All posts with more than 3000 Hits, prior to 2008

Elvis and Ray Charles

Mon Jan 30, 2006 3:04 am

Surely Elvis and Ray Charles crossed paths at some point in time. Anybody know any stories?

Mon Jan 30, 2006 4:30 am

well, I get the idea from other people that Ray Charles didn't think a whole lot of Elvis, though I don't know exactly what Charles might have said.

I do however know that Ray performed at the 1956 WDIA goodwill review in Memphis, and that Elvis did a walk-on appearance at that show, and was photographed hanging out with several of the performers backstage. I do not know however, if the two actually met.

Mon Jan 30, 2006 4:57 am

As far as I know they've never met.

Mon Jan 30, 2006 8:37 am

Ray (ever the shrewd businessman) was very pleased with "I Got A Woman" royalties reaped from Elvis' recording of the song.

When asked what he thought of Elvis (in the 60's), he simply replied: "You can't argue with the public ..."

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Am not aware of any documented meeting between the two, however. Such a meeting would have been rather unlikely around the mid-60's, though, given Ray's very public drug problems. (Kind of ironic, in retrospect, & seeing how the lives of each ultimately turned out).

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N8
... just a fan ....

Mon Jan 30, 2006 12:02 pm

I think we all know Elvis was a big fan of Ray and his work, and musically, their paths crossed often.

I was disappointed to read that the feelings weren't reciprocated though, and Ray apparently dismissed Elvis and his work.

I think, perhaps in part, Ray was maybe bitter about the fact he tried, and failed to break in to the country scene with songs such as You Don't Know Me, whereas Elvis successfully had hits with black music, (steady Lakeisha!) including Ray's own material.

Mon Jan 30, 2006 12:33 pm

I donĀ“t think they have met each other, at least I never saw any pic of them together.

Mon Jan 30, 2006 2:30 pm

I, too, was disappointed to learn that the admiration was a one-way street between the two.

Both were musical geniuses, though.


N8
... just a fan ....

Mon Jan 30, 2006 2:33 pm

N880EP wrote:I, too, was disappointed to learn that the admiration was a one-way street between the two.

Both were musical geniuses, though.


N8
... just a fan ....


Screw Ray Charles.

Mon Jan 30, 2006 2:37 pm

Joe Car wrote:
N880EP wrote:I, too, was disappointed to learn that the admiration was a one-way street between the two.

Both were musical geniuses, though.


N8
... just a fan ....


Screw Ray Charles.


Spoken with true ignorance, "Joe."

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EP himself would have been one of the first to set you straight.

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Gotta love this MB.


N8
... just a fan ....

Mon Jan 30, 2006 2:47 pm

How is that ignorance? I didn't say I didn't appreciate his work, I didn't appreciate his ignorant comments about Elvis, what's wrong with that? Just because the guy was a great artist doesn't mean he was a good person.

Mon Jan 30, 2006 2:55 pm

Joe Car wrote: .......... I didn't appreciate his ignorant comments about Elvis, what's wrong with that? Just because the guy was a great artist doesn't mean he was a good person.


Care to share (specifically) what some of Ray's "ignorant" comments were, ........... pertaining to "EP" ........... ?

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Joe Car wrote: .......... Just because the guy was a great artist doesn't mean he was a good person.


On some levels, ............... the exact same thing could be said about EP.

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N8
... just a fan ....

Mon Jan 30, 2006 3:10 pm

N880EP, there was a whole thread devoted to this very subject. The bottom line was he had been quoted as saying some very disrespectful things about EP before he died. I can't remember them off-hand, but they weren't nice.

Mon Jan 30, 2006 3:19 pm

Joe Car wrote:N880EP, there was a whole thread devoted to this very subject. The bottom line was he had been quoted as saying some very disrespectful things about EP before he died. I can't remember them off-hand, but they weren't nice.


I would appreciate a link to them and / or sources .............. (from anybody who can point me in that direction or add specifics).

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N8
... just a fan ....

Mon Jan 30, 2006 3:31 pm

It's definitely been shown on this site. I'm not sure on how to find the thread through the search engine.

Mon Jan 30, 2006 4:44 pm

Joe Car wrote:It's definitely been shown on this site. I'm not sure on how to find the thread through the search engine.


