THE GREATEST OF ALL TUNES (G.O.A.T.) is a series of posts, producing my 100 favorite songs of all time. The master list is here, and I update it about every two weeks or when I have another 10 songs or so.
The first mainstream pop hit for Ray was this call-and-response song that would bring down the house at his famous live shows. It was also one of the first R&B songs that was heavily influenced by the black church/gospel experience-the song itself feels like a revival meeting. Legend has it, Ray improvised the song live before deciding it was worth actually spending time to formally write and record it. He was just “fooling around” at a show to fill time.
That’s what happens when you’re a musical genius: Your unstructured improv becomes the stuff of legends.
Further listening: Come on. The guy is a legend. I’ll just mention a few of my personal favorite Ray Charles songs: I’ve Got a Woman, Georgia on My Mind, Hit the Road Jack, Lonely Avenue, Come Rain or Come Shine, and Night Time is the Right Time. Oh, and of course Golddigger by Kanye West.
Covers: TONS. Have fun with these!