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Ray Charles - the road to success 3
By Jessica Sciani

  1. 23 September, 1930

    Birth of Ray Charles

    "Ray Charles Robinson was born into a very poor family in Albany, Georgia. His mother, Aretha Williams, worked in a sawmill and his father, Bailey Robinson, was a laborer. They moved to Florida quickly after his birth."

  2. 1935

    Ray Charles starts losing his sight

    "Ray Charles started losing his sight at the age of 4 or 5. By the age of 7, he was completely blind, presumably the result of a glaucoma. "

  3. 1936

    Death of Charles’ brother

    "Charles’ younger brother, George, died when Ray was 5. George had fallen into a tub. Ray witnessed the event and tried to pull him out but he was too heavy."

  4. 1937

    Ray enters to the Florida School of the Deaf and Blind

    "Charles’ mother struggled to find a school that would accept a blind African-american student. Charles studied piano and clarinet in St.Augustine from 1937 to 1945"

  5. Spring of 1945

    Death of Ray’s mother

    "Aretha died in the spring of 1945, when Ray was 14. This came as a shock for Charles who had already lost his brother. "

  6. October 1945

    Charles is expelled from school

    "After his mother’s death, Charles returns to school but was expelled in October for playing a prank on his teacher."

  7. End of 1945

    Charles moves in Jacksonville

    "Charles moves to Jacksonville and plays the piano for bands."

  8. 1947

    Charles moves to Orlando

    "When he was 16, he moved to Orlando and lived in extreme poverty. It was a very hard time for musicians to find work after World War II"

  9. Summer of 1947

    Ray Charles unsuccessfully auditions

    "Charles unsuccessfully auditioned to play piano for Lucky Millinder and his sixteen-piece band."

  10. March 1948

    Charles moves in Seattle

    "Charles moves to Seattle and forms the Macson Trio with two other musicians."

  11. April 1949

    Charles and his band record “Confession Blues”

    "Charles and his band record Confession Blues, which becomes a national hit. "

  12. 1951

    Charles starts recording under the name “Ray Charles”

    "After joinging Swing time Records, he recorded “Baby, let me hold your hand” in 1951 and “Kissa me baby” in 1952."

  13. 1 June, 1952

    Charles signs with Atlantic Records

    "In June 1952, Atlantic Record’s bought Ray’s contract for 2500$. He began recording blues and boogie-woogie and starts releasing some chart success for Atlantic, as “It should have been me”."

  14. 1954

    Charles records his own composition

    "Charles records his first own composition “I got a woman”, a mixture of jazz, blues and gospel."

  15. 1959

    Charles reach success with his song “What’d I say”

    "In 1959, Charles releases “What’d I say”, written in front of an audience in Milwaukee, in early ’59. This song is considered to be one of the first soul song and one of the greatest song ever according to the Magazine Rolling Stones. 1959 marks the beggining of his success"

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