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Ray Charles - made by designer Billy Stickles when he...

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Steven Dooley October 13, 2009 Ray Charles Ray Charles Robinson was born September 23, 1930, to the parents of Aretha Williams and Bailey Robinson. Ray started to lose his sight at the age of five, and was completely blind by the age of nine. Most sources suggest that Ray lost his sight because of an infection from soapy water in his eyes that was left untreated. Others, however, believe that it was from glaucoma. His father died when he was ten and his mother five years later. After Ray’s mother died in 1945 he did not return to school. He stayed with a couple who was friends with his mother. For over a year he played piano for four dollars an hour at the “Ritz Theater” and “LaVilla.” Growing up, Ray had only been taught classical music, but he wanted to play jazz and blues music like he listened to on the radio. Ray Charles began his reputation of always wearing sunglasses,
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Unformatted text preview: made by designer Billy Stickles, when he played with a southern band called “The Florida Playboys.” When Ray Charles entered show business he shortened his name to Ray Charles so he would not get confused with the boxer Sugar Ray Robinson. In 1953 Ray Charles signed with Atlantic Records. After signing with Atlantic Records, Charles released his first hit singles, “It Should Have Been Me” and “Don’t You Know.” Both singles hit the charts in 1954. Some of Ray Charles’s final appearances include singing “America the Beautiful” at Fenway Park in Boston, headlined the White House Correspondents dinner in Washington D.C., and a special guest appearance in the Blues Clues Big Musical movie. Ray Charles died June 10, 2004 of liver cancer. Sources: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ray_charles...
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