Ray Charles' version of "The Right Time" is way better than Ida Lupino's. :)

In case you’re not familiar with it, in the bowling-noir film classic Road House, Ida Lupino plays a cocktail lounge singer in a North Woods bowling alley/road house. Her big number is The Right Time, and she does it in a kinda cute, totally harmless but devoid of soul way.

Now I love the blues, but I had never paid a lot of attention to Ray Charles, what with one thing and another, except that recently I’d begun paying a little more attention to his work. I noticed that fantastic rolling piano line in What’d I Say", the tightness of the horns in most of the arrangements. In fact, it seems safe to say he usually had sidemen who were well up to the caliber of playing with him. So I’ve been buying Ray Charles singles from the RealMusic store, and happened on The Right Time, which is so awesome I can’t even describe how it moves me as a musician and listenter. It’s amazing how he manages that vocal delivery as he plays that great electric piano line. I think he must have been able to sing and play different melody lines simultaneously in much the same way as Jimi Hendrix.

I do like to start at the beginnings of things, though. Can anyone point me to some good compilations or albums of Ray Charles’ early work?

I can’t speak from experience but you might want to check out The Early Years, The Birth of Soul, Blues + Jazz, The Genius of Ray Charles, The Genius Hits the Road, Modern Sounds In Country & Western Music, and Definitive Ray Charles.

Found some more: Ingredients In A Recipe For Soul, Genius + Soul = Jazz/My Kind Of Jazz, and Sweet & Sour Tears.

Ever since I first heard “The Right Time” it has been my favorite Ray Charles tune.
I heard it first at a live concert in Atlanta and it’s about the most rockin’ song ever done, IMHO. “What’d I Say” stayed a close second with me. Unless, of course, there’s a pretty lass to dance with. Then it’s “Georgia on My Mind”.

Ray Charles spent a lot of time and energy doing country music. I like country, but there are others who can do country as well or better. I’ve often speculated about what other wonders Ray might have produced if he had stayed on the bluesy side of things.

It looks like Jeff Olsen posted a great selection of music, so I’ve nothing to add to that.

This was the problem I had always had with Ray Charles; I’d found him actually too eclectic and didn’t appreciate the arrangements when I didn’t want to listen to much besides rock and electric blues with guitars, drums, and maybe a keyboard. And I wasn’t really into singers per se, so I didn’t appreciate his vocal talent.

As it is, I’m not ready to jump into the country side of his work, but the R&B stuff is great.

Does anyone know if that’s Fathead Newman playing the sax on The Right Time?