Ray Charles – The Complete Early Recordings 1949 – 1952 – 2CD
For the very first time the legendary early recordings of Ray Charles complete, superbly remastered and presented.
Ray Charles went on to invent Soul music but his genius and influences came from a background of musical invention and discovery that is covered by this set. From his earliest, Charles Brown and Nat Cole influenced recordings, to indie label hits that were the exact template for the Atlantic recordings that would soon follow. This is an important document of the roots of a musical icon.
CD1: Selected Sides 1949-1951
1. I Love You, I Love You - 2:43 2. Confession Blues - 2:30 3. Alone in the City - 2:57 4. Can Anyone Ask for More - 2:49 5. Rockin' Chair Blues - 2:46 6. Here I Am - 2:32 7. If I Give You My Love - 2:37 8. Can't You See Darling - 2:38 9. This Love of Mine - 3:03 10. Blues Before Sunrise - 2:49 11. How Long Blues - 2:36 12. A Sentimental Blues - 2:26 13. You'll Always Miss the Water - 2:49 14. Ain't That Fine - 2:17 15. Don't Put All Your Dreams in One Basket - 2:51 16. Sittin' On Top of the World - 2:17 17. I've Had My Fun - 2:42 18. See See Rider - 2:35 19. What Have I Done - 2:33 20. Honey Honey - 2:43 21. She's On the Ball - 2:31 22. Th' Ego Song - 2:22 23. Late in the Evening Blues - 3:05 24. Someday - 3:09 25. I'll Do Anything but Work - 2:27
CD2: Selected Sides 1951-1952
1. I Wonder Who's Kissing Her Now - 2:20 2. All to Myself - 2:00 3. Lonely Boy - 2:50 4. Baby Let Me Hold Your Hand - 3:01 5. I'm Glad for Your Sake - 2:46 6. Baby Won't you Please Come Home - 2:55 7. Hey Now - 2:19 8. Kissa Me Baby - 3:07 9. The Snow Is Falling - 2:50 10. Misery in My Heart - 3:04 11. Baby Let Me Hear You Call My Name - 3:34 12. Walkin' and Talkin' - 3:09 13. I'm Wonderin' and Wonderin' - 3:20 14. I Can't Do No More (Why Did You Go) - 2:49 15. Guitar Blues - 2:34 Bill Samuels: 16. I Cover the Waterfront - 3:06 17. Jockey Blues - 2:57 18. I'm Coming Home to Stay - 2:28 19. My Bicycle Tillie - 2:57 20. One Hundred Years from Today - 3:00 21. Candy Store Jump - 2:26 22. That Chick's Too Young To Fry - 2:37 23. I Cover the Waterfront - 3:05 24. Jockey Blues - 2:37 25. Port Wine - 2:50
1. AllMusic - Steve Leggett
Ray Charles was really closer to Nat King Cole than he was to being an innovative R&B and soul singer (and pianist) when he first began recording with his trio in 1949, although the spark of something unique and special was already visible and audible. This two-disc, 51-track set collects the early sides Charles recorded between 1949 and 1952, and rounds things out with ten tracks cut by Bill Samuels, an artist who was also working in the same Nat King Cole template at the time.
Ray Charles would say later, I was born with music inside me.... He rose to become a worldwide celebrity with a string of important trend-setting hits that redefined the parameters of black popular music. Before that, he had established himself with a series of recordings that made him the man to watch. Here they are.
His early life had been tough. By the age of seven, already blind, he was packed off to the St. Augustine School for the Deaf and Blind in Florida. He spent eight years there. From the start, it was music that interested him.
At thirteen, he got his first gig as a professional musician, in a jazz band led by guitarist Lawyer Halliburton Smith. In September 1945, he was expelled from school. He took a train north to Jacksonville, where he immersed himself in the local music scene. Saxophonist Tiny York offered him a place in his band, with his own spot in the show.
He moved through several bands. In 1947 drummer Manzy Harris put together a group and Ray was by this time the natural choice for piano and singing duties. In 1948 Ray moved to Seattle and made an immediate impression. One of those drawn to Ray s musical mastery was a young Quincy Jones.
Towards the end of 1948, his trio cut I Love You, I Love You and Confession Blues , for the prestigious Downbeat label. By mid-May 1949 Confession Blues hit the top five in the R&B charts.
This collection traces what followed over the next few hectic years. A major star was on his way.
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