Talk:Ray Charles

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" In 1980, he made a cameo on the film, The Blues Brothers."[edit]

I don't think this qualifies as a cameo. The character played by Ray has an appearance of several minutes, gets to say quite a number of lines and even performs a song visualised with a major dance sequence. I'll change that sentence. SchnitteUK (talk) 10:21, 28 October 2012 (UTC)

General remarks[edit]

No mention of Charles playing with Lowell Fulson? (talk) 17:35, 25 May 2011 (UTC)

This Ray Charles page has a lot of merit, but it also holds some awkward mistakes, and it suffers from numerous omissions. I am an expert. I have tried a few times to edit the text, but never saw my corrections accepted. What do I have to do to get my suggestions for improvements assessed and accepted? bob@result.comBstumpel (talk) 13:07, 15 September 2011 (UTC)

As has already been explained to you on your talk page with a notice in June 2011 as well as the Wikipedia Welcome list of links and articles that concern the how-to of editing Wikipedia, there are standards that need to be adhered to. If you haven't done it yet, do read the list of articles that give tips and advice on how to edit Wikipedia. If you follow those guidelines, your edits are less-likely to be reverted. Thanks for your interested in helping to build the online encyclopedia that is Wikipedia. Lhb1239 (talk) 14:47, 15 September 2011 (UTC)


The "Signature of Ray Charles" in this article is and SVG file created by a Commons user. Put mildly, it probably isn't Charles' actual handwriting. I am being bold and removing it. --Amir E. Aharoni (talk) 11:04, 12 October 2011 (UTC)


The main photo in this article says 'Ray Charles in 2012' which is not possible as he died in 2004 which the article also states. I would consider changing that. I don't know if it's a statue or anything but if it is you could have at least put 'Statue of Ray Charles in 2012' or change the picture. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:23, 7 March 2012 (UTC)


In Early life, this sentence appears:

>Pit would care for George, Ray's brother, so as to take the burden off Williams.

There is no explanation for what "Williams" refers to. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:40, 4 June 2012 (UTC)

Aretha Williams was RC's mother, according to the cited sources. I tried to make this clear with my edits today. (talk) 22:06, 17 December 2012 (UTC)

death date is incorrect[edit]

Ray Charles Robinson (September (FIND SOME WHERE ELSE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!), 1930 – September 17, 2004)

It should be June 10, 2004.

Please correct. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Jeffcampbell22 (talkcontribs) 19:06, 17 September 2012 (UTC)

Synthesiser details?[edit]

RC is seen on TV in concert playing a keyboard that makes various sounds, one of which perfectly evokes (former Atlantic stablemate) Milt Jackson's vibraphone. Anyone have any details about this? Rothorpe (talk) 19:37, 30 September 2012 (UTC)

Musical note "ev"?[edit]

A block quote in the article contains "in the high tenor range of A, B flat, B, C and ev". Don't think "ev" is a musical note. Anybody know and can fix? David F (talk) 18:15, 17 February 2013 (UTC)

Charles and Newborn, and Newborn[edit]

Allmusic credits Phineas Newborn, Jr. for playing piano at Ray Charles at Newport [1]. That's a mistake, right? Calvin Newborn is also claimed in WP to have collaborated with RC, did he? trespassers william (talk) 01:54, 10 March 2013 (UTC)

Reference to Turdle in Early Life?[edit]

What its this reference to Turdle running the cash register? Is that a nickname our someone goofing? (talk) 22:12, 3 January 2014 (UTC)

It was vandalism. Thanks for pointing it out. It has now been corrected. --Onorem (talk) 22:18, 3 January 2014 (UTC)

Cornell University Assignment[edit]


We're a student group at Cornell and will be working to improve the contents of this article. Specifically, we are looking to do a few things. First, we plan to edit the writing of the article to make it clearer and more understandable. We are also looking to restructure the article so the categories are manageable and it is simple to navigate the page. For example, there is a section titled "Georgia" that should not be its own topic. We will be including this in the personal life section of the article. Additionally, we've identified specific topics that could be either expanded or added to the page. Ray Charles has had a significant impact on the modern music and entertainment industries and as young consumers of such industries, we have access to information about impacts on specific artists like Amy Winehouse. We would also like to add information about his role in interracial tensions in the United States, his struggles with substance abuse and his childrens' feud over his legacy and fortune.

