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Hi-Res Masters: 1950s

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Playlist: Hi-Res Masters: 1950s

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Relive the 1950s in all their glory with this 100% Hi-Res playlist featuring essential rock, jazz and soul classics. With Frank Sinatra, Julie London, Dean Martin, Billie Holiday, Nina Simone, Ella Fitzgerald, Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Wanda Jackson, Little Richard, Miles Davis, Ornette Coleman, John Coltrane, Sonny Rollins, Thelonious Monk, Charles Mingus...

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Hi-Res Masters: 1950s

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#
Title Artist Album Duration
1
Mood Indigo (Remastered)
Frank Sinatra In The Wee Small Hours 00:03:30

Duke Ellington, ComposerLyricist - Sweet, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - NELSON RIDDLE, Conductor - Irving Mills, ComposerLyricist - Voyle Gilmore, Producer - Frank Sinatra, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Albany Bigard, ComposerLyricist

℗ 1998 Capitol Records, LLC

2
A Winter Romance
Dean Martin A Winter Romance 00:03:00

Sammy Cahn, ComposerLyricist - Lee Gillette, Producer - Dean Martin, MainArtist - Gus Levene, Conductor - Ken Lane, ComposerLyricist

℗ 1959 Capitol Records, LLC

3
My Baby Just Cares For Me (2021 - Stereo Remaster)
Nina Simone Little Girl Blue 00:03:41

Albert Heath, Drums - Jimmy Bond, Bass - Walter Donaldson, Composer - Gus Kahn, Lyricist, Writer - Nina Simone, Piano, Vocals, MainArtist

© 2021 BMG Rights Management (US) LLC ℗ 2021 BMG Rights Management (US) LLC

Duke Ellington, Composer - Ella Fitzgerald, MainArtist - Irving Mills, Author - Harry Carney, Composer - Duke Ellington & His Orchestra, FeaturedArtist - Val Valentin, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Norman Granz, Producer

℗ 1957 The Verve Music Group, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

5
Blue Suede Shoes
Elvis Presley Elvis Presley 00:02:02

Elvis Presley, Performer - Elvis Presley, Vocal - Carl Perkins, Composer - Carl Perkins, Lyricist

Originally released 1956. All rights reserved by RCA Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

6
Don't Take Your Guns to Town
Johnny Cash The Fabulous Johnny Cash 00:03:02

Johnny Cash, Associated Performer, Composer, Guitar, Lyricist, Main Artist, Associated Performer, Composer, Guitar, Lyricist - Luther Perkins, Guitar - Murray M. "Buddy" Harman, Jr., Drums - Grant Marshall, Bass - Don Law, Producer

Originally released 1958. All rights reserved by Sony Music Entertainment

7
Day Dreaming
Wanda Jackson Wanda Jackson 1958 00:03:08

Wanda Jackson, Artist, MainArtist

2015 Crazy Warthog Media 2015 Crazy Warthog Media

8
Congeniality
Ornette Coleman The Shape Of Jazz To Come 00:06:48

Nesuhi Ertegun, Producer - Billy Higgins, Drums - Ornette Coleman, Composer, Alto Saxophone, MainArtist - Charlie Haden, Double Bass - Don Cherry, Cornet

© 1959 Atlantic Records ℗ 1959 Atlantic Records

9
Lazy Bird (Remastered 2012)
John Coltrane Blue Train 00:07:06

John Coltrane, Tenor Saxophone, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Rudy Van Gelder, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Alfred Lion, Producer - Paul Chambers, Bass, AssociatedPerformer - Lee Morgan, Trumpet, AssociatedPerformer - Philly Joe Jones, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Kenny Drew, Piano, AssociatedPerformer - Curtis Fuller, Trombone, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2012 Capitol Records, LLC

10
Way Out West
Sonny Rollins Way Out West 00:06:32

Sonny Rollins, Composer, MainArtist - Lester Koenig, Producer

℗ 2017 Craft Recordings, a division of Concord Music Group, Inc.

