Rhino Records proudly presents a landmark in country musicwith RAY CHARLES: THE COMPLETE COUNTRY & WESTERN RECORDINGS 1959-1986. The4-CD box set will be available at retail for $49.98 on October 27 andthrough RhinoDirect at 1-800-432-0020 or Rhino's website at http://www.rhino.com
Many of the tracks are taken from first-generation tapes supplied by Ray,and much to Rhino's delight, Ray Charles remastered many of them himselfand was very hands-on with the whole project.
The 24 tracks on Disc One include both Modern Sounds In Country & WesternMusic and its follow up, Volume 2 (never before released on CD), in theirentirety. Ray Charles said that this is his favorite music and he is mostproud of the two country & western albums on Disc One. Recorded in 1962,the collections include such tunes as the million-selling "I Can't StopLoving You" (which spent a month at #1 on the nation's R&B and pop charts),"You Are My Sunshine" (#1 on the R&B and #7 on the pop charts), "You Don'tKnow Me," (#2 on the pop and #5 on the R&B chart).
Disc Two features Charles' recordings for Atlantic and ABC-Paramount madefrom 1959 to 1970. The 26 tracks include several hit singles like thememorable "Busted" (which reached #3 on the R&B charts and #4 on the pop),"Crying Time" (#5 on the R&B and #6 on the Pop Charts) and "Here We GoAgain" (#5 on the R&B and #15 on the pop charts).
Disc Three of THE COMPLETE COUNTRY & WESTERN RECORDINGS contains 20 tracksrecorded for ABC-Paramount, Crossover, and Columbia from '70 to '82, andfeatures covers of Johnny Cash's hit "Ring Of Fire" and Glen Campbell's"Wichita Lineman." Also included on this CD is "Born To Love Me" whichwent to #20 on the country chart.
Disc Four spans '83 to '86 and notable among the 22 tracks are duets thathe recorded with country superstars. "This Old Heart (Is Gonna RiseAgain)" with the Oak Ridge Boys, "We Didn't See A thing" with George Jonesand featuring Chet Atkins, "Friendship" with Ricky Skaggs, "Little HotelRoom" with Merle Haggard,"Crazy Old Soldier" with Johnny Cash, and "SevenSpanish Angels" with Willie Nelson (#1 on country charts) are just a few ofthe highlights.
The box set was a labor of love for Rhino A&R's Mike Johnson, who alsointerviewed Ray for the CD booklet. Raul Malo of The Mavericks penned theforward, and Sid Feller, the original producer and arranger for many ofthese recordings, recounts his experiences in the studio with Ray. Theextensive liner notes were penned by Daniel Cooper, a former writer for theCountry Music Foundation in Nashville. Also included in the CD booklet arephotographs taken by Howard Morehead during the original recording sessionsfor Modern Sounds In Country & Western Music.