album Modern Sounds In Country And Western Music became his first album to top the Billboard 200. Charles had multiple singles reach the Top 40 on various Billboard charts: 44 on the US R&B singles chart, 11 on the Hot 100 singles chart, 2 on the Hot Country singles charts.Charles cited Nat King Cole as a primary influence, but his music was also influenced by Louis Jordan and Charles Brown. He had a lifelong friendship and occasional partnership with Quincy Jones. Frank Sinatra called Ray Charles "the only true genius in show business," although Charles downplayed this notion. Billy Joel said, "This may sound like sacrilege, but I think Ray Charles was more important than Elvis Presley".For his musical contributions, Charles received the Kennedy Center Honors, the National Medal of Arts, and the Polar Music Prize. He won 17 Grammy Awards, including 5 posthumously. Charles was honored with the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1987, and 10 of his recordings have been inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame. Rolling Stone ranked Charles No. 10 on their list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time, and No. 2 on their list of the 100 Greatest Singers of All Time.

Personal Life

Charles stated in his 1978 autobiography, Brother Ray: Ray Charles' Own Story, that he became hooked on women after losing his virginity at 12 years old to a woman about 20. "Cigarettes and smack (heroin) are the two truly addictive habits I've known. You might add women," he said. "My obsession centers on women—did then (when young) and does now. I can't leave them alone," he added.

Early Life

Ray Charles Robinson was the son of Bailey Robinson, a laborer, and Aretha (or Reatha) Williams, a laundress, of Greenville, Florida.Aretha was described as a lovely slip of a girl with long wavy black hair; she was also sickly and walked with a cane. Her mother had died and her father, a man Bailey worked with, could not keep her. The Robinson family—Bailey, his wife Mary Jane and his mother—informally adopted her and Aretha took the surname Robinson. A few years later 15 year old Aretha became pregnant by Bailey. During the ensuing scandal, she left Greenville late in the summer of 1930 to be with family in Albany, Georgia. After the birth of Ray Charles, she and her baby returned to Greenville. Aretha and Bailey's wife, who had lost a son, then shared in Charles' upbringing. His father abandoned the family, left Greenville, and married another woman elsewhere. By his first birthday Charles had a brother, George. In later years, none could remember who was George's father.Charles was deeply devoted to his mother and later recalled, despite her poor health and adversity, her perseverance, self-sufficiency, and pride which were guiding lights in his life.In his early years, Charles showed an interest in mechanical objects and would often watch his neighbors working on their cars and farm machinery. His musical curiosity was sparked at Wylie Pitman's Red Wing Cafe, at the age of three, when Pitman played boogie woogie on an old upright piano; Pitman subsequently taught Charles how to play the piano. Charles and his mother were always welcome at the Red Wing Cafe and even lived there when they were in financial distress. Pitman would also care for Ray's younger brother George, to take some of the burden off their mother. George drowned in his mother's laundry tub when he was four years old.Charles started to lose his sight at the age of four or five, and was blind by the age of seven, apparently as a result of glaucoma. Destitute, uneducated, and mourning the loss of her younger son, Aretha Robinson used her connections in the local community to find a school that would accept a blind African-American pupil. Despite his initial protest, Charles attended school at the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind in St. Augustine from 1937 to 1945.Charles further developed his musical talent at school and was taught to play the classical piano music of J.S. Bach, Mozart and Beethoven. His teacher, Mrs. Lawrence, taught him how to use braille music, a difficult process that requires learning the left hand movements by reading braille with the right hand and learning the right hand movements by reading braille with the left hand, and then combining the two parts.Ray Charles' mother died in the spring of 1945, when Ray was 14. Her death came as a shock to him; he later said the deaths of his brother and mother were "the two great tragedies" of his life. Charles decided not to return to school after the funeral.

Movies & TV shows

2017.

2 Movies
Joe Cocker - Mad Dog with Soul

Joe Cocker - Mad Dog with Soul

2017
Joe Cocker was a singer. In 1969 at Woodstock, a former gas fitter from Yorkshire, catapulted to world fame with his performance of the Beatles song, "A Little Help from My Friends." The demons of Joe...
I Am Not Your Negro

I Am Not Your Negro

2017
James Baldwin's final novel contains a meditation on what it means to be black in the United States.

2016.

1 Movie
A Song For You: The Austin City Limits Story

A Song For You: The Austin City Limits Story

2016
A Song For You: The Austin City Limits Story gives the ultimate backstage pass to 40 years of incredible music from the longest running music show in television history.

