Ray Charles’ ‘Modern Sounds in C&W’ Reissue Due

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Ray Charles’ Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music, Volumes 1 & 2 have been called major landmarks in American culture. Now, the two albums are being reissued in digital and CD formats on Feb. 22, via Concord Records, also becoming available for the first time on streaming platforms. Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music, Vol. 1 will be re-released on vinyl for the first time since 2012, with a deluxe edition version containing both Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 on high-fidelity, 180g vinyl.

Pre-order it here.

The release of the first volume not only launched Ray Charles into the country market but widened the scope of country music itself.  This past fall, Charles was honored by the Grand Ole Opry with An Opry Salute to Ray Charles, with performances celebrating the Modern Sounds tracks and his contributions to country music. In addition, Charles was inducted into both the Austin City Limits Hall of Fame, a program on which he performed multiple times, and the DownBeat Jazz Hall of Fame.

“Ray Charles was one of the most important artists in the history of American popular music,” says Concord Records President John Burk in a press release today (Dec. 10), “and his Modern Sounds albums were some of his most impactful works. In addition to massive commercial success, these incredible recordings had a huge social and cultural impact, breaking down long established genre and racial barriers.”

Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music, Vol. 1 became an instant classic when it was first released in 1962. The album spawned four successful singles: “Born to Lose,” “Careless Love,” “You Don’t Know Me,” and “I Can’t Stop Loving You,” the latter (and the album itself) being RIAA-certified Gold in only one month.

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The success led to the recording of Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music, Vol. 2. Focusing more on balladry, one side featured performances by the Ray Charles Big Band with the Raelettes, and the other with a string section and the Jack Halloran Singers. Like its predecessor, it was released to both critical and commercial acclaim. In 1999, Vol. 1 was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame for “historical significance,” as was the lead single, “I Can’t Stop Loving You,” in 2001. (See complete track listing below.)

Charles’  achievements over a 58-year career include 17 Grammy Awards, induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, a Lifetime Achievement and the President’s Merit Award, the Presidential Medal for the Arts, France’s Legion of Honor, the Kennedy Center Honors, a NAACP Image
Awards’ “Hall of Fame Award,” and numerous other music Halls of Fame, including those for Jazz and Rhythm & Blues, a testament to his enormous influence.

Charles successfully mastered  the blues, jazz, gospel, rock, pop, and country music landscapes. He teamed up with such artists as B.B. King, Aretha Franklin, Lou Rawls, Hank Williams, Willie Nelson, Stevie Wonder and many others. As he once said, “I’m not a country singer. I’m a singer who sings country songs. I’m not a blues singer, but I can sing the blues. I’m not really a crooner, but I can sing love songs. I’m not a specialist, but I’m a pretty good utility man. I can play first base, second base, shortstop. I can catch and maybe even pitch a little.”



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Track List:

1. Bye Bye Love
[as made famous by The Everly Brothers]
2. You Don’t Know Me
[as made famous by Eddy Arnold]
3. Half as Much
[as made famous by Hank Williams]
4. I Love You So Much It Hurts
[as made famous by Tennessee Earl Ford and later Patsy Cline]
5. Just a Little Lovin’
[as made famous by Hank Williams]
6. Born to Lose
[as made famous by Don Gibson and later Johnny Cash]
7. Worried Mind
[as made famous by Ted Daffan’s Texans]
8. It Makes No Difference Now
[as made famous by Eddy Arnold]
9. You Win Again
[as made famous by Hank Williams]
10. Careless Love
[Jazz standard, as made famous by Eddy Arnold]
11. I Can’t Stop Loving You
[as made famous by Don Gibson]
12. Hey, Good Lookin’
[as made famous by Hank Williams]
13. You Are My Sunshine
[as made famous by Gene Autry]
14. No Letter Today
[as made famous by Ted Daffan]
15. Someday (You’ll Want Me to Want You)
[as made famous by Elton Britt]
16. Don’t Tell Me Your Troubles
[as made famous by Don Gibson]
17. Midnight
[as made famous by Chet Atkins]
18. Oh, Lonesome Me
[as made famous by Don Gibson]
19. Take These Chains from My Heart
[as made famous by Hank Williams]
20. Your Cheatin’ Heart
[as made famous by Hank Williams]
21. I’ll Never Stand in Your Way
[as made famous by Joni James and later Kitty Kallen]
22. Making Believe
[as made famous by Jimmy Work and later Kitty Wells]
23. Teardrops in My Heart
[as made famous by Sons of the Pioneers and later Jim Reeves]
24. Hang Your Head in Shame
[as made famous by Foy Willing and His Riders of the Purple Sage and later Red Foley]

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