Modern Sounds In Country And Western Music, Vols 1 & 2 (Remastered) Ray Charles
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- 1Bye Bye Love02:12
- 2You Don't Know Me03:17
- 3Half As Much03:26
- 4I Love You So Much It Hurts03:36
- 5Just A Little Lovin’ (Will Go A Long Way)03:30
- 6Born To Lose03:16
- 7Worried Mind02:56
- 8It Makes No Difference Now03:36
- 9You Win Again03:32
- 10Careless Love04:02
- 11I Can't Stop Loving You04:17
- 12Hey, Good Lookin'02:13
- 13You Are My Sunshine03:00
- 14No Letter Today03:02
- 15Someday (You’ll Want Me To Want You)02:41
- 16Don't Tell Me Your Troubles02:08
- 18Oh, Lonesome Me02:11
- 19Take These Chains From My Heart02:57
- 20Your Cheatin' Heart03:37
- 21I'll Never Stand In Your Way02:20
- 22Making Believe02:53
- 23Teardrops In My Heart03:03
- 24Hang Your Head In Shame03:16
Info for Modern Sounds In Country And Western Music, Vols 1 & 2 (Remastered)
Ray Charles’s Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music, Volumes 1 & 2 are major landmarks in American culture. Charles demonstrated that great songs with signature performances work in all genres. “I Can’t Stop Loving You” was a standard in country, soul and R&B, as he proved. Modern Sounds also brought America together during the Sixties’ civil rights movement. Charles became one of the first recording artists to have ownership and complete control of the masters. Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music has been listed among the greatest albums of all time, along with the Beatles, Dylan, Motown, Springsteen, Hendrix and the Beach Boys.
These groundbreaking albums, Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music, Vols. 1 & 2 are being reissued on digital and CD on February 22nd, 2019 via Concord Records, also becoming available for the first time on streaming platforms. Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music, Vol. 1 will be re-released on vinyl for the first time since 2012, with a deluxe edition version containing both Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 on high-fidelity, 180g vinyl. Pre-order the album here, and watch “Take These Chains From My Heart” from 1963 here.
This past fall, Ray was honored by the Grand Ole Opry with An Opry Salute to Ray Charles, with performances celebrating the iconic Modern Sounds tracks and his contributions to country music. In addition, Charles was inducted into both the Austin City Limits Hall of Fame, a program on which he performed multiple times, and the DownBeat Jazz Hall of Fame.
“Ray Charles was one of the most important artists in the history of American popular music,” says Concord Records President John Burk, “and his Modern Sounds albums were some of his most impactful works. In addition to massive commercial success, these incredible recordings had a huge social and cultural impact, breaking down long established genre and racial barriers.”
“We are excited about this eventful release, an opportunity for longtime fans to enjoy this music and to introduce new generations,” says Valerie Ervin, President of the Ray Charles Foundation.
Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music, Vol.1 became an instant classic when it was first released in 1962. The album spawned four chart-topping singles: “Born to Lose,” “Careless Love,” “You Don’t Know Me,” and “I Can’t Stop Loving You,” the latter (and the album itself) being RIAA-certified Gold in only one month.
The success led to the recording of Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music, Vol. 2. Focusing more on balladry, one side featured performances by the Ray Charles Big Band with the Raelettes, and the other with a string section and the Jack Halloran Singers. Like its predecessor, it was released to both critical and commercial acclaim. In 1999, Vol. 1 was inducted into the GRAMMY Hall of Fame for “historical significance,” as was the lead single, “I Can’t Stop Loving You,” in 2001.
Many musicians possess elements of genius, but only one—the great Ray Charles—so completely embodied the term that it was bestowed upon him as a nickname. His staggering achievements over a 58-year career include 17 GRAMMY Awards, induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, a Lifetime Achievement and the President’s Merit Award, the Presidential Medal for the Arts, France’s Legion of Honor, the Kennedy Center Honors, a NAACP Image Awards’ “Hall of Fame Award,” and numerous other music Halls of Fame, including those for Jazz and Rhythm & Blues, a testament to his enormous influence.
Charles successfully mastered (and forever changed) the blues, jazz, gospel, rock, pop, and country music landscapes, continually airing his soulful heart. He teamed up with the best of the best in each stylistic genre, including B.B. King, Aretha Franklin, Lou Rawls, Hank Williams, Willie Nelson, Stevie Wonder, and countless others. As he describes. “I’m not a country singer. I’m a singer who sings country songs. I’m not a blues singer, but I can sing the blues. I’m not really a crooner, but I can sing love songs. I’m not a specialist, but I’m a pretty good utility man. I can play first base, second base, shortstop. I can catch and maybe even pitch a little.” “Genius” doesn’t begin to describe it.