We would love input and suggestions from any members of the Wikipedia community who have been working on this page or are knowledgeable about this topic.

This is the link to our class page: Abdavis329 (talk) 18:35, 13 September 2014 (UTC)

Specifically regarding his impact on modern music, we recognize that there is already some information in the introduction section. We are looking to expand on this and talk about different artists that have attributed some of their success to Charles or who claim their music has been influenced by his.

Initial Sources[edit]

(This is an article about Charles's death and the ways he influenced modern music)

  • We plan to use this article to discuss the impact that Ray Charles had on other artist’s music and genres of music. In particular, there is a quote by Joe Levy of the Rolling Stone that highlights this impact. Skylerd23 (talk) 03:01, 18 September 2014 (UTC)
  • This is an article about the movie Ray starring Jamie Foxx, about the life of Ray Charles.Skylerd23 (talk) 18:53, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
  • A bibliography on Ray Charles that will be a good source for background information and more general topics.
  • We plan on using Ray Charles: man and music by M. Lydon to explain Ray Charles' struggles with heroin abuse and his experiences growing up with a life-altering handicap.
  • The above image of Ray Charles is of him standing in the driveway of his Los Angeles home with his wife Della and sons Robert, 5, David, 7, and Ray Jr. 11. The quote that goes with the picture is as follows: "I don't need to see them to know what they look like,' he says. 'I know my wife is pretty, and I think my sons are pretty good boys." We would like to add the picture to the Personal Life section, Family sub-section.Abdavis329 (talk) 17:33, 18 September 2014 (UTC)
Unfortunately, we couldn't do this because we were not granted access to use the picture. Skylerd23 (talk) 04:09, 9 October 2014 (UTC)
  • This is an NPR article that discusses Ray Charles and his death and includes some information about his heroin addiction. Skylerd23 (talk) 01:34, 16 September 2014 (UTC)
  • This article discusses the legal battle among Ray Charles' children over his legacy and fortune.

Abdavis329 (talk) 09:07, 16 September 2014 (UTC)

Second Round of Sources[edit]

  • This article explains the Ray Charles Foundation's goals to properly allocate donations. fr237 (talk) 10:56, 25 September 2014 (UTC)
  • This article talks about the opening of the official Ray Charles Memorial Library in LA fr237 (talk) 10:58, 25 September 2014 (UTC)
  • This article explains how the State University of New York at Albany kept Foundation donations for a decade without proper spending. fr237 (talk) 10:59, 25 September 2014 (UTC)
  • This article explains the fight between Family and Foundation fr237 (talk) 11:04, 25 September 2014 (UTC)
  • This article explains the influence of Ray Charles on modern today pop culture and society as a whole fr237 (talk) 11:11, 25 September 2014 (UTC)
Looks like you've got some good sources there. But please make sure everything you add is notable. Rothorpe (talk) 19:09, 18 September 2014 (UTC)
Good work, @Skylerd23, @Fr237, and @Abdavis329. Here are couple of suggestions for you to improve the article:
a) The first link for initial sources is not appropriate on the talk page. Cornell Library's retrieval link may not be cited. Also, check the alignment of the bullet points there.
b) The restructuring part is good.
c) Why don't you check the article on Louis Jordan (which is B-class) to get more idea on how to improve your article?
d) Make sure you summarize while committing the changes.
IshtiaqueAhmedCornell (talk) 04:29, 2 October 2014 (UTC)

I'm not entirely convinced you should be using Louis Jordan as a guide, as suggested above. The Jordan article shouldn't even be a B Class article IMO as it contains a lot of unsourced information, an over long lead section and poorly written prose. My advice would be to skip that and go to WP:FA and pick a similar subject for you to learn from. Cassiantotalk 07:43, 2 October 2014 (UTC)

