Saturday, September 23, 2006

September 23: Ray Charles (1930-2004)

"I don't think I'm good because I'm blind; I think I'm good because I'm good."

It's the 76th anniversary of the birth of Ray Charles (born Ray Charles Robinson), on this date in 1930, in Albany, Georgia. He was blind from glaucoma by age seven, the age when he was enrolled at a state boarding school for deaf and blind children.

Charles' dark glasses, a Yamaha keyboard marked in braille, braille magazines, chess set, and several costumes were donated to the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History last year.

There are a number of vintage Ray Charles performance videos available on YouTube: go check out the 1961 "Hit the Road Jack" if you want to mark the man's birthday today...or "In the Evening" if you want to hear his piano work, or "Georgia" if you're feeling nostalgic.

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