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Publisher's Summary

Ray Charles (1930-2004) led one of the most extraordinary lives of any popular musician. In Brother Ray, he reveals his life story unsparingly, from the chronicle of his musical development to his heroin addiction to his tangled romantic life.

Overcoming poverty, blindness, the loss of his parents, and the pervasive racism of the era, Ray Charles was acclaimed worldwide as a genius by the age of 32. By combining the influences of gospel, jazz, blues, and country music, he invented, almost single-handedly, what became known as "soul". And throughout a career spanning more than a half century, Ray Charles remained in complete control of his life and his music, allowing nobody to tell him what he could or couldn't do.

The San Francisco Chronicle calls Brother Ray "an emotional blast as vivid and real, sweaty and straight talking as the man himself".

©1978 Ray Charles and David Ritz; new material ©1992, 2003, 2004 David Ritz; (P)2005 Blackstone Audiobooks

Critic Reviews

"A delight." (The New York Times)

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Brother Ray is a true inspiration

Brother Ray (Ray Charles Own Story) was a great book as far as I was concerned. I have always been a fan of Charles’ music. After watching the movie “Ray” (2004) with Jamie Foxx, I became fascinated with the man. The book shows a much more detailed look into his life and what makes him such an inspiration for anyone with a disability (or without one). By the time Ray is thirty two years old, he overcame poverty, blindness, the loss of both parents, and the widespread racism of his era. He wasn’t afraid to dip into new genres (gospel, blues, and even country music). Very independent, even turning down a presidential invite to play the White House because they didn’t allow him the proper time to prepare. Ray never gave out autographs, even refusing President Johnson one. This book is funny, sad, melancholy and ever emotion in between.

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Terrific audiobook

One of the best audiobooks I've ever heard. Great story with equally great, theatrical presentation.

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  • Charles
  • Winchester, KY, United States
  • 04-26-12

Very Candid

Recommended if you really want to know Brother Ray, but be prepared for his candor. He makes no excuses and offers no apologies for his choices. His was a fascinating life and he was an amazing talent. I thought I knew something about him, but how little I knew was revealed with this memoir.

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  • Janet
  • austin, MN, USA
  • 10-28-05

Very enlightening

This book was very interesting if a bit graphic. I had seen the movie & it got me interested to learn more about Ray Charles & this book satisfied my curiosity. Great narrator.

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  • Pamela
  • Farmington Hills, MI, USA
  • 09-28-05

Enjoyed immensely

The book pretty much followed the movie, which was excellent. I enjoyed his candor and it made me feel as if I knew him. After listening to the book, it made me see things in a different light. Very good reading....

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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