I did a cursory search before I asked the question; if it's here, I didn't find it.

(Only came across some vague generalities alluding to such .....)

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I definitely welcome specifics.


N8
... just a fan ....

Mon Jan 30, 2006 5:18 pm

N880 - to be fair to Joe, although I don't agree with the sentiment of his intial post, there was indeed a thread, possibly around the time Ray died. It was possibly one of those that got lost when they re-did things a little while ago?

I think Ray came down on the side of those black musicians who claim Elvis stole their music, from what I remember, although my own opinion was that he was then a little hypocritical by happily accepting the regular royalties from Elvis!

Mon Jan 30, 2006 6:16 pm

It wouldn't have been hypocrisy on Charles' part if he accepted royalties for one of his own songs - no matter who was covering it. In fact, in that paradigm, with Elvis being "white" and Ray being "black", Charles would surely have seen it as recourse, albeit tiny in magnitude, for all the credit and wealth that society had cruelly denied black performers.

(Notice my use of quotation marks, there: I've got no idea of Charles' geneaological heritage, aside from where he was born and raised, but I dare say it's as complex and wonderful as any human being. Elvis himself was a mixture of European and Cherokee Indian descent. Crude labels like "black" and "white" barely do justice to a person's biological/culture lineage - let alone their unique individuality).

I'm not terribly familiar with Ray Charles at this point; I've seen him on TV before, have the theatrical trailer for "Ray" and own several of his songs - but that's about it. I hope to discover more of Ray Charles for myself in the future. Nevertheless, based on the paltry sampling of one man and the huge sampling of the other, I'd have to agree with N800EP: Elvis Presley and Ray Charles were both geniuses. Ray gets extra credit for taking care of his own recording legacy, too. Only a small-minded fool would issue a statement like "screw Ray Charles" (or "screw [anyone]" for that matter) - particularly without bothering to add context to such an incendiary remark in the same post.

Mon Jan 30, 2006 7:18 pm

I resent being called a small minded fool because of what I said about Ray Charles. His comments about EP were classless to say the least, thus my "screw Ray Charles" comment. Sorry if you weren't around when that thread was up and perhaps I shouldn't have assumed that everybody knew why I said what I said.

Mon Jan 30, 2006 7:33 pm

Cryogenic - firstly, let me say I'm a huge fan of Ray Charles, saw him live a few years ago with Van Morrison, and love much of his work.

The reason I saw it as hipocricy was that Elvis stole nothing from anyone. If he had ever claimed someone else's song as his own, that would be stealing, but the fact was Elvis always gave credit to other people for the songs he sang, and they were paid handsomely in many cases. For Ray to claim, if he did, that Elvis stole black people's music, but then take the money, is two faced. At the end of the day, that's just my opinion.

You only have to hear the genuine affection with which Elvis always introduces other performers, white or black - Fats Domino being a prime example, to understand how much he appreciated their work.

It's a same that Ray couldn't realize that Elvis was covering his songs as a fan, more than anything else.

Joe, i think the point is that if you'd posted something along the lines of, " i don't respect Ray because of things he said, and they were covered in an earlier post", then no-one would have an issue. It's just the way you said screw ray that seemed aggressive and offensive - especially as he's dead!

Mon Jan 30, 2006 8:04 pm

As far as I know, Ray Charles nerver SAW the Elvis Presley phenomen.

His only remark was a racist one!

Elvis Presley was not this kind of person in public.

Ray Charles was a good artist and a moron.

Note: By the way, stop saying that everyone is a genious! Great is enough!

Mon Jan 30, 2006 8:25 pm

Is it?

You're right in terms of the conventional use of the term, perhaps, but when the word "musical" prefixes it, as N880EP saw fit to do but I erroneously left out, I don't think it's a stretch. So, I shall say again, this time corrected: Elvis Presley and Ray Charles were musical geniuses.

Like N880EP, I am most curious as to the slurs/criticism that Ray Charles supposedly issued against EP. Please stop telling us or implying that we should have been around earlier and that we should "trust" you. If the detractors are so sure of themselves, then they should have no problem supplying the evidence.