"When Ray Charles made Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music in 1962, he was operating from a position of power. Two years into his contract with ABC-Paramount, he had already become a fixture in the Top Ten with both his singles and his albums, winning a Grammy for his 1960 single "Georgia on My Mind." Charles had freedom to do whatever he wanted, and he chose to record interpretations of 12 country songs, drawing almost equally from recent hits and older standards. The sly virtuosity within Charles' approach was to treat these tunes as a a songbook to be reinvented, not as songs that were tied to their rural roots. Later, Charles explained that he saw little difference between a country tune and a blues song -- they draw from the same emotions and musical traditions -- but the striking thing about his interpretations on Modern Sounds in Country and Western is that he's not concentrating on the earthier elements of either genre. He's fully focused on playing these songs as he'd play any other, grounding them in jazz and soul, then dressing them in arrangements designed to snag a crossover audience. To latter-day generations, those arrangements -- thick with strings and backing vocals -- may sound slightly schlocky, yet even in 1962 they were a sign of how Charles was as intent on appealing to a mainstream easy listening demographic as he was to his soul and jazz audience. That's the brilliance of the project: it is thoroughly American pop music, blending seemingly disparate elements in a fashion that seems simultaneously universal and idiosyncratic.
Audiences quickly embraced Modern Sounds in Country Music, which lead Charles and producer Sid Feller to record a sequel immediately, rushing it onto the marketplace of October 1962, just six months after the first hit the stars. Time has eroded the differences between the two LPs, and perhaps inevitably so: the two share the same sensibility and arrangers, with the difference being the second volume separates the big band tunes on one side, with the strings and choirs on the other. It's a notable distinction, but the main difference between the two albums is that the first volume retains a sense of discovery, whereas the second is made with the confidence that this particular formula works. In either case, the two albums -- whether heard individually or as a pair, as they so often are -- aren't so much complements but of a piece, music that changed the course of popular music and remains a testament to the genius of Ray Charles." (Stephen Thomas Erlewine, AMG)
The name Ray Charles is on a Star on Hollywood Boulevard’s Walk of Fame. The name Ray Charles designates a superstar worldwide. His bronze bust is enshrined in the Playboy Jazz Hall of Fame. There is the bronze medallion that was cast and presented to him by the French Republic on behalf of the French people. In just about every Hall of Fame that has anything to do with music, be it Rhythm & Blues, Jazz, Rock & Roll, Gospel or Country & Western, Ray’s name is very prominently displayed. There are many awards given to him in the foregoing categories as proof.
Probably the strongest element in Ray Charles’ life, and the most concentrated driving force, was music. Ray often said, “I was born with music inside me. That’s the only explanation I know.”
Ray Charles was not born blind. In fact, it took almost seven years for him to lose his sight in its entirety, which means he had seven years to see the joy and sadness of this big wonderful world – a world he would never see again. As a seven year old child, in searching for light, he stared at the sun continuously, thereby eliminating all chances of the modern-day miracle, cornea transplants – a surgery unheard of in 1937.
Perhaps the reason that Ray Charles made music his mistress and fell madly in love with the lady is that music was a natural to him. Ray sat at a piano and the music began; he opened his mouth and the lyrics began. He was in absolute control.
But the rest of his life was not quite so simple. Ray was born at the very beginning of the Great Depression – a depression that affected every civilized country in the world. Ray was born in 1930 in Albany, Georgia, the same year that another Georgia native by the name of Hoagy Carmichael, was already making his mark on the world. In 1930, the year of Ray’s birth, Hoagy recorded a song that became an all-time classic and remains so to this day; a song titled “Stardust.” It’s ironic that these two Georgia natives would someday cross paths again, as they did 30 years later when Ray Charles was asked by the State of Georgia to perform, in the Georgia Legislative Chambers, the song they had selected as their state song. That song was Ray’s version of “Georgia,” written by Hoagy Carmichael. Hoagy, who unfortunately was too ill to attend the event, was listening via telephone/satellite tie-up.
Ray’s mother and father, Aretha and Bailey, were “no-nonsense” parents. Even after Ray lost his sight, his mother continued to give him chores at home, in the rural area in which they lived, such as chopping wood for the wood burning stove in the kitchen in order for them to prepare their meals. Chores such as this often brought complaints from the neighbors, which were met with stern words from Mrs. Robinson. She told them her son was blind, not stupid, and he must continue to learn to do things, not only for himself, but for others as well. Unfortunately, Ray lost the guidance of his mother and the counseling of his father at a very young age. At 15 years old, Ray Charles was an orphan, but he still managed to make his way in this world under very trying conditions; living in the South and being of African-American heritage, plus being blind and an orphan.
Ray refused to roll over and play dead. Instead he continued his education in St. Augustine, at Florida’s State School for the Deaf and Blind. A few years later, Ray decided to move. His choice was Seattle, Washington. It was in Seattle that Ray recorded his first record. It was also in Seattle that the seed was planted for a lifelong friendship with Quincy Jones. More information please visit the Ray Charles homepage.
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