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Credit: Heinrich Klaffs

Ray Charles inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame

Legendary genre-straddling musician, Ray Charles, has been inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. 

Throughout his career, Charles charted with hits in a varied range of genres. After a string of successes mingling flavours of gospel, jazz and blues in an R&B stew that brought his ecstatically atmospheric musicianship to the fore, he then bounded into jazz with The Great Ray Charles record in 1957.

Thereafter, he took the plunge into soul with Milt Jackson on the album Soul Brothers in 1958, and he even finished his first decade in music with the 1959 country hit ‘I’m Movin’ On’ covering Hank Snow. 

He followed this Hank Snow hit with his highly seminal 1962 record Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music which helped to bring a new infusion into the genre. 

Tracks like ‘I’m Movin’ On’ and various other country successes for the star gave led to his induction alongside session drummer Eddie Bayers, pedal steel guitar legend Pete Drake and the mother-daughter team of The Judds.

The star joins his previous collaborators Johnny Cash and Willie Nelson in the gilded Hall of Fame which is selected by executives from the Country Music Association every year.

Many fans will be delighted to see the star posthumously awarded. As Tom Waits once said: “I knelt at the altar of Ray Charles for years. I worked at a restaurant, and that’s all there was on the jukebox.”

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