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Ray Charles

July 13, 2012 | By Richard S. Ginell, Special to the Los Angeles Times
There were two questions on the table Wednesday night at the Hollywood Bowl's "Genius + Soul = Jazz" tribute to the late, protean, one-of-a-kind Ray Charles. How can you do justice to the bewildering collection of idioms that Charles fused? And how can you do this without Ray? The Bowl found a way. Co-producers Gregg Field and Phil Ramone fielded not one but three distinct musical outfits - a 10-piece jazz band loaded with heavy hitters, a small string orchestra backed with a chorus of young singers, and the entire Count Basie Orchestra - performing separately or mashed together.
February 21, 2006 | From Associated Press
The midnight-blue tour bus that carried music legend Ray Charles around the country has begun a new career at Morehouse College in Atlanta. The bus, donated to the college by the Ray Charles Foundation, will be on display outside the college's arts center and may be used for trips by student groups. Emblazoned with Charles' likeness, the vehicle is equipped with 35 customized seats, four televisions and a kitchen.
December 4, 2003 | From Associated Press
Ray Charles is recovering in his Beverly Hills home after undergoing a hip replacement last week. Acute discomfort in his left hip forced the 73-year-old singer in August to cancel his remaining 2003 tour dates. It was the first time Charles had canceled a tour in 53 years. Charles is undergoing physical therapy and expects to start a national tour again in March, spokesman Jerry Digney said. From Associated Press
August 7, 2003 | Lee Margulies
A week after announcing the postponement of 14 imminent concert dates, Ray Charles has decided to cancel his remaining tour appearances for the year, citing acute hip discomfort. The famed singer, 72, said it broke his heart to make the announcement. "But the doctors insist I stay put and mend for a while, so I'll heed their advice," he said. Charles has been receiving treatment in Los Angeles. The canceled concerts include an Aug. 22 appearance in Escondido, Aug. 23 in Las Vegas, Aug.
February 26, 1989 | PATRICK GOLDSTEIN
Hollywood has rock 'n' roll fever. Tinseltown has already made "The Buddy Holly Story," immortalized the King ("This Is Elvis"), documented Chuck Berry's life ("Hail! Hail! Rock 'n' Roll") and rediscovered Richie Valens ("La Bamba"). This summer Orion Pictures will celebrate The Killer, with Dennis Quaid starring as Jerry Lee Lewis in "Great Balls of Fire." Who's next? A few hints: He's black. He's blind. He's a dynamic keyboardist and sensual singer who's had dozens of Top 40 hits.
October 5, 1991 | DENNIS HUNT
In one of the many taped salutes in the excellent variety-show-style tribute "Ray Charles: 50 Years in Music, uh-huh!," Bill Cosby perfectly sums up Charles' greatness: "In 50 years in the business, Ray has taken standard tunes that we've all pretty much taken for granted and then put some electricity into them." A perfect example is the finale, when Charles zaps soul into "America the Beautiful."
February 25, 1991 | ZAN STEWART
A diverse array of artists from singer Ray Charles and trumpeter Wynton Marsalis to funk horn band Tower of Power and R&B pioneer Ruth Brown head the lineup for the Playboy Jazz Festival June 15-16 at the Hollywood Bowl. The schedule, announced at a press conference last week at the Playboy Mansion in Holmby Hills, also includes a number of free events and a June 14 screening of rare jazz films from the Mark Cantor archives at the Samuel Goldwyn Theatre in Beverly Hills.
April 8, 1995
Alleging racial discrimination in airport security checks, musician Ray Charles and his manager Friday sued American Airlines and the city of Los Angeles for $2.5 million. The plaintiffs allege that they were forced off a red-eye flight at Los Angeles International Airport in May because overzealous security personnel insisted on searching a carry-on bag five times for weapons.
October 31, 1993 | ZAN STEWART
SHIRLEY HORN "Light Out of Darkness" Verve * * * 1/2 At first, Horn might seem a questionable choice to handle the material on this album, which is a tribute to Ray Charles and covers 15 tunes recorded by the esteemed artist. After all, Charles' approach is immediate and direct, while Horn relishes understatement and innuendo. But both singers' styles are based around the magical ability to translate lyrics into believable stories coupled with the unshakable rhythmic feel of a drummer.
October 9, 1995 | STEVE HOCHMAN
Just when it seemed that Ray Charles was going to get through his entire show at the Universal Amphitheatre on Friday without speaking a single word to the audience, he had his 45-piece orchestra pause between songs and addressed that very issue. "Normally I don't talk," he said, and went on to quote a woman he'd heard that morning on the radio complaining about one of his concerts. " 'He just came out on stage, just sat down at the piano and sang his songs--that's all he did.'
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