Soul Music: Ray Charles, Jesénia M. Jackson

Soul music s a genres if music that has its origins in the African American community in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Soul music has its music origins in Gospel music. For example, Ray Charles took the song, I’ve Got A Savior (Way Across Jordan) and changed the lyrics to I’ve Got A Woman (Way Across Town). notes that “Joyful, up-tempo gospel songs became up –tempo soul songs, while slower gospel songs became romantic love songs.” Additionally, the gospel style “call-and-response” was used in soul music.

One particular artist that made a monumental impact in soul music was Ray Charles. Ray Charles was born on September 23, 1930 and died on June 10, 2004. Ray Charles was a musician, blind since the age of six years old, was known for developing soul music. Charles combined 50s R&B with gospel music. He studied composition and learned how to play different instruments at St. Augustine School for The Deaf and For The Blind. As a crossover artist, making his mark in the pop, country and western music, he is most known for Unchain My Heart, Hit The Road Jack, and I Can’t Stop Loving You.

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