There’s Ray Charles Gold in Them There Downloads: 28 Post-1960 Albums Available for Download, Awesome Anthology Available Now

When I was a teenager, I saw Ray Charles perform in Philadelphia. Fireworks lit up the sky, the summer breeze whispered through the crowd, and the assembled mass gave off a great cheer as the legendary soul man seated himself behind the piano. It was a magical night -- or it would've been had I any idea of how cool this all was. Instead, I mostly just stood around in my geeky shorts and slapped at mosquitoes, never envisioning how I would grow to admire Charles' ability to transcend genre with classics like "Georgia on My Mind," "Hit the Road Jack," and more. Which is why the recent digital release of 28 albums of Ray Charles' post-1960 output is so damn cool. Maybe you weren't around to buy the albums the first time, or maybe you just want to pimp out your iPod. Whatever your reason, this news can definitely be filed under "smashing."

Here's the skinny. iTunes currently has exclusive access to all the jams, but two weeks after April 7, the albums will be available from an assortment of digital retailers. The digital releases are happening simultaneously with the release of Ray Charles -- Genius: The Ultimate Collection, a 21-song anthology of all the man's most-loved recordings for ABC-Paramount and Atlantic. Concord, the label behind the reissues, is planning on making Modern Sounds in Country & Western Music, Volumes 1 & 2, The Genius Hits the Road, A Message From the People and Genius + Soul = Jazz available within the year.

The Ultimate tracklisting:

1. Hit the Road Jack
2. What'd I Say (Part 1)
3. Busted
4. I Can't Stop Loving You
5. Sticks and Stones
6. Drown in My Own Tears
7. Unchain My Heart
8. Georgia on My Mind
9. I've Got a Woman
10. You Are My Sunshine
11. Take These Chains from My Heart
12. Hide Nor Hair
13. Let's Go Get Stoned
14. You Don't Know Me
15. Hallelujah I Love Her So (Live)
16. Crying Time
17. A Fool for You
18. One Mint Julep
19. Here We Go Again
20. Yesterday
21. America the Beautiful

Most Read