11
Somethin' Else (2012 Remastered)
Cannonball Adderley Somethin' Else 00:08:06

Miles Davis, Composer, Trumpet, AssociatedPerformer - Rudy Van Gelder, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Alfred Lion, Producer - Art Blakey, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Hank Jones, Piano, AssociatedPerformer - Cannonball Adderley, Alto Saxophone, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Sam Jones, Double Bass, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2012 Blue Note Records

Frank Miller, Cello, AssociatedPerformer - Max Hollander, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Buddy Rich, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - RAY BROWN, Double Bass, AssociatedPerformer - Charlie Parker, Alto Saxophone, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - E.Y. HARBURG, ComposerLyricist - Vernon Duke, ComposerLyricist - STAN FREEMAN, Piano, AssociatedPerformer - Mitch Miller, Oboe, AssociatedPerformer - Norman Granz, Producer - Bronislaw Gimpel, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Myor Rosen, Harp, AssociatedPerformer - Frank Brieff, Viola, AssociatedPerformer - Milton Lomask, Violin, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 1949 UMG Recordings, Inc.

13
Blue in Green
Miles Davis Kind Of Blue 00:05:35

Miles Davis, Associated Performer, Main Artist, Trumpet, Associated Performer, Trumpet - Irving Townsend, Producer - Jimmy Cobb, Drums - M. Davis, Composer, Lyricist - Patti Matheny - Bill Evans, Piano - Darren Salmieri - Seth Foster, Mastering Engineer - Paul Chambers, Bass - Fred Plaut, Recording Engineer - John Coltrane, Tenor Saxophone

Originally released 1959. All rights reserved by Columbia Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

14
That's All Right
Elvis Presley For LP Fans Only 00:01:58

Elvis Presley, Performer - Arthur Crudup, Composer - Arthur Crudup, Lyricist - Sam Phillips, Engineer - Sam Phillips, Producer

Originally released 1954. All rights reserved by RCA Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

15
'S Wonderful / They Can't Take That Away From Me
Anita O'Day Anita Sings The Most 00:02:58

George Gershwin, Composer, ComposerLyricist - Ira Gershwin, Author, ComposerLyricist - RAY BROWN, Double Bass, AssociatedPerformer - Herb Ellis, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Anita O'day, Producer, MainArtist - John Poole, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Oscar Peterson, Piano, AssociatedPerformer - The Oscar Peterson Quartet, FeaturedArtist - Norman Granz, Producer

℗ 1957 UMG Recordings, Inc.

16
Deed I Do
Ray Charles The Genius Of Ray Charles 00:02:27

Jerry Wexler, Producer - Quentin Jackson, Trombone - Ray Charles, Piano, Vocals, MainArtist - Frank Wess, Flute, Alto Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone - Joe Newman, Trumpet - TOM DOWD, Engineer - Marcus Belgrave, Trumpet - Quincy Jones, Arranger - Ernie Royal, Trumpet - Nesuhi Ertegun, Producer - Charlie Persip, Drums - Freddie Green, Guitar - Eddie Jones, Double Bass - David "Fathead" Newman, Tenor Saxophone - John Hunt, Trumpet - Clark Terry, Trumpet - Paul Gonsalves, Tenor Saxophone - Charlie Fowlkes, Baritone Saxophone - Eugene "Snooky" Young, Trumpet - John "Zoot" Sims, Saxophone - Marshall Royal, Alto Saxophone - Melba Liston, Trombone - Teagle Fleming, Drums - Thomas Mitchell, Trombone - Walter Hirsch, Writer - Al Gray, Trombone - Knowles "Fred" Rose, Writer - Bennie Ross "Hank" Crawford Jr., Baritone Saxophone - Edgar "Lemon, Thumper" Willis, Double Bass - William "Bill" Schwartau, Engineer

© 1959 Atlantic Records ℗ 1959 Atlantic Recording Corporation for the United States and WEA International Inc. for the world outside of the United States.

