Singers: That's All Right

He speaks and even seems to think with a stammer—but the halt is strangely touching. In song, his voice quavers and breaks, but then he catches it, and it rises to a shriek that ends on a cheerless blue note. He rocks in rhythm across the keyboard of his piano, but he seems not so much mannered as he is possessed. He is a blind Negro, haunted by narcotics; yet when he sings a song that makes him stammer, shriek and rock, Ray Charles is the best blues singer around.

The Message. At a couple of standing-room-only Carnegie Hall...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!