  • I'd concur with Cassianto here. Aim for the best and you won't be steered wrong. First, let me say you guys have done an excellent job in your research. The first step in writing a great article is doing your research first, before you even start to write. High quality sources are always a great resource, and you all have found them! As far as looking for articles to use for modeling organization and style, Wikipedia:Featured_articles lists our best content. If you go down to the section titled "Music biographies" you'll find dozens of great models to work from. There are musical artists from a wide array of genres and styles, and by looking through some of those, you should get a sense of how to set this article up for success. A good start. If you need any specific help or have and specific questions, feel free to ping me and I'll stop by and take a look. --Jayron32 21:14, 2 October 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for the feedback!! Skylerd23 (talk) 04:13, 9 October 2014 (UTC)

Legacy Block Quote[edit]

I removed the second paragraph of the block quote in the legacy section because the quote was too long for readability and the second paragraph did not add much about Charles' legacy. The information in that paragraph was more about his musical style. Skylerd23 (talk) 22:16, 24 September 2014 (UTC)


I adjusted the structure of the article so that all the "life" information is together instead of scattered across early life and personal life with career in between those two section. Skylerd23 (talk) 20:31, 28 September 2014 (UTC)

You had Death before Career. I don't thnk that's normal for biographies on Wikipedia. Rothorpe (talk) 20:52, 28 September 2014 (UTC)
No problem. I'm going to make the structural change again but with death as a section after Career. Does that work? Skylerd23 (talk) 21:08, 28 September 2014 (UTC)
Yes. Deaths normally follow careers. Rothorpe (talk) 21:11, 28 September 2014 (UTC)
I made the edit. Let me know if there are still any issues with it. Thanks for helping us out! Skylerd23 (talk) 21:19, 28 September 2014 (UTC)
Pleasure. Looking around, seems I'm justified in thinking that Personal life usually follows Career (and by the way, please use sentence case in article subheadings, no unwarranted capitals). Rothorpe (talk) 21:29, 28 September 2014 (UTC)
To the students who are restructuring this article: you can visit this link to see how to correctly layout a biography. Cassiantotalk 21:55, 28 September 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for the suggestion, but it seems to me like different artists have different layouts. For the page on Elvis Presley (a featured article) it groups life and career as one major section and then has subsections to that. We could make this change on this article but it would require moving a lot of information around. Thoughts?Skylerd23 (talk) 22:28, 28 September 2014 (UTC)
Yes, some FAs will be different to others, but essentially, all are correct (hence their status). There is no *correct* way in laying out an article so it is for you to choose how to do it. I have written over 20 featured articles and all of mine adopt a chronological order, mixing career and personal life into one. I usually start of with a level two header saying "Biography" and then follow this with a level three headers for each major event in his or her life. In between, I use level four headers for not so important events. If you take a look at my latest featured article George Robey you will see what I mean. Having said that, my first featured article Stanley Holloway had a "personal life" section which kept his personal life seperate from the rest of his career. Looking back, and although it is a bit more difficult to write, I prefer the Robey layout, so in future I will always use this. Cassiantotalk 05:11, 29 September 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for all of the input. See the new heading I made explaining my latest restructure Skylerd23 (talk) 21:07, 30 September 2014 (UTC)

Latest Restructure[edit]

Taking into account the opinions of other Wikipedians and after reviewing featured articles on other artists, I have grouped life and career together. Skylerd23 (talk) 21:07, 30 September 2014 (UTC)

Song Chart[edit]

I'll be adding a chart which will list all of Ray Charles' songs.Abdavis329 (talk) 02:30, 2 October 2014 (UTC)

That's not necessarily a good idea. We already have Ray Charles discography, into which the songs would fit better. Notable songs could be covered, but only if you have fairly tight criteria to justify inclusion (i.e. major chart successes or those which one awards). Without the criteria then it becomes a dumping ground for songs people have heard of, it will become overly bloated and then someone will delete it for being pointless as it stands. - SchroCat (talk) 19:15, 2 October 2014 (UTC)

Peer Feedback[edit]

Content: One of the things you can do in terms of content is to edit the first intro paragraph before you hit the table of contents. There are a couple syntax and grammatical errors that you can edit. It would also be great if you can add some original content to the article itselfVmdavid (talk) 18:34, 2 October 2014 (UTC)
Organization and Style
Sources - More sources are needed in the personal life and substance abuse sections as per your proposal. Sources are needed to substantiate claims on influences on abuse to avoid legal problems. Also, a source should be listed after his arrest in 1964. This should be a quick find. Good luck! Dmh265 (talk) 18:36, 2 October 2014 (UTC)