17
Moonlight In Vermont
Ella Fitzgerald Ella And Louis 00:03:39

Ella Fitzgerald, MainArtist - Louis Armstrong, MainArtist - Buddy Rich, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - RAY BROWN, AssociatedPerformer, Bass (Vocal) - Herb Ellis, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Karl Suessdorf, ComposerLyricist - Oscar Peterson, Piano, AssociatedPerformer - Norman Granz, Producer - John M. Blackburn, ComposerLyricist

℗ 1956 UMG Recordings, Inc.

18
You Send Me  (Mono)
Sam Cooke Sam Cooke 00:02:45

Sam Cooke, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2019 ABKCO Music & Records, Inc.

19
Shout, Pts. 1 & 2
The Isley Brothers Shout! 00:04:32

The Isley Brothers, Associated Performer, Main Artist - O'Kelly Isley, Composer, Lyricist - Hugo & Luigi, Producer - Mike Hartry - Bill Lacey - Ronald Isley, Composer, Lyricist - Rudolph Isley, Composer, Lyricist

Originally released 1959. All rights reserved by RCA Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

20
Love Has Joined Us Together
Clyde McPhatter Love Ballads 00:02:51

Clyde McPhatter, Performance, MainArtist - B. Smith, Writer - M. James, Writer

© 1958 Atlantic Records. ℗ 1958 Atlantic Records

21
Love Will Make You Fail in School
Mickey & Sylvia New Sounds 00:02:46

Mickey & Sylvia, Associated Performer, Main Artist - Cornell Mildrew, Composer, Lyricist

Originally released 1957. All rights reserved by RCA Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

22
Satan Is Real
The Louvin Brothers Satan Is Real 00:03:01

Charles Louvin, Composer - Ken Nelson, Producer - Ira Louvin, Composer - The Louvin Brothers, MainArtist

℗ 1959 Capitol Records Nashville

23
Moving Out
Sonny Rollins Moving Out 00:04:31

Kenny Dorham, FeaturedArtist - Sonny Rollins, Composer, MainArtist

℗ 2017 Concord Music Group, Inc.

24
I Got a Woman (Live at Newport Jazz Festival, Rhode Island, 7/5/1958)
Ray Charles Ray Charles At Newport 00:06:25

Ray Charles, Electric Piano, Vocals, Writer, MainArtist - CHESTER BURNETT, Writer - TOM DOWD, Engineer - Edgar Willis, Double Bass - Marcus Belgrave, Trumpet - David "Fathead" Newman, Tenor Saxophone - Harold Chapman, Engineer - Bennie Crawford, Baritone Saxophone - Margaret "Margie" Hendricks, Background Vocals - Priscilla "Pat" Lyles, Background Vocals - Darlene "Ethel" McCrea, Background Vocals - Richard "Richie" Goldberg, Drums - Doretta James, Background Vocals - Wilson Leroy "Lee" Harper, Trumpet

© 1966 Atlantic Records ℗ 1958 Atlantic Recording Corporation for the United States and WEA International Inc. for the world outside of the United States.

25
Long Tall Sally
Elvis Presley Elvis 00:01:55

Elvis Presley, Performer - Enotris Johnson, Composer - Enotris Johnson, Lyricist - Penniman, Composer - Penniman, Lyricist - Blackwell, Composer - Blackwell, Lyricist - Thorne Nogar, Engineer

Originally released 1956. All rights reserved by RCA Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

26
How High The Moon
Chet Baker Chet 00:03:35

Bill Evans, Piano, AssociatedPerformer - Connie Kay, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Herbie Mann, Flute, AssociatedPerformer - Paul Chambers, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Pepper Adams, Baritone Saxophone, AssociatedPerformer - Chet Baker, Trumpet, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Nancy Hamilton, Author - William Lewis, Author - Orrin Keepnews, Producer

℗ 2019 Craft Recordings.

27
'Round Midnight (Mono Version)
Miles Davis 'Round About Midnight 00:06:01

Miles Davis, Associated Performer, Main Artist, Trumpet, Associated Performer, Trumpet - T. Monk, Composer - B. Hanighen, Composer - Philly Joe Jones, Drums - C. Williams, Composer - Red Garland, Piano - Paul Chambers, Bass - John Coltrane, Tenor Saxophone - George Avakian, Producer

Originally released 1957. All rights reserved by Columbia Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

28
Russian Lullaby
John Coltrane Soultrane 00:05:35

Irving Berlin, ComposerLyricist - John Coltrane, MainArtist - Rudy Van Gelder, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Bob Weinstock, Producer

℗ 2016 Concord Music Group, Inc.

