08 SEP 11 ANNE FARNSWORTH
In addition to collections such as Concord's recent release Hit The Road Jack - And Other Classic Hits, the label has a whopping trove of nearly 50 Ray Charles albums available for download, a virtual treasure chest of this remarkable artist. Charles' last release before his 2004 passing, Genius Loves Company, was a collection of duets with established stars that won 8 Grammys, including Album Of The Year and Record Of The Year. But, that's just one of the genius' great titles available in digital form.
If you're having a hard time picking just one or two, you can always opt for the first release of Concord's 2009's anthology, Genius: The Ultimate Ray Charles Collection. Charles was a bona fide musical genius, singlehandedly spearheading genres, but a big part of his sensibility was his unabashed romanticism. When he sang about love -- whether new, old, lost or found -- you felt the swell of his enormous heart. "I Can't Stop Loving You" and "You Don't Know Me" are just two of the standouts in this deeply felt collection.
And don't forget the groundbreaking Modern Sounds In Country & Western Music, a 2-volume release that injected a bluesy soul into what was, up to that point, considered Caucasian folk music. Listeners of all camps leaned in when it was originally released in 1962, and the C&W genre began its slow ascent into mainstream territory.