He began to go blind at six, possibly from glaucoma , and had completely lost his sight by age seven. He attended the St. Augustine School for the Deaf and Blind, where he concentrated on musical studies, but left school at age 15 to play the piano professionally after his mother died from cancer his father had died when the boy was Charles built a remarkable career based on the immediacy of emotion in his performances. By Charles had created a successful combination of blues and gospel influences and signed on with Atlantic Records. From Charles toured extensively in the United States and elsewhere with his own big band and a gospel-style female backup quartet called the Raeletts. He also appeared on television and worked in films such as Ballad in Blue and The Blues Brothers as a featured act and sound track composer. He formed his own custom recording labels, Tangerine in and Crossover Records in
Where people listen
Ray Charles was a poor, blind, newly orphaned teenager living in Tampa, Florida, in when he decided to move to Seattle, picking the city because it was as far away as he could get from where he was. He stayed only two years, but during that time he cut his first record and began to develop the genre-bending musical style that would make him an international star. The people were friendly, the people took to me right away. Seattle is the town where I made my first record. And if you ever want to say where I got my start, you have to say that" MacDonald. His father worked off and on for the railroads; his mother took in laundry. The family started out poor and stayed that way throughout the hard years of the Depression. The family moved across the border to Greenville, Florida, when Charles was a few months old. A second child soon followed, a son named George.
The Legacy of Ray Charles
Ten of them, ranging in age from 16 to 50 -- with 10 mothers among them -- listened as their father told them he was mortally ill and outlined what they could expect from his fortune. The confusion and contention that resulted from that family gathering, the only time so many of the children met with their father as a group, helps explain what has happened since. In some cases, co-officers appointed by Charles departed their roles while Adams remained. Adams, 86, declined requests for an interview. The children have been unable to obtain an accounting of the estate, in part because their legal right to the information is murky. Adams has kept the children and other family members from participating in ceremonies honoring their father, they say, even his funeral. Adams interrupted a private family service at the Angelus Funeral Home in Los Angeles, attempted to eject some of the participants and ordered the casket removed from the chapel, according to several people who were there. His blood is flowing through our veins.