29
My Funny Valentine
Miles Davis Quintet Cookin' With The Miles Davis Quintet 00:06:00

Richard Rodgers, ComposerLyricist - Lorenz Hart, ComposerLyricist - Bob Weinstock, Producer - The Miles Davis Quintet, MainArtist

℗ 2016 Concord Music Group, Inc.

30
Aria
Glenn Gould Bach: Goldberg Variations, BWV 988 00:01:52

Glenn Gould, Main Artist, Piano - Howard H. Scott, Producer - Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer

(P) 1955 Sony Music Entertainment

31
Le poinçonneur des Lilas
Serge Gainsbourg Du chant à la une ! 00:02:43

Serge Gainsbourg, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - Alain Goraguer, Recording Arranger, Music Director & Conductor, AssociatedPerformer - Denis Bourgeois, Producer

℗ 1958 Mercury Music Group

32
Only The Lonely (1958 Mono Mix)
Frank Sinatra Sings For Only The Lonely 00:04:07

Sammy Cahn, ComposerLyricist - NELSON RIDDLE, Conductor - Bill Miller, Piano, AssociatedPerformer - Dave Cavanaugh, Producer - Frank Sinatra, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Felix Slatkin, Conductor - Jimmy Van Heusen, ComposerLyricist - Gus Bivona, Alto Saxophone, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 1958 Capitol Records, LLC

33
I'm a Fool to Want You
Billie Holiday Lady In Satin 00:03:23

Billie Holiday, Associated Performer, Main Artist - Frank Sinatra, Composer, Lyricist - Irving Townsend, Producer - Elise Bretton, Soprano - Jack Wolf, Composer, Lyricist - Miriam Workman, Soprano - Barry Galbraith, Guitar - Joel Herron, Composer, Lyricist - Lois Sylvin, Soprano - Ray Ellis, Arranger, Conductor - David Sawyer, Cello - Phil Kraus, Percussion - Mal Waldron, Percussion - Osie Johnson, Drums - George Ockner, Violin - Milt Hinton, Bass - Janet Putnam, Harp - Danny Banks, Woodwinds - Phil Bodner, Woodwinds - Romeo Penque, Woodwinds - Mel Davis, Trumpet - Urbie Green, Trombone - J.J. Johnson, Trombone - Tom Mitchell, Trombone

Originally released 1958. All rights reserved by Columbia Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

34
That'll Be The Day
Buddy Holly True Love Ways 00:02:18

Jim Hoke, Saxophone, Celesta, AssociatedPerformer - Niki Sullivan, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Buddy Holly, Guitar, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Norman Petty, Producer, ComposerLyricist - Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestra, MainArtist - Buddy Holly & The Crickets, MainArtist - Jerry Allison, Drums, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Sally Herbert, Conductor, String Arranger, AssociatedPerformer - Nick Patrick, Producer - John Parricelli, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Pete Schwier, Engineer, Mix Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Jeffrey Foskett, Additional Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Steve Pearce, AssociatedPerformer, Bass (Vocal) - Joe B Mauldin, AssociatedPerformer, Bass (Vocal) - Simon Hanhart, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Neal Wilkinson, Drum, AssociatedPerformer - Maria Elena, Producer, Executive Producer - Tony Cousinz, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2018 Universal Music Operations / Geffen Records

35
Cry Me a River
Julie London Julie London Sings Film Songs 00:02:55

Julie London, interprète

36
Tutti Frutti
Elvis Presley Elvis Presley 00:02:00

Elvis Presley, Performer - Dorothy LaBostrie, Composer - Dorothy LaBostrie, Lyricist - Richard Penniman, Composer - Richard Penniman, Lyricist

Originally released 1956. All rights reserved by RCA Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

