Thursday, April 9, 2015

Ray Charles dies at 96 (Ray Charles Singers)

September 13, 1918 – April 6, 2015

Charles Raymond Offenberg better known as Ray Charles, died April 6th at age 96. Charles was a musician, singer, songwriter, arranger and conductor. He was best known as organizer and leader of the Ray Charles Singers. In May 1944, Chuck Offenberg changed his name to Ray Charles, also that year he was drafted into the Navy. After the war Charles sang on radio in New York and on records. In 1959 Perry Como bestowed the name, The Ray Charles Singers, on the group singing on his TV show. The Ray Charles Singers began recording a series of albums on various labels.

Ray Charles recorded one solo album, Memories of a Middle-Aged Movie Fan for Atlantic Records. Charles has also worked in two films, Funny Lady 1975 starring Barbra Streisand  and Racing With the Moon in 1985 starring Sean Penn. Charles has won two Emmy Awards for special musical material, music and lyrics for two comedy specials: The Funny Side of Marriage and The First Nine Months. Other awards include;  the 2004 Irwin Kostal Tribute Award from ASMAC,  in 2012 he was honored as a Broadcasting Legend by the Pacific Pioneers, and in 2013 the Foundation Life in Music Award from ASCAP. In his later years, he continued to serve as a musical consultant to television programs. Charles is survived by two sons Michael and Jonathan.

The Ray Charles Singers - Watch What Happens  


Music to Watch Girls By - The Ray Charles Singers  

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