I now love it all, from my whitebread upbringing listening to pop on the radio, to appreciating the range of emotion that Ray Charles communicates in his voice. Ray has a whole different experience to share of America. His interpretations of standards such as Ol' Man River, Over The Rainbow, and You'll Never Walk Alone are incredible. Over the Rainbow for example, is one of the most over-covered songs in the history of music. As a black man and artist, Ray emotes, "Take a walk in my shoes America." It's now my favorite version. I would love to hear a "naked" version of this album. Take out the sappy strings and background harmonies so popular in 1950's and early 1960's recording arrangements, strip it down to an R&B band with Ray at the piano, and man that's an album a lot of people would want to hear in 2023.
Enjoy it all my friends. And rest in peace Tony Bennett, you and Ray can now sing together again... @ the Heavenly Club. Check out the bonus track at the end of the playlist.