Ray Charles The Early Years
- Released: June 18, 1996
- Originally Released: 1996
- Label: King
- 1.Ain't That Fine
- 2.Honey, Honey
- 3.Ray Charles Blues
- 4.Don't Put All Your Dreams in One Basket
- 5.St. Pete's Blues
- 6.You Always Miss the Water (When the Well Runs Dry)
- 7.Sentimental Blues
- 8.Jack, She's on the Ball
- 9.Can Anyone Ask for More?
- 10.Let's Have a Ball
- 11.If I Give You My Love
- 12.Sitting on Top of the World
- 13.I've Had My Fun (Going Down Slow)
- 14.Rockin' Chair Blues
Personnel: Ray Charles (vocals, piano, keyboards).
Recording information: King Recording Studios, Nashville, TN.
Illustrator: R. Szolkowski.
In the late 1940s, teenager Ray Charles founded the Maxim Trio, heavily influenced by the style and instrumentation of the Nat King Cole Trio. Cole was the first popular jazz musician to skip drums in a trio and operate instead with piano, guitar and bass.
Charles and the band, along with Charles Brown and Johnny Moore's Three Blazers, were successful within the style. THE EARLY YEARS, initially re-released in the 1970s and now digitially remastered, shows Charles in the formative stages of his career. While Charles would later be identified as a hard-driving piano man, most of the tunes on THE EARLY YEARS are slow movers like "Ray Charles Blues" and "St. Pete Florida Blues." THE EARLY YEARS may not show Charles at the height of his genius, but devoted fans, as well as fans of Nat King Cole, will enjoy this collection of early work.
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