Ray Charles Dies

I cannot fully express what Ray Charles’ death means to me. Truly, I am on the verge of tears. Charles’ music has not only completely entertained me, but has been a source of comfort to me many times when I was looking up from some very deep wells in my life.
There are moments in one’s life when things just “click,” for lack of a better term. For most of us, it was when we all understood that we were meant to become doctors. When I first heard Ray, I understood. I didn’t understand exactly at the time what it was, but I knew damned sure that I understood it, and whatever it was, Ray Charles was going to supply the soundtrack. Today I understand that ethereal feeling. It was my first interaction with a truly beautiful thing. In this case, it was Ray’s song, “Roll With Me, Baby.” Even today, that song fills me with an ineffible feeling–it’s almost hallucinagenic.
Ray was there for me when my marriage was being hauled to the scrap heap. He sang, “Ever’thing’s gonna be alright, and the sun’s gonna shine again.” And I knew that Brother Ray wasn’t going to lie. Ray was there every night when I rocked my son, Max, to sleep. Max would lie still and seemingly just listen to Ray. When I think back on Max’s young life, I always recall this, and I enjoy retelling the story of passing the genius of Ray Charles onto my children.
Ray has been accused of a lot of things: womanizer, sure. One-time herion addict, also true. Alcoholic, absolutely. He traded herion for gin. Sell-out; depends on your perception. Tight-wad. Probably. But I know one thing: He’s been called a genius, and that too is true. And genius is something that rarely graces our planet, and I am damned proud that I found Ray Charles. I only wish I had been able to do something as meaningful for him.

Hey there,
Nobody sang the blues like “ole Ray”. His voice had a depth that just made you feel what he was feeling. I could listen to “Georgia on my Mind” forever. When I was reading his biography, he became more amazing to me.
Rest in Peace, Ray! You’ve made it home.

I don’t know about tightwad, Ray gave a LOT of money to Moorehouse and Albany Colleges, and funded (out of pocket) 8-10 people a year for the last several years to receive cochlear implants (at about $40k per person).
His music, and his demeaner, have always been examples to me, and he will be missed.