971: Ray Charles – Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music (1962)

I thought this would be Ray playing in the style of country and western but instead it’s him raucously covering the songs of those genres from the time. The album starts with a bang with the upbeat jump around dance beat of Bye Bye Love and then goes into a blues/gospel area that Ray practically owns. His backing band includes strings and beautifully harmonizing backup vocals distinguishing his style from straight R & B or blues.

Bottom Line: I probably would’ve hated these songs in their original form but with Ray Charles at the helm it’s hard to not like.

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