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Ray Charles: Rare Genius

"Alrightfellas, holditrighthere, waitaminute!"

That's "Wheel of Fortune," roughly 2:40 in, where the Genius needs to reign in the horns, somewhere in 1972. But that's only an especially fine specimen of the bold yet effortless idiom fashioned as it is from "lookheah"s, "bayyybeh"s, a "yeahitdo," or two, "y'all listen" with corollary "listentame," "I ain't lyin' either," "look out ch'all," "nowgiveitamae," "I said, Henry, let me tellya a little sumthin'," and the Homeric exhortation of "Holler, my son, holler, I know she can hear you!"

And he knows his son (whoever he may be) can hear her because he knows where every accent shall land. Every stutter, every stretch, every tension relaxing into every deep release. He's the Genius, but he's also the original Rubberband Man. Pull it back, slow, slow, draw, then a quick snap, not a slow slither like Stretch Armstrong's. You can play it all day, longer than you play with Stretch, even.

The crucial approach from John Burk who put this together from unfinished Ray tapes: reverence without fingerprints. He hired a famous person or two for filling out these arrangements, but each cut passes that hair-cell test free from glurge. Yes, you get one posthumous duet, that is Ray and Johnny Cash on "Why Me Lord?" but we're pretty sure they were in the same room at the same time, on top of which Ray pulls a counterintuitive retreat — that's right, he mostly sings backing vocals. Of course, he knows how to speak with his band. Listen and understand.

  • Album: Rare Genius: The Undiscovered Masters
  • Artist: Ray Charles
  • Label: Concord
  • Songs: (1) Love's Gonna Bite You Back (2) It Hurts to Be in Love (3) Wheel of Fortune (4) I'm Gonna Keep on Singin' (5) They'll Be Some Changes Made (6) Isn't It Wonderful (7) I Don't Want No One But You (8) A Little Bitty Tear (9) She's Gone (10) Why Me, Lord?
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"Alrightfellas, holditrighthere, waitaminute!"

That's "Wheel of Fortune," roughly 2:40 in, where the Genius needs to reign in the horns, somewhere in 1972. But that's only an especially fine specimen of the bold yet effortless idiom fashioned as it is from "lookheah"s, "bayyybeh"s, a "yeahitdo," or two, "y'all listen" with corollary "listentame," "I ain't lyin' either," "look out ch'all," "nowgiveitamae," "I said, Henry, let me tellya a little sumthin'," and the Homeric exhortation of "Holler, my son, holler, I know she can hear you!"

And he knows his son (whoever he may be) can hear her because he knows where every accent shall land. Every stutter, every stretch, every tension relaxing into every deep release. He's the Genius, but he's also the original Rubberband Man. Pull it back, slow, slow, draw, then a quick snap, not a slow slither like Stretch Armstrong's. You can play it all day, longer than you play with Stretch, even.

The crucial approach from John Burk who put this together from unfinished Ray tapes: reverence without fingerprints. He hired a famous person or two for filling out these arrangements, but each cut passes that hair-cell test free from glurge. Yes, you get one posthumous duet, that is Ray and Johnny Cash on "Why Me Lord?" but we're pretty sure they were in the same room at the same time, on top of which Ray pulls a counterintuitive retreat — that's right, he mostly sings backing vocals. Of course, he knows how to speak with his band. Listen and understand.

  • Album: Rare Genius: The Undiscovered Masters
  • Artist: Ray Charles
  • Label: Concord
  • Songs: (1) Love's Gonna Bite You Back (2) It Hurts to Be in Love (3) Wheel of Fortune (4) I'm Gonna Keep on Singin' (5) They'll Be Some Changes Made (6) Isn't It Wonderful (7) I Don't Want No One But You (8) A Little Bitty Tear (9) She's Gone (10) Why Me, Lord?
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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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