2014.

1 Movie
Face of Unity

Face of Unity

2014
Face of Unity is the first retrospective to be released since the president's death. The groundwork for peace and reconciliation is outlined in a never before seen speech. President Barack Obama, Sam ...

2013.

1 TV show

2012.

1 Movie

2011.

1 Movie
Ray Charles - Live in France 1961

Ray Charles - Live in France 1961

2011
The concerts were filmed at the Antibes Jazz Festival in France in 1961, and show Ray Charles in his prime period with his most legendary band, including David "Fathead" Newman and Hank Crawford. The ...

2008.

3 Movies
Ray Charles: Live At Montreux

Ray Charles: Live At Montreux

2008
The unforgettable Ray Charles swings and sings with the best of them in this finger-snapping live performance at the 1997 Montreux Jazz Festival. The legend shows off his prodigious talents and wows t...
Ray Charles: The Legend Lives On

Ray Charles: The Legend Lives On

2008
American R&B icon Ray Charles lets loose on this collection of electrifying live performances from throughout his legendary career.

2007.

2 Movies
Atlantic Records: The House That Ahmet Built

Atlantic Records: The House That Ahmet Built

2007
The influence of Ahmet Ertegun is showcased in this American Masters episode. Some of the most popular Rhythm and Blues and Rock 'n' Roll artists have worked for Atlantic. First artist Ruth Brown, Big...

2006.

2 Movies
Ray Charles: Live at the Olympia

Ray Charles: Live at the Olympia

2006
Legendary musician Ray Charles turned the lemons of transportation trouble into the sweet lemonade of an unplugged concert. With his band stranded at the airport, Charles had only his drummer, a guita...

2004.

7 Movies
World's Funniest & Cleverest Commercials

World's Funniest & Cleverest Commercials

2004
David Leisure, also known as "Joe Isuzu", shows you some of the best commercials made around the world. They are all examples of the art of commercials.
Tom Dowd & The Language of Music

Tom Dowd & The Language of Music

2004
Tom Dowd & the Language Of Music profiles the extraordinary life and legendary work of music producer/recording engineer Tom Dowd. Historical footage, vintage photographs and interviews with a who's w...
TV in Black: The First Fifty Years

TV in Black: The First Fifty Years

2004
This retrospective of the medium's first half-century shows how television has reflected the African American experience. The image of black America on television from Amos and Andy to the present day...
Ray Charles: Genius Loves Company

Ray Charles: Genius Loves Company

2004
DVD that accompanied the CD release. Has behind the scenes and rehearsal footage.
Ray Charles: Soul of the Holy Land

Ray Charles: Soul of the Holy Land

2004
Ray Charles' 1973 tour of the Holy Land is memorialized in this inspiring concert documentary, highlighting his sold-out performance in Tel Aviv, and featuring the 17-piece Ray Charles Orchestra and t...
Hank Williams: Honky Tonk Blues

Hank Williams: Honky Tonk Blues

2004
The authoritative documentary on Country Music's most influential figure.

2003.

2 Movies · 1 TV show
Willie Nelson & Friends: Live and Kickin'

Willie Nelson & Friends: Live and Kickin'

2003
Country music legend and American icon Willie Nelson is joined on stage by some of the biggest names in music for a once-in-a-lifetime concert event to celebrate his 70th birthday.
TV
The Blues

The Blues

2003
The Blues is a documentary film series about the history of blues music. Each episode has a different director looking at a stage in the development of the blues. PBS aired the series in the US.
Piano Blues

Piano Blues

2003
Director — and piano player — Clint Eastwood (Play Misty for Me, Bird, Unforgiven) explores his life-long passion for piano blues, using a treasure trove of rare historical footage in addition to inte...

2002.

2 Movies
The Willie Nelson Special - With Special Guest Ray Charles

The Willie Nelson Special - With Special Guest Ray Charles

2002
Recorded in 1984, Willie Nelson, one of the most influential musical figures of the past quarter century performs on this DVD for the first time with Ray Charles. Filmed live at the Austin Opera House...

2001.

