I'm not a star. I'll never be a Frank Sinatra or Elvis Presley or a Ray Charles. I'm just an imitator, man. I'm doing a very bad imitation on the bass of Jerry Jemmott, Bernard Odum, Jimmy Fielder, Jimmy Blanton, Igor Stravinsky, Jimi Hendrix, John Coltrane, James Brown, Charlie Parker... the cats, man. I'm just backing up the cats.— Jaco Pastorius
Eye-opening Ray Charles quotations
One day, I'll be listening to a bunch of Ray Charles, the next day it's nothing but Red Hot Chili Peppers. The next day it might be Tupac all day.
Some golfers fantasize about playing in a foursome with Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, and Sam Snead. The way I hit I'd rather play in a foursome with Helen Keller, Ray Charles, and Stevie Wonder.
I'm still trying to re-create a Ray Charles concert that I heard when I was fifteen years old, and all my nerve endings were fried and transformed, and electricity shot through me.
Music's been around a long time, and there's going to be music long after Ray Charles is dead. I just want to make my mark, leave something musically good behind. If it's a big record, that's the frosting on the cake, but music's the main meal.
When I started to sing like myself - as opposed to imitating Nat Cole, which I had done for a while - when I started singing like Ray Charles, it had this spiritual and churchy, this religious or gospel sound. It had this holiness and preachy tone to it. It was very controversial. I got a lot of criticism for it.
There were a whole lot, I bought every blues record I could find, it wasn't just one or two people. My vocal influences were Ray Charles and Bobby Blue Bland.
Most people are dead. Hitler. Ray Charles. Some other guys. But mostly those two.
This is a setback. You get back up, you dust yourself off, and you get back in the game. We had a great singer named Ray Charles who wrote a song called 'Drowning in My Tears.' You can't afford to drown in your tears. You gotta go back, rededicate yourself, redouble your efforts, and persevere.
Tom Jones is funny to me, man. I mean, he really tries to ape Ray Charles and Sammy Davis, you know. He's nice-looking; he looks good doing it. I mean, if I was him, I'd do the same thing. If I was only thinking about making money.
Give it up for Ray Charles and his beautiful legacy. And thank you, Ray Charles, for living.
I show more blind rage than Stevie Wonder and Ray Charles wrestling in a steel cage.
I have the background singers of Ray Charles, the background singers of Smokey Robinson, and the background singers of Barry White and I built a choir around that.
Ray Charles' revolutionary approach to music was also reflected in his politics and his deep and abiding commitment to Martin Luther King and the plight of African-Americans. Ray Charles may not have been on the front lines, but he put his money where his mouth was.
A guy said to me, 'You're so lucky. You have people like Ray Charles, Barbra Streisand and The Beatles doing your songs.' I figured out, though, the harder I work the luckier I get. The secret of anything is to surround yourself with good people if you want a good product.
The reason I wanted to become an organ player was because I heard Ray Charles play on Quincy Jones' arrangement of "One Mint Julep." I heard that sound, and it just struck me. I thought that's what I want to do with my life. That's the sound I want to try to make.
All other nations are drinking Ray Charles beer and we are drinking Barry Manilow.
Strange now to think of you, gone without corsets &
eyes, while I walk on the sunny pavement of Greenwich Village. downtown Manhattan, clear winter noon, and I've been up all night, talking, talking, reading the Kaddish aloud, listening to Ray Charles blues shout blind on the phonograph
God bless Ray Charles. It was such an honor to meet him and sing with him and actually just to watch him sing from just two feet away.
The average American's day planner has fewer holes in it than Ray Charles's dart board.
There are singers that I have enjoyed, from Nina Simone and Ray Charles onward.
But the music that made music the number one thing for me as a youth was jazz.
Ray Charles has always been a big part of my life.
Never mind the transience of show business and popularity.
When we hear Ray Charles, we go, 'That's a great singer.' You don't need a reporter or a writer to tell us. Good is good and it should shine through the years.
James Brown, Ray Charles, Jackie Wilson, Chuck Berry and Little Richard - I think they had strong influences on a lot of people, because these were the guys who really got rock'n'roll going. I like to start with the origin of things, because once it gets along it changes. It's so interesting to see how it really was in the beginning.
I think Ray Charles did as much as anybody when he did his country music album. Ray Charles broke down borders and showed the similarities between country music and R&B.
I have owned and played a Steinway all my life.
It's the best Beethoven piano. The best Chopin piano. And the best Ray Charles piano. I like it, too.
I think there are people that still hold on that like Heavy Metal like a bit of what is going on now, but it isn't all of what they love and which goes on and it's the same with me... There's still a lot of Ray Charles, Sam Cooke songs that I still happen to like a lot, but then there are a lot of Madonna and... a lot of the female singers that I like as well, but it's like liking it with different emotions, you know.
Ray Charles, in his own way, it's like at the beginning, Ray Charles changed American music, not once but twice.
I would like to be able to do a song with Ray Charles, before we both get too old.
I recently saw the movie about Ray Charles, and there's a scene where he falls down and the mother doesn't help him. She says, I don't want anyone to treat you like a cripple. I've fallen down before, and Molly will say, get up and just go.
I think you have a lot of really good artists today.
You have your Beyonce, Usher, Nicki Minaj and the like. But our generation, the artists were stronger. You're talking about myself, Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder, Roberta Flack, Gladys Knight, The Temptations, The Four Tops.
When you listen to Ray Charles, there's never any doubt whose voice that is.
I don't think I've met anyone with a stronger work ethic than Ray Charles.
The first piece of music that captured my imagination was probably Ray Charles Live At Newport.
Finding out that Ray Charles sang country songs but it sounded as soulful as any rhythm and blues record that kind of opened up my horizons for what songwriting was and what singers I could listen to.