The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame + Museum


Ray Charles

 

 

 

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what you think about this pilot
program in this brief survey.

 

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"Hallelujah I Love Her So" (1956)

“Hallelujah, I Love Her So,” which reached # 5 on the R&B charts, was part of an long, successful run of singles that Ray Charles recorded for Atlantic Records between 1953-1963. Atlantic’s founder Ahmet Ertegun described Charles’s talents in the studio this way: “I realized by the third session that he was not only teaching me about music, but he was showing me how to make records…He is probably the greatest all-around singer-musician in America.” Charles controlled the artistic decisions around his music, and “Hallelujah” exemplifies his abilities as a singer, songwriter, arranger, and pianist. He drew from pop, big band jazz and R&B to create an original style. By translating gospel songs to the secular R&B market, Charles set the stage for what became known as soul music in the early 1960s.

                                                      

Quincy Jones inducts Ray Charles at the 1st Annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ceremony in 1986.

 

From the Collection: “Hallelujah, I Love Her So” (Atlantic Records, 1956)

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Describe what you see. 

What do you observe? 

  • What does the sleeve artwork tell us about Atlantic Records? Do the images reveal anything about Ray Charles’ sound? How is graphic design important to the formative years of early rock and roll and rhythm and blues record labels?
  • What does the original packaging tell us about how records were stored and distributed? What does it reveal about the act of actually playing a record?
  • What information is housed on the center label?  What can be learned from this information?

 

You can hear the influence of Ray Charles' combination of gospel and rhythm and blues in artists like the Staple Singers, John Legend and Kanye West.

 

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