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On June 10, 2004 Ray Charles, one of the most influential artists of the 20th century, left us.

Ray Charles began to lose vision at age 5, at 7 he was completely blind. In addition to singing and playing the piano, he was also a saxophonist. He played all styles of American music, Jazz, Gospel, Pop, R & B, Country & Western, Rock & Roll, etc. He was one of the pioneers of Soul. His songs were covered by all the big names in Rock & Roll of the 50’s and 60’s, from Elvis to Dick Dale, passing through all the groups of the British Invasion.

From Poison Ivy Lovers we wanted to remember “The Genius” properly, at first I thought to make a playlist with our favourite songs, but that is something you can find anywhere and it will contribute little, so we have preferred to illustrate this post offering you the 1964 film “Ballad In Blue” directed by Paul Henreid (Victor Lazlo of Casablanca). The film is a well-built classic-style melodrama made for the show of Ray Charles and his music. A film, suitable for the whole family, with a well-intentioned message, where Ray Charles plays himself.

The plot focuses on the figure of a 10-year-old boy who has gone blind and on the difficult decisions that his mother has to make towards him. Ray Charles, who is on tour in England, knows the boy and tries to encourage and help him, showing him that lack of vision is not an impediment to the development of talent. In the film we can hear up to 12 songs from “The Genius”, the performances are fantastic, they also feature The Raelettes, some of the songs that appear in the movie are “Hit The Road Jack”, “I Got A Woman” or What It Say ”. As a curiosity it is worth mentioning that the film is English and not American as it would be natural. Perhaps because the Americans were unable to make a film in 1964 with a black song idol? The film is in its original language and without subtitles, even so it is very easy to follow, even for those who do not speak English, also just for the musical numbers it is worth watching.

Juanmy “The Hunter”

This post is also available in: Español (Spanish)

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