Mr. Ray Charles

This was a magazine illustration made when Ray Charles came to the town and gave a concert. Ray was a famous blues player. Actually, he was hard to classify, as he did blues, rhythm-and-blues, jazz, rock-and-roll and he did country Western music.

There was an interesting story with Ray Charles. Willy Nelson, a famous country western star, was Ray’s good friend. To understand what happened, let’s mention that Ray was blind. One day Willie went over to Ray’s house, and they played chess. When they were done, they had a few bottles of wine and Willy wanted to go home. The joke was that when Willie was going out of the door, and Ray said: “We wanna do this again sometime,” — and Willy said: “Yeah, sure, would be nice.” But then Willy added: “I have a request, Ray. The next time can we turn the lights on?” So the implication is that they played chess in the dark and Ray won the chess match, but he did it because Willy couldn't see the chess pieces. I don't know if it's a true story but Willie tells that story about Ray Charles.

There was a famous movie made that won the Academy Award called “Ray” about his life. This would be depicting him in his 60s still going strong. Ray performed until just before he died in his 80s. 

This canvas is a tribute to Ray Charles, a musical luminary whose brilliance knew no bounds. The painting captures the essence of a man who left an indelible mark on the world of music. Just as Ray's melodies continue to resonate, this artwork ensures that his legacy endures, reminding us of the power of music to bridge gaps and create lasting connections.