After school they would gather, transfixed, around the hi-fi console blaring this new live album from their hero. I wonder if you like this album, but I’m more interested in what you think of this story, both as a Ray Charles fan and as one who studies how American culture is formed.
Does it surprise you that Ray Charles could be their towering figure, or that 1950s white middle class kids could be pulled so far into black music without any help from Elvis?
You may not be able to figure out all the lyrics to “Memphis Blues Again” in terms of linear narrative, but they all make immediate emotional and metaphorical sense if you don’t , “Nowhere Fast.” 12/09/17 My father (born 1945 and white) said growing up in 1950s New Orleans there was so much local R&B on the radio that, for him and his friends, mainstream rockers like Buddy Holly and Jerry Lee Lewis seemed like marginal figures. Their world was black rock and roll made by blacks.
They loved doo wop and Chuck Berry, but the only non-New Orleans artist who broke inside, who made music they could claim alongside Fats Domino, Little Richard, and Huey Smith—the only musician who meant as much, if not more—was Ray Charles.
12/12/17 Lately I have been thinking about different kinds of lyrics in rock music.
Given what he did, and may have done, he could have fought it, with the tacit or explicit support of his party.
We feel great sadness and loss in your resignation. You have asked questions no one else has asked, and refused to accept obfuscation, lies, or evasions in response.
You have done this without self-aggrandizement, and with respect for the body of which you are a part.
I never remotely grasped what a great song this is until I heard it from this night.
I knew Rick, but I never understood how much of himself he never revealed until I played this over and over and over.