|Ray Charles – Modern Sounds In Country And Western Music (1962)
I was going to do James Brown’s Live At The Apollo, but then I found out that it wasn’t actually released until 1963 though it was recorded in 1962, contrary to what my iTunes tells me. But luckily, 1962 saw the release of another landmark in ’60s soul with Ray Charles’ genre-bending Modern Sounds In Country And Western Music.
As we’ve all learned from the movie Ray, at this point Ray Charles had pretty much established himself as the an artist at the forefront of R&B. So after all the success he had with his great run of singles in the late fifties to early sixties, he decided to try his hand at applying his signature sound to the country and western songs he had grown up hearing. Considering this was at the height of segregation, some saw this as a dicey move, since even then country music was more or less regarded as the music of white hillbillies.
To say this is a country album however would be fairly misleading, as Charles takes these old standards and puts his soulful stamp all over them. And the arrangements of these songs are often a little curious as an approach to country songs, as there’s lots of strings and big-band pyrotechnics throughout the album. But somehow this approach works pretty magificently more often than not, as demonstrated on some of Charles’ most well-known love songs such as “You Don’t Know Me” and “I Can’t Stop Loving You”.
God, I really need to do a post that isn’t a CAT
Favorite Tracks: “Bye Bye Love”, “You Don’t Know Me”, “I Can’t Stop Loving You”