5 Movies · 1 TV show
Billy Joel: The Essential Video Collection

Billy Joel: The Essential Video Collection

2001
Songs: Piano Man, All for Leyna, Tell Her About It, Honesty, Sometimes a Fantasy, The Night Is Still Young, Pressure, My Life, Keeping the Faith, A Matter of Trust, You're Only Human (Second Wind), Ev...
The Best of Bob Hope: 50 years of Laughter Volume 2

The Best of Bob Hope: 50 years of Laughter Volume 2

2001
This Bob Hope Special called “Highlights of a Quarter Century” begins his 26th year with NBC in 1975 (he began with NBC radio in 1937) celebrating 25 years of Bob Hope Specials and the many celebritie...
Michael Jackson: 30th Anniversary Celebration

Michael Jackson: 30th Anniversary Celebration

2001
The Michael Jackson: 30th Anniversary Special was held in New York City. On September 7, 2001 and September 10, 2001 it happened. In 2001, CBS aired a two-hour special about Michael Jackson's last yea...
TV
Star Academy

Star Academy

2001
Star Academy is a French reality television show produced by the Dutch company Endemol. It consists of a contest of young singers. It spawned an equally successful show in Quebec called Star Académie....
The Best of Bob Hope: 50 years of Laughter Volume 1

The Best of Bob Hope: 50 years of Laughter Volume 1

2001
This Bob Hope Special called “Highlights of a Quarter Century” begins his 26th year with NBC in 1975 (he began with NBC radio in 1937) celebrating 25 years of Bob Hope Specials and the many celebritie...
Ray Charles - In Concert

Ray Charles - In Concert

2001
The name Ray Charles stands for superstar worldwide. He is an icon in the music world, has a star on Hollywood Boulevard's Walk of Fame, a bronze bust enshrined in the Playboy Hall of Fame, and has re...

2000.

1 Movie
Blue's Big Musical Movie

Blue's Big Musical Movie

2000
Get ready for lots of musical fun in this first full-length movie based on the popular Nick Jr. TV series for preschoolers. Just as friendly cartoon pup Blue and her friends are ready for their big ba...

1996.

1 Movie
Spy Hard

Spy Hard

1996
The bad Gen. Dick Steele, also known as AgentWD-40, is the only man who can stop Rancor. Steele and Ukrinsky are working together to get a computer circuit for the missile that Rancor is going to fire...

1994.

4 Movies
Sesame Street All-Star 25th Birthday: Stars and Street Forever!

Sesame Street All-Star 25th Birthday: Stars and Street Forever!

1994
Sesame Street All-Star 25th Birthday: Stars and Street Forever! was a 1994 TV special that aired on ABC to celebrate Sesame Street's 25th anniversary. It was originally broadcast on May 18, 1994. The...
Ray Alexander: A Taste For Justice

Ray Alexander: A Taste For Justice

1994
Ray is investigating the murder of a doctor.
The World of Jim Henson

The World of Jim Henson

1994
Jim Henson is the subject of this episode of Great Performances.
Love Affair

Love Affair

1994
Mike Gambril and Terry McKay were forced to land on a small atoll on their flight to Australia. The ship they were on was sent to take them to a larger island. They will meet in New York three months ...

1993.

1 Movie · 1 TV show
Willie Nelson: The Big Six-O

Willie Nelson: The Big Six-O

1993
Willie Nelson and friends celebrate his birthday with a concert.
TV
The Nanny

The Nanny

6.18
1993
Fran, fresh out of her job as a bridal consultant in her boyfriend's shop, first appeared on the doorstep of Broadway producer Maxwell Sheffield peddling cosmetics, and quickly stumbled upon the oppor...

1991.

1 Movie

1990.

2 Movies · 1 TV show
The Muppets Celebrate Jim Henson

The Muppets Celebrate Jim Henson

1990
While the Muppets prepare a tribute to the late Jim Henson, they learn about the life and career of the renowned puppeteer and film maker.
TV
Wings

Wings

6.4
1990
Brothers Brian and Joe attempt to run an airline on the New England island of Nantucket while surrounded by their various wacky friends and employees.
Listen Up: The Lives Of Quincy Jones

Listen Up: The Lives Of Quincy Jones

1990
The extraordinary life of Quincy Jones -- one of the 20th century's most influential and talented composers, musicians and music producers -- provides the basis of this offbeat, free-form documentary ...

1989.

2 Movies
Legends of Rock 'n' Roll

Legends of Rock 'n' Roll

1989
Are you ready for some old-time rock and roll?! Then you are ready for the masters, the originators, the men who made the music, the "Legends of Rock 'n' Roll Live." Join the "Godfather of Soul" James...
Limit Up

Limit Up

1989
The assistant of Peter Oak wants to get a license of her own. When Nike promises to make her successful by using her supernatural abilities, she hesitantly accepts. She makes a career out of correctly...

1986.

