[Marxism] This is who Americans should really mourn?

John Obrien causecollector at msn.com
Thu Jun 10 19:38:36 MDT 2004

Sadly, I remember Ray Charles performed and entertained, on the stage at the 
Republican Party Convention for the Bush Family and the rest of that rotten 
gathering not too long ago.  While Ray Charles was an accomplished musician 
- his politics were not at the same level.  I do not believe he needed money 
that much, to perform at the Republican Party Convention.  Even if he felt 
he did - he should have been principled enough to accept other jobs - which 
he could have easily obtained.  I was very sad to see Ray Charles on that 
stage and almost threw his records out of my house that night!! He was used 
by those racists pigs, but it seems he was willingly used,  preferring the 
Baptists concerned with "Family Values", over the progressive voices that 
were of true higher values!

John O'Brien
Los Angeles, CA

>From: Louis Proyect <lnp3 at panix.com>
>Reply-To: Activists and scholars in Marxist 
>tradition<marxism at lists.econ.utah.edu>
>To: Activists and scholars in Marxist tradition 
><marxism at lists.econ.utah.edu>, PEN-L list <PEN-L at SUS.CSUCHICO.EDU>
>Subject: [Marxism] This is who Americans should really mourn
>Date: Thu, 10 Jun 2004 19:53:02 -0400
>NY Times, June 10, 2004
>Ray Charles, Who Reshaped American Music, Dies at 73
>Ray Charles, one of America's greatest singers and a musician who brought 
>the essence of soul to country, jazz, rock, standards and every other style 
>of music he touched, died today. He was 73.
>A spokesman for Mr. Charles, Jerry Digney, told Reuters that Mr. Charles 
>had died at his home in Beverly Hills, Calif., of complications from liver 
>Mr. Charles reshaped American music for half a century as a singer, 
>pianist, songwriter, bandleader and producer. He was a remarkable pianist, 
>at home with splashy barrelhouse playing and precisely understated swing. 
>But his playing was inevitably overshadowed by his voice, a forthright 
>baritone steeped in the blues, strong and impure and gloriously 
>Mr. Charles could belt like a blues shouter and croon like a pop singer, 
>and he used the flaws and breaks in his voice to illuminate emotional 
>paradoxes. Even in his early years, he sounded like a voice of experience, 
>someone who had seen all the hopes and follies of humanity.
>Leaping into falsetto, stretching a word and then breaking it off with a 
>laugh or a sob, slipping into an intimate whisper and then letting loose a 
>whoop, Mr. Charles could sound suave or raw, brash or hesitant, joyful or 
>desolate, insouciant or tearful, earthy or devout. He projected the primal 
>exuberance of a field holler and the sophistication of a be-bopper; he 
>could conjure exaltation, sorrow and determination within a single phrase.
>In the 1950's, Mr. Charles became an architect of soul music by bringing 
>the fervor and dynamics of gospel to secular subjects. But he soon broke 
>through any categories. By singing any song he prized — from "Hallelujah I 
>Love Her So" to "I Can't Stop Lovin' You" to "Georgia on My Mind" to 
>"America the Beautiful" — Mr. Charles claimed all of American music as his 
>birthright. He made more than 60 albums, and his influence echoes through 
>generations of rock and soul singers.
>Ray Charles Robinson was born on Sept. 23, 1930, in the small town of 
>Albany, Ga., and grew up in Greenville, Fla. When he was 5 years old, he 
>began losing his sight from an unknown ailment that may have been glaucoma. 
>He became completely blind at the age of 6. But he began to learn piano, at 
>first from a local boogie-woogie pianist, Wylie Pitman; he also soaked up 
>gospel music at the Shiloh Baptist Church and rural blues from musicians 
>who included Tampa Red.
>He was sent to the St. Augustine School for the Deaf and the Blind from 
>1937 to 1945. There, he learned to repair radios and automobiles, and he 
>started formal piano lessons. He learned to write music in Braille and 
>played Chopin and Art Tatum; he also learned to play clarinet, alto 
>saxophone, trumpet and organ. On the radio, he listened to swing bands, 
>country-and-western singers and gospel quartets. "My ears were sponges, 
>soaked it all up," he told David Ritz, who collaborated on his 1978 
>autobiography, "Brother Ray."
>full: http://www.nytimes.com/2004/06/10/arts/music/10CND-RAY.html
>Marxism list: www.marxmail.org
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