- Audio CD
- Number of Discs: 1
- Label: Atlantic Records
- ASIN: B0000033BP
- Other Editions: Audio CD
- Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #37,022 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
It contains all but five of the hits he had for Atlantic Records from 1952 to 1960, the missing ones being: Blackjack - the B-side to Greenbacks and a # 8 R&B on its own in 1955; Mary Ann - the flip of Drown In My Own Tears and a # 1 "follow-along" hit in 1956; Rockhouse Part 2 (# 14 R&B/# 79 pop in early 1959); I'm Movin' On (# 11 R&B/# 40 pop in late 1959); and Don't Let The Sun Catch You Cryin' (# 17 R&B/# 95 pop early 1960].
In the insert are seven pages of fascinating background notes written by Billy Vera and a complete discography of the contents which also shows the musicians on each track. There are also several nice photos of Ray, including one of him playing the sax [this genius can play numerous instruments] with equal proficiency to that displayed at the keyboard].
That is not to say that you will not recognize the best of these tracks. If you want to point to a specific song and say this is where soul music begins then it would have to be 1954's "I've Got a Woman," where Charles blends rhythm & blue music with gospel singing. The song, which would be covered by Elvis Presley and countless others over the years, features baritone saxist David "Fathead" Newman, who would play tenor sax on a lot of Charles' best albums. "What Would I Do Without You?" features a great sax solo by Don Wilkerson and exemplifies Charles' ability to merge country and gospel (the piano playing particularly sounds like it is from a church service). There is also a cover of Henry Glover's "Drown in My Own Tears," which became one of Charles' signature songs.Read more ›