2 Movies
Billy Joel - Building The Bridge

Billy Joel - Building The Bridge

1986
The Bridge was released on July 29th, 1986. Billy will show you the process of writing and recording the album.
The Muppets: A Celebration of 30 Years

The Muppets: A Celebration of 30 Years

1986
For the first time in their careers, all the Muppets (except the ones that couldn't make it, like the Doozers, Gorgs and most of the Fraggles) have gathered together in one place to celebrate their th...

1985.

2 Movies · 1 TV show
We Are the World: The Story Behind the Song

We Are the World: The Story Behind the Song

1985
We Are the World: The Story Behind the Song is a documentary which examines how the song was written, how producer Quincy Jones and songwriters Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie persuaded some of the ...
TV
Moonlighting

Moonlighting

5.99
1985
The model is convinced by David to become a partner in a detective agency after being deceived and going bankrupt. They solve cases together while getting along.
The Statue of Liberty

The Statue of Liberty

1985
The Statue of Liberty has been a symbol of hope and refuge for immigrants for more than 100 years. In this compelling and provocative portrait of the statue, Ken Burns explores both the history of Ame...

1984.

1 TV show
TV
Who's the Boss?

Who's the Boss?

6.03
1984
A former professional baseball player and his daughter move into a New York advertising executive's house to be a father figure to her young son. Tony has a laid-back personality.

1983.

1 Movie
Ray Charles: A Man & His Soul

Ray Charles: A Man & His Soul

1983
A special celebrating Ray Charles' 40 years in show business was filmed in the summer of 1983.

1982.

2 TV shows
TV
St. Elsewhere

St. Elsewhere

1982
St. Elsewhere is an American medical drama television series that originally ran on NBC from October 26, 1982 to May 25, 1988. The series starred Ed Flanders, Norman Lloyd and William Daniels as teach...

1981.

2 Movies
Celebration

Celebration

1981
The third tv special by Lynda Carter.
Ray Charles Live - In Concert with the Edmonton Symphony

Ray Charles Live - In Concert with the Edmonton Symphony

1981
This DVD was recorded on January 27, 1981 in Edmonton, Alberta at Jubilee Auditorium. It captures Ray Charles at his finest as a live performer, and includes performances of classics "Hit The Road Jac...

1980.

3 Movies · 1 TV show
John Schneider: Back Home

John Schneider: Back Home

1980
John Schneider stars in a musical tribute to his home state of Georgia with guest stars Ray Charles and Barbara Mandrell.
TV
Barbara Mandrell and the Mandrell Sisters

Barbara Mandrell and the Mandrell Sisters

1980
Barbara Mandrell and the Mandrell Sisters is an American variety show hosted by Barbara, Louise, and Irlene Mandrell that aired on NBC for two season in 1980.
The Blues Brothers

The Blues Brothers

7.2
1980
Jake Blues, just released from prison, put his old band back together to save the Catholic home where he and his brother were raised.
Ray Charles At The North Sea Jazz Festival

Ray Charles At The North Sea Jazz Festival

1980
Live Concert: Northsea Jazz Festival, Prins Willem Alexanderzaal, Congresgebouw, The Hague – July 13, 1980. Period: The Tangerine/Crossover/Atlantic Years (1973 – 1980). Artist: Ray Charles (with Th...

1979.

1 Movie
Ray Charles: Angels Keep Watching Over Me

Ray Charles: Angels Keep Watching Over Me

1979
The Voices of Jubilation present Ray Charles. Region 0 Ray Charles was a pioneering American pianist and soul musician who shaped the sound of rhythm & blues, and gospel. Sadly the legend past away Ju...

1978.

1 Movie · 2 TV shows
The Second Barry Manilow Special

The Second Barry Manilow Special

1978
Barry's second TV special aired on ABC.
TV
The Kennedy Center Honors

The Kennedy Center Honors

1978
The Kennedy Center honors those in the performing arts for their lifetime of contributions to American culture.

1976.

1 Movie
The Midnight Special Legendary Performances 1976

The Midnight Special Legendary Performances 1976

1976
The Midnight Special was a musical variety show that aired on NBC during the 1970s and early 1980s. Its last episode was on May 1, 1981 and it began its run as a regular series on February 2, 1973. Th...

1975.

2 TV shows
TV
Saturday Night Live

Saturday Night Live

6.36
1975
A late-night live television sketch comedy and variety show created by Lorne Michaels. The show's comedy sketches, which parody contemporary culture and politics, are performed by a large and varying ...
TV
Cher

Cher

1975
The American variety show has been nominated for an award.

1973.