Dave Brubeck Quartet, Ensemble - Paul Desmond, Composer

(C) 2016 Jube Legends (P) 2016 Jube Legends

38
Santa Claus Is Back In Town
Elvis Presley Elvis' Christmas Album 00:02:25

Elvis Presley, Performer - Jerry Leiber, Composer - Jerry Leiber, Lyricist - Mike Stoller, Composer - Mike Stoller, Lyricist - The Jordanaires, Performer - Steve Sholes, Producer - Thorne Nogar, Engineer

(P) Originally released 1957. All rights reserved by RCA Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

39
Fables of Faubus
Charles Mingus Mingus Ah Um 00:08:13

JIMMY KNEPPER, Trombone - Fred Plaut, Recording Engineer - Booker Ervin, Tenor Saxophone - Teo Macero, Producer - Horace Parlan, Piano - Shafi Hadi, Tenor Saxophone - John Handy, Alto Saxophone - Charles Mingus, Composer - Charles Mingus, Lyricist - Charles Mingus, Performer - Charles Mingus, Bass - Michael Cuscuna, Re-Issue Producer - Dannie Richmond, Drums - Ray Moore, Recording Engineer

Originally released 1959. All rights reserved by Columbia Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

40
Unchained Melody (Remastered 2017)
Gene Vincent Gene Vincent Greatest Hits 00:02:38

Gene Vincent and the Blue Caps, Artist, MainArtist - RR, Author - Alex North / Hy Zaret, Composer

2018 J. Joes J. Edizioni Musicali 2018 J. Joes J. Edizioni Musicali

41
On The Road To Mandalay
Frank Sinatra Come Fly With Me 00:03:27

Billy May, Conductor - Voyle Gilmore, Producer - Frank Sinatra, MainArtist - Rudyard Kipling, ComposerLyricist - Oley Speaks, ComposerLyricist

℗ 1958 Capitol Records, LLC

42
If You Could See Me Now
Chet Baker Chet 00:05:16

Bill Evans, Piano, AssociatedPerformer - Connie Kay, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Herbie Mann, Flute, AssociatedPerformer - Carl Sigman, Author - Paul Chambers, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Pepper Adams, Baritone Saxophone, AssociatedPerformer - Tadd Dameron, ComposerLyricist - Chet Baker, Trumpet, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Orrin Keepnews, Producer

℗ 2019 Craft Recordings.

43
King Creole
Elvis Presley King Creole 00:02:07

Elvis Presley, Performer - Leiber, Composer - Leiber, Lyricist - Stoller, Composer - Stoller, Lyricist

Originally released 1958. All rights reserved by RCA Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

44
Summertime (Live)
Ella Fitzgerald Ella: The Lost Berlin Tapes 00:03:00

George Gershwin, ComposerLyricist - Ira Gershwin, ComposerLyricist - Ella Fitzgerald, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Dubose Heyward, ComposerLyricist - Kevin Reeves, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Stan Levey, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Paul Smith, Piano, AssociatedPerformer - Gregg Field, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Wilfred Middlebrooks, Bass, AssociatedPerformer - Ken Druker, Producer - The Staff at Berlin Sportpalast, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2020 UMG Recordings, Inc.

45
Well You Needn't (Remastered 2013)
Thelonious Monk Genius Of Modern Music 00:02:57

Thelonious Monk, Composer, Piano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Alfred Lion, Producer - Art Blakey, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Doug Hawkins, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Gene Ramey, AssociatedPerformer, Bass (Vocal)

℗ 2013 Capitol Records, LLC

46
Jelly Roll (Album Version)
Charles Mingus Mingus Ah Um 00:06:17

JIMMY KNEPPER, Trombone - Fred Plaut, Recording Engineer - Booker Ervin, Tenor Saxophone - Teo Macero, Producer - Horace Parlan, Piano - Shafi Hadi, Alto Saxophone - Shafi Hadi, Tenor Saxophone - John Handy, Alto Saxophone - C. Mingus, Composer - Charles Mingus, Performer - Charles Mingus, Bass - Michael Cuscuna, Re-Issue Producer - Dannie Richmond, Drums - Ray Moore, Recording Engineer

