Ray Charles was the stage name of Ray Charles Robinson (September 23, 1930 – June 10, 2004). He was a pioneering American pianist and soul musician who shaped the sound of rhythm and blues. He brought a soulful sound to country music, pop standards, and a rendition of "America the Beautiful" that Ed Bradley of 60 Minutes called the "definitive version of the song, an American anthem — a classic, just as the man who sang it.". Charles is most famous for his hit songs I Got A Woman (1954), What'd I Say (1959), Night Time Is The Right Time (1959), Georgia On My Mind (1960), Hit the Road Jack (1961), One Mint Julep (1961), Unchain My Heart (1961) and I Can't Stop Loving You (1962).
Frank Zappa and Ray Charles
In 1966 Ray Charles performed at The Big T.N.T. Show, where Frank Zappa was filmed inside the audience.
In a 1969 interview, Frank Zappa spoke about how he loved Charles' early material, but did not like his album Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music.