Ray Charles (1930-2004) was a multitalented and pioneering American pianist and soul singer who became very popular in the late fifties, and remained respected for his music in the decades that followed. By incorporating gospel, jazz, blues, and big band elements, he helped shape the sound of rhythm and blues, and brought a soulful sound to everything from country music to pop standards. Ray Charles embodied the American dream, starting out a poor, blind boy from the southern United States and becoming an international music phenomenon; his nickname was the Genius for a good reasonIn this arrangement for concert band, Peter Kleine Schaars presents five of the songs that contributed to Ray Charles fame: I Can t Stop Loving You, Hit the Road Jack, Georgia on My Mind, Hallelujah I Love Her So, and Unchain My Heart.
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