The Genius of Ray Charles

The Genius of Ray Charles is a 1959 Ray Charles album, launched in October by Atlantic Data, the seventh album for the reason that debut Ray Charles in 1957. The album consists of swinging pop with huge band preparations.[1] It includes a primary half of massive band songs and a second half of string-backed ballads.[4] The Genius of Ray Charles offered fewer than 500,000 copies and charted at quantity 17 on the Billboard 200.[1] “Let the Good Occasions Roll” and “Do not Let the Solar Catch You Cryin'” have been launched as singles in 1959.[5]


Genius marked the primary time he labored inside the setting of a standard pop singer – he lower six songs with a studio huge band and 6 with a string orchestra – and it was additionally his first full-length foray into the requirements songbook.

— Will Friedwald[2]

The album showcased Charles’ breakout from rhythm and blues and onto a broader musical stage. Atlantic Data gave him full help in manufacturing and preparations. As initially introduced, the A aspect of the album featured the Ray Charles band with David “Fathead” Newman supplemented by gamers from the Rely Basie and Duke Ellington bands, and preparations by Quincy Jones.

The B aspect of the unique album consists of six ballads with preparations by Ralph Burns and a big string orchestra. Charles’s efficiency of “Come Rain or Come Shine”, a tune recognized with Frank Sinatra, introduced public consideration to his voice alone with out the “distractions” of his soulful piano and his snappy band.

Both sides incorporates a tribute to Louis Jordan with two songs he had hits with “Let the Good Occasions Roll” and “Do not Let the Solar Catch You Cryin'”.

Important reception

Skilled scores
Evaluation scores
Supply Score
AllMusic [6]
The Encyclopedia of Widespread Music [7]
The Penguin Information to Blues Recordings [9]
The Rolling Stone Album Information [8]

In a up to date assessment, Joe Goldberg of the American File Information panned the preparations as “hopelessly banal and insufficient, saved solely” by the piano taking part in of Charles, who “comes via superbly”, and felt that solely the final three songs give the album “its significance”. He known as “Am I Blue?” the album’s spotlight and “virtually unbearably poignant, with the identical feeling of deep sensibility transcending restricted vocal gear that may be heard on Walter Huston’s recording of ‘September Tune’, or Adolph Inexperienced’s of ‘A Quiet Woman’.”[10]

In a retrospective assessment for AllMusic, music critic Scott Yanow wrote that “Charles’ voice is heard all through in peak type, giving soul to even the veteran requirements.”[6] In a 1990 assessment of its CD reissue, Lloyd Sachs of the Chicago Solar-Occasions wrote that The Genius of Ray Charles is “one of many all-time nice albums. However it’s not, alas, considered one of all of the all-time nice CDs. The sound is extraordinarily harsh, exaggerating the partially hidden flaws of the unique … Nonetheless, the glory of Charles’ singing and the ace preparations … have a approach of breaking down resistance.”[4] In 2000, Q journal included The Genius of Ray Charles of their listing of the “Finest Soul Albums of All Time” and wrote that it “finds the nice man swinging, emoting, cajoling and laughing his approach via a choice of requirements that he makes his personal … it exudes pure class.”[11]

It was voted quantity 390 in Colin Larkin’s All Time High 1000 Albums third Version (2000).
In 2003, Rolling Stone ranked The Genius of Ray Charles quantity 263 on their listing of the five hundred best albums of all time,[1] and 265 in a 2012 revised listing.[13] In a 2004 assessment for the journal, Robert Christgau praised producers Jerry Wexler and Nesuhi Ertegun for persuading “5 totally different arrangers into the subtlest charts of Charles’ profession.” Christgau asserted that “Charles tried many occasions, however apart from Fashionable Sounds, he by no means once more assembled such a constant album on this mode.”[14] In The Rolling Stone Album Information (2004), critics J. D. Considine and Michaelangelo Matos stated that it’s “maybe crucial of [Charles’] albums for Atlantic”, as a result of it “introduces the musical method he would observe for a lot of the ’70s.” They argued that, as a substitute of pursuing the up to date sounds of Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, or swing period huge bands, Charles performed a “curious hybrid of the brassy R&B of his pop-oriented recordings and the showy shmaltz favored by the period’s middle-of-the-road acts.” Nonetheless, they cautioned listeners that the album was “abysmally recorded, with frequent overmodulation muddying its brasher moments.”[3]

