Ray Charles

  • Year:
  • Inducted by:
    Quincy Jones
  • Category:
Ray Charles


They don’t call Ray Charles the Genius of Soul for nothing.

Charles used his explosive musical talent to combine gospel and blues into the then nonexistent genre of soul. To him, soul music was a way of life.

Hall of Fame Essay


Michael Hill

“Gospel and the blues are really, if you break it down, almost the same thing,” Ray Charles has said. “It’s just a question of whether you’re talkin' about a woman or God.”

It was the way Ray Charles melded the passion of gospel with the pain of the blues, as both a vocalist and pianist, that prompted Frank Sinatra to call him “the only genius in the business” and for Aretha Franklin to refer to him as “the Right Reverend.”

The Program Cover from the 1986 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony
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