Breaking History with Ray Charles
The Day is the 2nd of June, 1962.
This day marks one of the biggest, most ambitious chart crossovers in the era. Ray Charles earned his third #1 with his rendition of “I Can’t Stop Loving You.” It topped the U.S. pop charts. The album “Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music” became a critical and commercial sensation.
To Charles, the boundaries between musical styles and genres have always been blurry. It was because he grew up in an environment where he was deeply immersed in the sounds of jazz, blues, gospel, and of course, country.
He saw the precious “I Can’t Stop Loving You,” by Don Gibson, and “You Don’t Know Me,” by Eddy Arnold and Cindy Walker as true gems. And, the fact that both of these songs landed in the Top 5 on both the pop and the country charts is a testament to Charles’ intuition and artistic talent.
Modern Sounds in Country Music
The album went on to become the biggest-selling album of 1962. It occupied the top spot on the Billboard album for 14 weeks. “I Can’t Stop Loving You” held the #1 spot on the singles chart for five weeks beginning on the 2nd of June.
“Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music” remains as one of the most iconic and influential recordings of all time. This record also had a great impact on the progression of Charles’ trajectory in his career. He continued to focus on producing songs that remain in the middle ground, dabbling into multiple genres and fusing them into the song.
Known for his jazz-blues take on his accompaniment and a cool voice with a gospel fervor, Charles’ rendition of songs like “Hey, Good Lookin”, “I Love You So Much It Hurts,” and “You Are My Sunshine” truly takes a new and ‘modern’ sound to what they knew as traditional sounding country music.
Here’s his amazing rendition of “I Can’t Stop Loving You!”