Monday, 22 May 2017

Ray Charles - Tell The Truth



































































Side 1:
01. Mess Around
02. It Should've Been Me
03. Losing Hand
04. Greenbacks
05. I've Got A Woman
06. This Little Girl Of Mine
07. Hallelujah I Love Her So
08. Drown In My Own Tears

Side 2:
01. Leave My Woman Alone
02. Lonely Avenue
03. That's Enough
04. Talkin' 'Bout You
05. You Be My Baby
06. The Right Time
07. Tell The Truth
08. What'd I Say

Download from here:

http://www75.zippyshare.com/v/URjMMoKG/file.html

One scratched LP bought second hand many years ago, probably from the sadly-no-more "Lost In Music" emporium in Glasgow's West End. I never listened to it all that much but lately I've been listening to little else. Digitizing this album has got me right back into the music of Ray Charles, specifically the sides he recorded for Atlantic between 1952 and 1959, sides which revolutionized the sound of R&B and paved  the way for soul music.

Ray's earliest sides, recorded for Swing Time and Down Beat, were heavily influenced by Nat "King" Cole and Charles Brown. The move to Atlantic gave him the opportunity to really come into his own. At first, recording under the supervision of Jesse Stone and accompanied by top NYC session men such as Freddie Mitchell, Lloyd Trotman and Mickey Baker, his sides were still well within the R&B mainstream of the time, albeit with a much improved sound.

Ray had ideas of his own ( he detested the Willie Mabon influenced "It Should've Been Me") and in Atlanta, Georgia, in November 1954, he unveiled a new sound to Atlantic honchos Ahmet Ertegun and Jerry Wexler when he and his new hard boppin' band played the gospel influenced "I Got A Woman." The shadow of gospel music loomed over most of the R&B that Ray subsequently recorded for Atlantic, whether the source material was original gospel songs, or blues or just songs that sounded as though they were rooted in the church.

All of it was performed with sanctified intensity in a fusion of holy roller vocals from Ray, passionate call and response backing vocals from The Cookies and of course that band featuring horn men like Don Wilkerson and Dave "Fathead" Newman. The selection of tracks on this LP is an excellent illustration of how R&B music was taken in a new direction by Ray Charles and his musicians. The detailed sleeve notes by Cliff White are well worth perusing.

The story behind the tracks, mac!

"Mess Around," "It Should've Been Me," and "Losing Hand" were recorded in New York City on May 17th, 1953.

Personnel: Ray Charles (vocal, piano) with: Pinky Williams and Freddie Mitchell (tenor saxes); Dave McRae (baritone sax); Mickey Baker (guitar); Lloyd Trotman (bass); Connie Kay (drums);

Mess Around / Funny (But I Still Love You), Atlantic 999, June 1953

It Should've Been Me / Sinner's Prayer, Atlantic 1021, February 1954

Losing Hand / Don't You Know, Atlantic 1037, July 1954

"Greenbacks" and "I've Got A Woman" were recorded in Atlanta on November 18th, 1954.

Personnel: Ray Charles (vocal, piano) with: Joe Bridgewater and Charles Whitley (trumpets); Don Wilkerson (tenor sax); Dave Newman (baritone sax); Wesley Jackson (guitar); Jimmy Bell (bass); Glenn Brooks (drums)

I've Got A Woman / Come Back, Atlantic 1050, December 1954

Blackjack / Greenbacks, Atlantic 1076, October 1955

"This Little Girl Of Mine" was recorded in Miami on April 23rd, 1955.

Personnel: Ray Charles (vocal, piano) with: Joe Bridgewater and Riley Webb (trumpets); Dave Newman (alto sax, baritone sax); Don Wilkerson (tenor sax); Roosevelt Sheffield (bass); William Peeples (drums)

A Fool For You / This Little Girl Of Mine, Atlantic 1063, June 1955

"Hallelujah I Love Her So" and "Drown In My Own Tears" were recorded in New York City on November 30th, 1955.

Personnel: Ray Charles (vocal, piano) with Joe Bridgewater and Joshua Willis (trumpets); Don Wilkerson (tenor sax); Cecil Payne (baritone sax); Paul West (bass); Panama Francis (drums) with The Cookies (vocal group) on "Drown In My Own Tears"

Drown In My Own Tears / Mary Ann, Atlantic 1085, February 1956

Hallelujah I Love Her So / What Would I Do Without You, Atlantic 1096, May 1956

"Leave My Woman Alone" and "Lonely Avenue" were recorded in New York City on May 16th, 1956.

