Ray Charles – Hit the Road Jack – 1996

Ray Charles – Hit the Road Jack on Saturday Live 1996

… Ray Charles and sometimes referred to as “The Genius”. He was a pioneer in the genre of soul music during the 1950s by fusing rhythm and blues, gospel, and blues styles into early performances recorded by Atlantic Records. He also helped racially integrate country and pop music during the 1960s with his crossover success on ABC Records, most notably with his two Modern Sounds albums. While with ABC, Charles became one of the first African-American musicians to be given artistic control by a mainstream record company. Frank Sinatra called Charles “the only true genius in show business”, although Charles downplayed this notion. He was blind from age seven. His best friend in music was South Carolina-born James Brown, the “Godfather of Soul”….(Lifted from Wikipedia)

During a career that spanned some 58 years, Charles performed a total of more than 10,000 concerts, and starred on over 100 albums, many of them top sellers in a variety of musical genres. He received the Lifetime Achievement and the President’s Merit Award, is a recipient of the Presidential Medal For the Arts, Kennedy Center Honors, and France’s Legion of Honor, received the NAACP Image Awards “Hall of Fame Award in 2004, and is one of the original inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (Lifted from RayCharles.com)