In the words of Perry White, the perpetual Elvis fan of Lois and Clark (and in loving memory of the late and great Memphian, Lane Smith, who played him...) ........ "Hard facts, people! That's the name of this game!" So, the way I see it: cough up - or shut up.

Mon Jan 30, 2006 8:30 pm

Charles' statements are forgiveable due to the punishment he endured from racism first hand and to the fact that he is entitled to his own opinion. However, his comments are somewhat arbitrary especially in that his genious was in many ways similar to Elvis'. I had always seen them as kindred spirits. They both had the same non-exclusive tastes in music, were both pioneers in musical fusion and in bringing gospel sounds to the public at large. They also both had their greatest strength in interpretation. Many of Charles' early "compositions"- "I Got a Woman", "Leave My Woman Alone", "Hallejuah I Love Her So"- with the Christian references replaced with secular ones. Many in the gospel community would make the kind of claims about Charles that he made about Elvis. This doesn't mean he wasn't creating something new but like Elvis he was creating new out of an interpretation of existing material which makes it that much more ironic that he didn't appreciate Elvis' work.

I'm almost certain that had they met and Elvis expressed to Charles his sincere appreciation of black music and artists, Charles would have a different take on Elvis. It's easy to build up these kinds of biases without a real person getting in the way.

Outside of Elvis, Charles had amazingly open ears and was very generous in his praise of other performers although like many artists he reserved the highest levels for the heroes of his youth particularly Art Tatum.

To say Charles didn't make it in "the country market" is deceiving and unfair. Later on he became a presence on the country chart but in the 1960s there was no way any black artist was going to be allowed on to that most segregated (then) of all charts. His success on the pop charts is enough to see the inroads he made with a white audience.

Mon Jan 30, 2006 8:41 pm

LTB wrote:
in the 1960s there was no way any black artist was going to be allowed on to that most segregated (then) of all charts.


I think Charley Pride would disagree.

1966 Grammy Award Final Nominee: Best Country & Western Vocal Performance, Male ("Just Between You And Me") NARAS

1967 Grammy Award Final Nominee: Best Country & Western Recording ("Does My Ring Hurt Your Finger?") NARAS

1967 Grammy Award Final Nominee: Best Country & Western Solo Vocal Performance, Male (Does My Ring Hurt Your Finger?) NARAS

1967 Most Promising Established Male Music City News

1967 Best New Male Artist K-Bar-T Country Roundup

1967 Award Of Honor (Music City News)
1967 Most Promising Male Artist (Country Song Roundup)
1967 Gold Album (Country Charley Pride) RCA

1968 Male Vocalist Of The Year Music City News
Gold Album (The Country Way) RCA

1969 Grammy Award Final Nominee: Best Country Vocal Performance, Male (All I Have To Offer You (Is Me)) NARAS

1969 Nominated: Best Country Song Of 1969 Songwriter's Awards
#1 Country & Western Record (All I Have To Offer You (Is Me)) Cash Box

1969 Male Vocalist Of The Year (Music City News)
Single Of The Year (Crystal Chandeliers) SESAC Awards
Gold Album (Charley Pride In Person) RCA
Gold Album (The Sensational Charley Pride) RCA
Gold Album (Charley Pride In Person) RCA Canada

Tue Jan 31, 2006 3:00 am

Joe / Darryl -

I believe you when you say that the info. was once here, but I never got to see it (unfortunately, a lot of important stuff was indeed lost from the archives).

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On that note, .............. I still have not heard any specifics on this thread about any of Ray's remarks, ........ nor have I personally come across any myself.

In fact, Ray's "official" (auto)biographical accounts are at direct odds with some of the things being alluded to on this thread. (Hence, my interest).

I get the same sense that "likethebike" has pointed out -----> they (EP & Ray) were kind of kindered spirits on a number of levels.

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JYM -

IMO, both were indeed musical geniuses in different ways (& that is not a term that I would apply to many either). As for the "moron" comments, ............. well, .......... I think that pretty much sums up your arguments, too.

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N8
... just a fan ....

Tue Jan 31, 2006 9:39 pm

wasn't it something to the effect of elvis stole black entertainment because he danced/gyrated like the blacks had been dancing for decades...?

of course, it was a silly statement by ray, since, well, how does he know what elvis danced like? :lol: