The Genius of Brother Ray

He helped create soul, and in a lifetime of performing he never lost his own

When Ray Charles could see, he saw nothing but trouble. As an infant, he could see, if not understand, his father walking out on him and his teenage mother Aretha. At 6 months, he and his mother moved from his birthplace, Albany, Ga., to Greenville, Fla., where all he saw was poverty, with his family being even poorer than most, "nothing below us 'cept the ground," as he put it. At age 5, he saw his younger brother George drown in a washtub. At about that time Ray developed what may have been glaucoma. He soon found he could stare straight...

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