1 Movie
Barbra Streisand... and Other Musical Instruments

Barbra Streisand... and Other Musical Instruments

1973
Barbra's fifth television spectacular is her most adventurous. Barbra Streisand is performing a startling array of new songs and classic hits. It is a feast for the eyes and ears. An extended sequence...

1972.

1 TV show
TV
Musikladen

Musikladen

1972
The programme ran from December 13, 1972 to November 29, 1984 Extratour replaced the 1960s Beat-Club as the show continued under a new name.

1970.

1 TV show
TV
The Flip Wilson Show

The Flip Wilson Show

4
1970
The Flip Wilson Show is a variety show that aired in the U.S. NBC aired from September 17, 1970 to June 27, 1974. One of the first American television programs starring a black person in the title rol...

1969.

2 TV shows
TV
The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour

The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour

1969
Glen Campbell hosted The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour on CBS from January 1969 to June 1972 He hosted a summer replacement for The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour. "Gentle on My Mind" was the theme song ...
TV
The Johnny Cash Show

The Johnny Cash Show

1969
Johnny Cash hosted the Johnny Cash Show. The Screen Gems series aired on ABC from 1969 to 1971 and was filmed in Nashville, Tennessee. The show did not reach No. June Carter Cash and the Carter Family...

1968.

1 TV show
TV
The Dick Cavett Show

The Dick Cavett Show

1968
The Dick Cavett Show is a talk show hosted by Dick Cavett.

1967.

1 Movie · 1 TV show
TV
The Carol Burnett Show

The Carol Burnett Show

5.33
1967
The Carol Burnett Show is a television show. It ran from September 11, 1967, to March 29, 1978, on CBS. The series won 25 awards. 16 of TV Guide's 50 greatest TV shows of all time were listed as one o...
In the Heat of the Night

In the Heat of the Night

5.08
1967
An African American detective is asked to investigate a murder in a town.

1966.

1 Movie
The Big T.N.T. Show

The Big T.N.T. Show

1966
Some of the top rock-and-roll acts of the 60s performed live. Ray Charles, Joan Baez, Tina Turner, and many more are on the list.

1965.

1 Movie
Ballad in Blue

Ballad in Blue

1965
Ray Charles plays himself in this film where he helps blind boy David (Piers Bishop) in his struggle to regain his sight. David’s over-protective mother Peggy (Mary Peach) is afraid of the risks conne...

1964.

2 TV shows
TV
Shindig!

Shindig!

1964
Shindig!, an American musical variety series, aired on ABC from September 16, 1964 to January 8, 1966. Jimmy O'Neill, a disc jockey in Los Angeles at the time who also created the show along with his ...
TV
The Hollywood Palace

The Hollywood Palace

1964
The Hollywood Palace was a weekly variety show on ABC from January 4, 1964 to February 7, 1970 The Saturday Night Hollywood Palace began as a replacement for The Jerry Lewis Show, which only lasted th...

1962.

1 Movie
Cosmic Ray

Cosmic Ray

1962
Experimental short uses Ray Charles' “What'd I Say” as accompaniment to constantly shifting collage of female nude, cartoons, and newsreels of atomic bomb explosions.

1961.

1 Movie
Swingin' Along

Swingin' Along

1961
An amateur tunesmith and a con man pool their resources in order to win a contest.

1958.

1 TV show
TV
Kraft Music Hall

Kraft Music Hall

1958
In the United States from the 1950s to the 1970s, several television series were aired by NBC in the musical variety genre, which was sponsored by the producers of a well-known line of cheeses and rel...

1956.

1 TV show
TV
The Dinah Shore Chevy Show

The Dinah Shore Chevy Show

1956
The Dinah Shore Chevy Show was broadcast on NBC from October 1956 to June 1963. The Chevrolet Motor Division sponsored the series and its theme song was " See the U.S.A". After the cancellation of the...

1948.

1 TV show
TV
The Ed Sullivan Show

The Ed Sullivan Show

6
1948
The Ed Sullivan Show was hosted by Ed Sullivan. TV Guide ranked The Ed Sullivan Show #15 on their list of the 50 greatest TV shows of all time.

Unknown Year.

1 Movie
JAPANARAMA! Psycho TV From Japan Vol. 1

JAPANARAMA! Psycho TV From Japan Vol. 1

The Japanese enjoy torturing each other just for the sake of it, and the benefits of the television cameras. Some of the cheesey commercials are for foods that look bad, and some are for celebrities. ...
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