Personnel: Ray Charles (vocal, piano) with Joe Bridgewater and John Hunt (trumpets); Dave Newman (alto sax and tenor sax); Emmett Dennis (baritone sax;) Roosevelt Sheffield (bass); William Peeples (drums); The Cookies (vocal group)

Lonely Avenue / Leave My Woman Alone, Atlantic 1108, September 1956

"That's Enough" and "Talkin' 'Bout You" were recorded in New York City on May 26th and May 28th 1957 respectively.

Personnel: Ray Charles (vocal, piano) with: Joe Bridgewater and Ricky Harper (trumpets); Dave Newman (alto sax and tenor sax); Emmett Dennis (baritone sax); Edgar Willis (b) William Peeples (d) with The Raelettes  aka The Raylettes aka The Cookies (vocal group)

That's Enough / Tell Me How Do You Feel, Atlantic 2022, March 1959

Talkin' 'Bout You / What Kind Of  Man Are You, Atlantic 1172, January 1958

"You Be My Baby" was recorded in New York City on February 20th, 1958.

Personnel: Ray Charles (vocal, piano) with: Marcus Belgrave and Lee Harper (trumpets) Dave Newman (alto sax and tenor sax); Emmett Dennis (baritone sax); Edgar Willis (bass); Richie Goldberg (drums) with The Raelets (The Cookies) (vocal group)

My Bonnie / You Be My Baby, Atlantic 1196, August 1958

"(Night Time Is) The Right Time" was recorded in New York City on October 28th, 1958.

Personnel: Ray Charles (vocal, piano) with: Marcus Belgrave and Lee Harper (trumpets); Dave Newman (alto sax and tenor sax); Hank "Bennie" Crawford (baritone sax); Edgar Willis (bass); Richie Goldberg (drums); The Raylettes (vocal group) feat. Marjorie Hendricks (vocal)

(Night Time Is) The Right Time / Tell All The World About You, Atlantic 2010, December 1958

"Tell The Truth" was recorded live in Atlanta on May 28th, 1959.

Personnel: Ray Charles (vocal, piano) with: Marcus Belgrave and John Hunt (trumpets); Dave Newman (alto sax and tenor sax); Hank Crawford (baritone sax); Edgar Willis (bass); Teagle Fleming (drums); The Raelettes (vocal group)

"Tell The Truth" released on Atlantic LP 8039 "Ray Charles In Person" in May 1960. Also on single Atlantic 2068 Tell The Truth / Sweet Sixteen Bars, July 1960.



"What'd I Say" was recorded in New York City on February 18th, 1959.

Personnel: Ray Charles (vocal, piano) with: Marcus Belgrave and John Hunt (trumpets); Dave Newman (alto sax, tenor sax); Bennie "Hank" Crawford (baritone sax); Edgar Willis (bass); Milt Turner (drums); The Raelettes (vocal group)

What'd I Say (part 1) / What'd I Say (part 2), Atlantic 2031, June 1959.

Some recommended CDs:





I bought all of the above for £5 each in Fopp over the last few years. Ray's Atlantic output should still be easy to find at budget prices.

Recommended read:


Ray Charles: Man and Music by Michael Lydon. This is the cover from the original 1998 hardback edition (yep, bought in Fopp for £5!). An updated paperback edition from 2004 is available from the marketplace dealers of a certain mega gigantic online shopping website. Yeah, Amazon.

4 comments:

Bob Mac said...

Thanks for this BW. I've probably got all the tracks scattered across other albums but d/l a copy of this anyway. Love Ray's Atlantic recordings, he was one of my most favorite R&B artists of all time, but I lost interest in his work when he started doing C&W and pop ballads. Got to see him perform twice. First time in early 70s with a large band; second time circa 2003, just a year before he passed, and he just had a trio playing with him. Got to meet him at the Perth press reception in the 1970s, but didn't like him, he wasn't friendly or likeable at all. Perhaps he was tired from travel.

Anonymous said...

Many thanks, boogiewoody!

boogiewoody said...

A belated thank you to Bob Mac for sharing memories of Ray Charles.

BW

teddy cat baz said...

many thanx boogiewoody