Monitor itemizing

Facet one
No. Title Author(s) Size
1. “Let the Good Occasions Roll” Sam Theard, Fleecie Moore 2:53
2. “It Needed to Be You” Gus Kahn, Isham Jones 2:45
3. “Alexander’s Ragtime Band” Irving Berlin 2:53
4. “Two Years of Torture” Percy Mayfield, Charles Joseph Morris 3:25
5. “When Your Lover Has Gone” Einar Aaron Swan 2:51
6. “‘Deed I Do” Walter Hirsch, Fred Rose 2:27
Complete size: 17:14
Facet two
No. Title Author(s) Size
1. “Only for a Thrill” Lil Hardin Armstrong, Don Raye 3:26
2. “You Will not Let Me Go” Bud Allen, Buddy Johnson 3:22
3. “Inform Me You will Look forward to Me” Charles Brown, Oscar Moore 3:25
4. “Do not Let the Solar Catch You Cryin'” Joe Greene 3:46
5. “Am I Blue?” Grant Clarke, Harry Akst 3:41
6. “Come Rain or Come Shine” Johnny Mercer, Harold Arlen 3:42
Complete size: 21:22


Facet one

  • Ray Charles – vocals, piano
  • Clark Terry – trumpet
  • Ernie Royal – trumpet
  • Joe Newman – trumpet
  • Snooky Younger – trumpet
  • Marcus Belgrave – trumpet
  • John Hunt – trumpet
  • Melba Liston – trombone
  • Quentin Jackson – trombone
  • Thomas Mitchell – trombone
  • Al Gray – trombone
  • Frank Wess – flute, alto saxophone and tenor saxophone
  • Marshal Royal – alto saxophone
  • Paul Gonsalves – tenor saxophone (and solo on “Two Years of Torture”)
  • Zoot Sims – tenor saxophone (on “Let the Good Occasions Roll”, “Alexander’s Ragtime Band” and “‘Deed I Do”)
  • Billy Mitchell – tenor saxophone (on “It needed to be You”, “Two Years of Torture” and “When Your Lover Has Gone”)
  • David “Fathead” Newman – tenor saxophone (and solos on “Let the Good Occasions Roll”, “When Your Lover Has Gone”, “‘Deed I Do”)
  • Quincy Jones – arranger, conductor on A1 and A6
  • Ernie Wilkins – association on A2
  • Ralph Burns – preparations on A3 and aspect 2
  • Johnny Acea – association on A4
  • Al Cohn – association on A5

Facet two

  • Ray Charles – piano and vocals
  • Allen Hanlon – guitar
  • Wendell Marshall – string bass
  • Ted Sommer – drums
  • Bob Brookmeyer – valve trombone
  • Harry Lookofsky – concertmaster
    • Unidentified – giant woodwinds and strings part
  • Ralph Burns – arranger

Different credit

  • Nat Hentoff – sleeve notes
  • Invoice Schwartau, Tom Dowd – recording engineer
  • Marvin Israel – cowl design
  • Lee Friedlander – cowl images


  • Considine, J. D.; Matos, Michaelangelo; et al. (2004). Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian (eds.). The New Rolling Stone Album Information (4th ed.). Simon & Schuster. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8.
  • Larkin, Colin (2006). Encyclopedia of Widespread Music. Vol. 9 (4th ed.). Muze. ISBN 0195313739.

  • The Genius of Ray Charles at Discogs (listing of releases)

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