— Preceding unsigned comment added by Vmdavid (talkcontribs) 18:16, 2 October 2014 (UTC)

Thank you for your feedback. We did edit the first intro paragraph and added a large amount of original content to the article. It may be difficult for someone unfamiliar with the article to recognize these changes, but you can compare the current article with a past version to see this. We will definitely look through the article and make further grammatical corrections. We also added information about substance abuse from Ray Charles: Man and Music, which is a reliable source to substantiate our claims. We will be sure to add a citation for his arrest in 1964. Thanks again!Abdavis329 (talk) 20:46, 7 October 2014 (UTC)

12 children by 10 different women?[edit]

The article says he had 3 children with second wife Della , then had 2 children with his 6 year affair. That leaves 7 children left to have by 8 women- the math is all wrong here as well as the facts. (talk) 00:46, 7 September 2015 (UTC)

wording problem[edit]

The sentence, "In the late forties he became friends with Quincy Jones, to whom he learned the ropes of arranging jazz music," should either be "To whom he taught" or "From whom he learned". I'm guessing the latter, but I don't know for sure.PuzzleMage (talk) 00:52, 30 August 2016 (UTC)

I noticed this too. Since no-one has come back with an answer, I'm removing the phrase. Obviously if anyone can get a definitive answer then please put the correct phrase back in. Arthur Holland (talk) 12:27, 9 February 2017 (UTC)

Birth name and place[edit]

According to Bob Eagle and Eric LeBlanc in Blues: A Regional Experience, here (I have a hard copy with the full text) - which I would normally consider a reliable source - he was born Horace Charles Robinson in Greenville, Florida. They say in a footnote (p.430) that he "wrongly" said that he was born in Albany, Georgia - which is what most other sources say - and moved to Florida when he was "several months old". However, I've seen other genealogy webpages (like this) that claim that Horace Charles Robinson was Ray's half-brother. Can anyone shed any light on this? I haven't made any changes to the established text. Ghmyrtle (talk) 15:07, 4 October 2016 (UTC)

Horace WAS Ray's half brother. Below is what I wrote to Eric. If you want to see belowmentioned timeline, email me at {email address removed}.


I have transcribed the census data and collated them in a timeline with the Brother Ray and Lydon biographies (see attachment).

I can see why you felt compelled to identify the "Horace C. Robinson" in the 1935 Greenville census with Ray Charles, but I'm not at all convinced that you were right.

Because Horace (simply) is a (totally) different name. And because Bailey may well have fathered this child (and its brother Bert) with either Mary Jane or one or more other women.

The "Horace Robinson" from the 1940 Jacksonville census possibly, but not (even) necessarily, is the same as the "Horace C." from the 1935 census. It's possible, but not at all sure, that he and the two other "nephews" on this address were also Bailey's children (Ray e.g. knew that he had halfbrothers a/o halfsisters from Bailey's marriage with Stella).

Altogether, the 3 census forms do not falsify the (highly!) credible story of Ray being born in Albany, "to still tongues" in Greenville.

In other words: I still sincerely appreciate the kind of archival research that you have conducted, but I don't think your findings can lead to such a decisive conclusion as identifying Horace with Ray.

<-----end quote----->
— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 12:58, 19 July 2017 (UTC)
Did you receive a reply? Eric LeBlanc died in 2015, but Bob Eagle is still around and may have information. If so, and if he is able to provide clarification here, it would help greatly. (I have contacted him on other matters in the past and could contact him again if necessary.) In the meantime, I will concoct a footnote to try to clarify the position. Ghmyrtle (talk) 21:46, 19 July 2017 (UTC)

Merger proposal[edit]

Suggest merging Sheila Raye Charles with Ray Charles given paucity of information available on subject. Can always be undone and recreated as a standalone article when more info on Sheila becomes available. Quis separabit? 12:06, 22 June 2017 (UTC)