SHAME ABOUT RAY
Yes indeed! In response to John Jenkins’ letter (RC 364), there is indeed a dearth of Ray Charles’ ABC material on CD. But John may have missed out on the superb Rhino reissues which came out in 1997 as part of a 50th Anniversary Collection (marking Ray’s 50th year in the music business). A number of Ray’s ABC albums were part of this reissue collection as well as two excellent box sets, one of which comprised The Complete Country & Western Recordings (which I noticed Amazon selling for a staggering £133!). So why the lack of ABC material? Legal wrangling appears to be the cause.
Last year, several of Charles’ 12 children accused Joe Adams (long-time Ray Charles manager and head of Ray Charles Enterprises) of holding too much power and excluding them from business dealings. Charles apparently did not leave anything to Adams in his Will and Mary Anne Den Bok (mother of Ray’s youngest child) also claims that Adams may have sold some of Charles’ master-tapes. Another case of the James Brown family syndrome? While it rumbles on, the great Ray Charles ABC legacy lies smouldering in the vaults. Ingredients in a recipe for disaster…Not soul.
by Roger Nunn
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