(P) 1979 SONY BMG MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT

47
One For My Baby (And One More For The Road)
Billie Holiday Songs For Distingué Lovers 00:05:40

Johnny Mercer, Author - Harold Arlen, Composer - Barney Kessel, Guitar, Electric Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Ben Webster, Saxophone, AssociatedPerformer - Billie Holiday, MainArtist - Red Mitchell, Double Bass, AssociatedPerformer - Harry "Sweets" Edison, Trumpet, AssociatedPerformer - JIMMY ROWLES, Piano, AssociatedPerformer - Alvin Stoller, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Norman Granz, Producer

℗ 1957 UMG Recordings, Inc.

48
Blue Suede Shoes
Cliff Richard Cliff Sings 00:01:44

Cliff Richard, Artist, MainArtist

2015 Crazy Warthog Media 2015 Crazy Warthog Media

About Playlist

Relive the 1950s in all their glory with this 100% Hi-Res playlist featuring essential rock, jazz and soul classics. With Frank Sinatra, Julie London, Dean Martin, Billie Holiday, Nina Simone, Ella Fitzgerald, Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Wanda Jackson, Little Richard, Miles Davis, Ornette Coleman, John Coltrane, Sonny Rollins, Thelonious Monk, Charles Mingus, Cannonball Adderley, Chet Baker, Ray Charles, Peggy Lee, Gene Vincent and his Blue Caps...

Photo: Julie London © Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images

Ray Charles, a Stylist Under the Influence

by Stéphane Deschamps

A founding father of soul, whose career spanned half a century, Ray Charles cannot be reduced to a handful of famous hits. He is above all the master of the high-end musical crossover that makes an art of mixing genres, approaching one to better embrace the other. Ray Charles secularised gospel, enriched the blues, played jazz, sang country and approached rock'n'roll. Let's take a look back at his unique style based on the five listed here.

Blues
In the liner notes of his first records, Ray Charles is described as a blues singer. This was reductive even at the time, but nevertheless it was not wrong. Ray Charles of course grew up in the context of the blues: the South, poverty, blindness. His eclectic tastes and upbringing - few bluesmen studied Bach and Mozart as children - freed him from cleaving too closely to the narrow path of a blues musician. Before making records under his own name, Ray Charles was a second-in-command to well-known blues musicians, including guitarists Lowell Fulson and Guitar Slim. Their electric style can be heard in some of Ray Charles' songs, such as 'Black Jack' and 'Sinner's Prayer'. Ray Charles' blues is sometimes slow and heavy, but more often it is rhythmic and sensual, in the Californian style of his model Charles Brown, or in the style of New Orleans, the city where he lived, played and recorded, and where he mastered the art of the musical cocktail. 'Mess Around', his first hit, sounds like an exuberant New Orleans rhythm'n'blues classic.

Gospel
Like any self-respecting old-school African-American musician, Ray Charles grew up with faith and in churches. As a child, he sang there. There are few purely religious songs in his long discography, but there is gospel in all his records: in the depth and freedom of his singing, in the choruses of The Raelettes, in the sound of his voice, in his rhythms, in the mixture of lament and joy he expresses. Ray Charles made no secret of it in an interview: he wrote his first songs by adapting gospel hymns, replacing the worship of Jesus with worship of a sweetheart. His huge 1956 hit 'Hallelujah I Love Her So' is a note-for-note copy of the single 'That's Why I Love Him So', released three years earlier by the Gospel All Stars. Ray Charles was enough of a genius to recycle a gospel song into a love song, while including the religious term "hallelujah" in its title. The same goes for 'It Must Be Jesus' by The Southern Tones, which became 'I Got A Woman' in the hands of Ray Charles. The classic 'What'd I Say', considered the template for soul music, was born out of a stage improvisation with The Raelettes before being recorded in the studio, and is another perfect example of unbridled, defrocked gospel he made. All the ingredients of religious fervour can be found there, but in a very sexualised context. Despite the scandal at the time, Ray Charles did not in fact commit blasphemy. Music was his only religion, and he was most ecumenical.

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