For a generation of musicians and fans, the late Ray Charles provided the catalyst that fused the previously largely exclusive genres of jazz, blues and gospel music. In an era when jazz and pop music were seemingly poles apart, the impact of Charles' music was truly revolutionary in that it brought together these strands and fans for the first time. This book traces Ray Charles's amazing story from the abject disadvantage of being orphaned, black and blind in the South of the 1930s to the height of international success. With many quotes and exclusive interviews, including several with Ray Charles himself as well as from those who worked with, or were simply influenced by, the man who more than anyone else could truly be called the founding father of soul music.
With a background as a musician on the Sixties rock scene, Mike Evans began writing about popular music in the Seventies as a broadcaster in local radio and freelance writer, his work appearing in Sounds, Cream and as a regular contributor to Melody Maker. He is also the author of books on The Beatles, Elvis Presley and the music scene in New York.