Starting Today, Ray Charles’s Post-1960 Catalog Becomes Available in Digital Format

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Starting Today, Ray Charles’s Post-1960 Catalog Becomes Available in Digital Format

According to a Concord Music Group press release, Ray Charles’ post-1960 catalog will, as of April 7, 2009, and for the first time ever, become available in digital format. Starting on April 7, Apple’s iTunes store will enjoy a two-week exclusive to sell the material, after which point the catalog will be “offered at all digital music outlets.” Among the Ray Charles classics that will become available through this release are songs such as “Georgia On My Mind,” “I Can’t Stop Loving You,” “Hit the Road Jack,” “Busted” and “Crying Time.”

Concurrent with the release of digital tracks, Concord will release a 21-song anthology entitled Ray Charles – Genius: The Ultimate Ray Charles Collection, featuring material originally recorded for the Atlantic and ABC-Paramount labels. Later in the year, Concord plans reissues of further Ray Charles albums.
For further details, consult the full text of the Concord release, below.

One of the most anticipated song collections among digital music buyers, Ray Charles’ post-1960 catalog will finally go digital for the first time ever.  Beginning April 7th, iTunes will hold a two-week exclusive on the cherished catalog, after which time it will be offered at all digital music outlets.  Ray Charles’ post 1960 catalog had been one of the most treasured and highly requested catalogs that continued to be unavailable digitally. These masters include such iconic recordings as “Georgia On My Mind,” I Can’t Stop Loving You,” “Hit the Road Jack,” “Busted” and “Crying Time” among many others.

"Ray Charles was a trailblazer and innovator in his music and the business of music. I am pleased Ray's songs are now available in all current formats. Concord enables the legacy to endure and prosper," said Valerie Ervin, President of the Ray Charles Foundation.

The move follows Concord Music Group’s recent announcement that it has entered into an exclusive arrangement with the Ray Charles Foundation to develop the artist’s post-1960 catalog.  On April 7th, Concord Records will also release a 21-song anthology of hits titled Ray Charles — Genius: The Ultimate Ray Charles Collection. The volume presents Charles’ most influential recordings for the Atlantic and ABC-Paramount labels including 1954’s “I’ve Got a Woman” plus “Busted,” “Georgia on My Mind,” “Hit the Road Jack” and “I Can’t Stop Loving You,” concluding with his signature 1972 rendition of “America the Beautiful.” All are digitally remastered from the original tapes.  Ray Charles – Genius: The Ultimate Ray Charles Collection will be available wherever music is sold.

Concord will release several other Ray Charles reissues this year including Modern Sounds in Country & Western Music, Volumes 1 & 2, The Genius Hits the Road, A Message From the People and Genius + Soul = Jazz & More.

Ray Charles - Genius: The Ultimate Collection Audio Streams:
“Georgia On My Mind”
http://www.concordmusicgroup.com/audio/qtl/Ray_Charles_Georgia_On_My_Mind.qtl
http://www.concordmusicgroup.com/audio/asx/Ray_Charles_Georgia_On_My_Mind.asx
<http://www.concordmusicgroup.com/audio/qtl/Isaac_Hayes_Juicy_Fruit_Disco_Freak.qtl> “Hit The Road Jack”
http://www.concordmusicgroup.com/audio/qtl/Ray_Charles_Hit_The_Road_Jack.qtl
http://www.concordmusicgroup.com/audio/asx/Ray_Charles_Hit_The_Road_Jack.asx <http://www.concordmusicgroup.com/audio/asx/Isaac_Hayes_Juicy_Fruit_Disco_Freak.asx>
 
Ray Charles - Genius: The Ultimate Collection Video Streams:
“Georgia On My Mind”
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7q5hD9cRQ9k
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Thls_tMuFkc
“Hit The Road Jack”
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q8Tiz6INF7I

Download album art, photos, and press release here:
http://www.specialopsmedia.com/assets/RayCharles/assets.zip

Preferred Retail Link:
http://www.amazon.com/Genius-Ultimate-Ray-Charles-Collection/dp/B001QAZAPS/?tag=concordreco0c-20 <http://www.amazon.com/Black-Moses-Isaac-Hayes/dp/B001PPLIUU/?tag=concordreco0c-20>

Ray Charles MySpace Page:
http://www.myspace.com/raycharleslegacy <http://isaachayes.com/>  <http://waynebrady.com/>

Commencing an extensive Ray Charles reissue program for 2009, Concord Records will release a 21-song anthology of hits titled Ray Charles — Genius: The Ultimate Ray Charles Collection. The volume, slated for a street date of April 7, 2009, presents Charles’ most influential recordings for the Atlantic and ABC-Paramount labels including 1955’s “I Got a Woman” plus “Busted,” “Georgia on My Mind,” “Hit the Road Jack” and “I Can’t Stop Loving You,” concluding with his signature 1972 rendition of “America the Beautiful.” All are digitally remastered from the original tapes.

Late last year, Concord Music Group announced it had entered into an exclusive arrangement with the Ray Charles Foundation to develop the artist’s post-1960 catalog, which contains his classic work for the ABC-Paramount and Tangerine labels. In addition to planning a series of CD reissues, Concord will make the catalog available digitally for the first time ever.
Ray Charles — Genius: The Ultimate Ray Charles Collection chronicles the high points in Charles’ catalog. As noted jazz writer Don Heckman writes in his liner notes, “The first feeling that comes to mind after even a short glance at the titles included here is a sense of wonder. The diversity of the material is impressive in its own right — blues, of course, transformed gospel songs, country tunes, an American Songbook standard, a Beatles classic and a climactic American anthem. But more than that, it’s what he does with all these variegated numbers. Good singers can do great interpretations. Great singers like Charles possess the material in a way that makes a song their own, while remaining true to the essence of each.”

Ten of the tracks on this collection made it to #1 on the R&B charts and three songs hit #1 on the pop chart. “That may sound like nothing more than numbers,” says Heckman, “but it represents an extraordinary string of successes in which Charles released a Top 10 R&B single in almost every year between 1954-67, and a Top 10 pop single almost every year between 1959-67.”
The album contains 21 of Charles’ biggest hits, each within its own unique history and meaning. “Hit the Road Jack,” penned by Percy Mayfield, a #1 pop hit and a 1961 Grammy winner for Charles, opens the collection. Also included are “What I’d Say (Part 1),” ranked #10 in Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time; the classic “Busted”; “I Can’t Stop Loving You” from the album Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music, which reached #1 on R&B and pop charts; the Bobby Sharp composition “Unchain My Heart”; Charles’ signature rendition of Hoagy Carmichael’s “Georgia on My Mind, another #1 pop hit; “I Got a Woman” which was Charles’ first #1 R&B hit and was later sampled by Kanye West; “You Are My Sunshine,” the Jimmie Davis standard that Charles brought to #1 R&B; a soulful edition of Hank Williams’ “Take These Chains From My Heart”; the offbeat “Hide Nor Hair”; Ashford & Simpson’s “Let’s Go Get Stoned,” a #1 R&B hit by Charles; “You Don’t Know Me,” earlier a hit for Jerry Vale, which charted #2 pop; “Hallelujah I Love Her So,” originally a gospel hymn; “Crying Time,” a Buck Owens song which Charles brought to #6 on the pop charts; the funky “I’m a Fool for You,” which charted #1 R&B; “One Mint Julep,” Charles’ version of The Clovers’ hit with a big band arrangement by Quincy Jones; “Here We Go Again,” sung as a duet with Betty Carter; “Yesterday,” the  Lennon/McCartney classic, in which Charles, according to Heckman, “embraces the song’s deep inner heart”; and finally his 1972 signature recording of “America the Beautiful,” the perfect ending and relevant once again.

Genius: The Ultimate Ray Charles Collection will be packaged in a handsome embossed digipack and presented with a 24-page collectors’ book of rare photos and Heckman’s notes.

“Genius Loves Company was Ray Charles' highest selling record ever,"
said Valerie Ervin, President of the Ray Charles Foundation. "In addition to the artistic quality of the music, the release was matched by Concord's skill in finding new ways to market in the increasingly challenging environment.
Their incomparable ability to innovate will also be seen in the upcoming
releases."
Concord will release several other Ray Charles reissues this year including Modern Sounds in Country & Western Music, Volumes 1 & 2, The Genius Hits the Road, A Message to the People and Genius + Soul = Jazz & More.
 
Ray Charles - Genius: The Ultimate Collection Tracklisting:
1. Hit The Road Jack
2. What'd I Say (Part 1)
3. Busted
4. I Can't Stop Loving You
5. Sticks And Stones
6. Drown In My Own Tears
7. Unchain My Heart
8. Georgia On My Mind
9. I've Got A Woman
10. You Are My Sunshine
11. Take These Chains From My Heart
12. Hide Nor Hair
13. Let's Go Get Stoned
14. You Don't Know Me
15. Hallelujah I Love Her So (Live)
16. Crying Time
17. A Fool For You
18. One Mint Julep
19. Here We Go Again
20. Yesterday
21. America The Beautiful
 

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