Great Composers of the 19th Century Essay

1105 Words Nov 1st, 2008 5 Pages
Ray Charles Robinson and Steveland Hardaway Judkins are two of the most prolific composers of all times. Born and raised in the United States of America, they became legendary composers, singers, producers, and musicians of the 19th century. Their compositions were soulful in nature, and their styles ranged from rock and pop to blues and jazz. Ray Charles Robinson was known as The Pioneer of Rock Music. He influenced the lives of people worldwide, and he paved the way for various artists such as Elvis Presley, Aretha Franklin, and Van Morrison. Maria Carey, Alicia Keys, and John Legend are amongst musicians and performers who acknowledge Steveland Hardaway Judkins as their major influence.
September 23, 1930, Ray Charles Robinson was
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Some of his major influences include big band clarinetist Artie Shaw, big band leaders and pianists Duke Ellington and Count Basie, jazz piano giant Art Tatum, alto sax man and witty vocalist and bandleader Louis Jordan, and the great classical composers like Chopin and Sibelius. At the age of 15, Ray Charles Robinson’s mother died. After this unfortunate event, he decided to leave school and began touring the South on the so-called chitlin’ circuit that involved a number of dance bands that played in Black-American dance halls. In 1945, he got addicted to heroin. Determined to not be defeated, Ray Charles Robinson relocated to Seattle, Washington. In the red light district of Seattle, Washington at the age of 16, he met Quincy Jones who was 14 years of age. Quincy Jones, a future producer and composer, learned to write and arrange music through the instructions of Ray Charles Robinson. Throughout their careers, they worked many sessions together. Hence, they developed a friendship that would last a lifetime.

Early on in his career, as time progressed, Ray Charles Robinson decided to drop his last name to be strictly known as Ray Charles. He felt this would avoid confusion with the boxer Sugar Ray Robinson. Comfortable with the change, he moved on and began to pattern his career after Nat “King” Cole. By 1947, Ray Charles completed his first three recordings in the Tampa Bay Area which included, Guitar Blues, Walkin’ and

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