The genius of Ray Charles is well-documented, with enough chart-topping singles to fill numerous greatest hits CDs. Genius: The Ultimate Collection chronicles Charles’ time recording for the Atlantic and ABC-Paramount labels, starting with 1955’s “I Got a Woman” and concluding with his classic 1972 rendition of “America the Beautiful.”
In total, The Ultimate Collection contains 21 of Charles’ biggest hits, including 10 that made it to the top of the R&B chart and three that hit number one on the pop charts. Though Charles may not have written all of the material (“Hit the Road Jack” was penned by Percy Mayfield, Hoagy Carmichael wrote “Georgia on My Mind,” and “You Are My Sunshine” was a standard credited to Jimmie Davis), Charles had a way of making each song uniquely his own.
Whether his was playing the blues, taking on the Beatles (“Yesterday”), or transforming the way we hear gospel, there is no denying Ray Charles’ genius. With The Ultimate Collection, Concord Records reminds us all of just how wide-reaching that range of genius truly was.
Genius – The Ultimate Collection is out now on Concord Records.