I was born with music inside me. Music was one of my parts. Like my ribs my kidneys my liver my heart. Like my blood. It was a force already within me when I arrived on the scene. It was a necessity for me-like food or water.
I never wanted to be famous. I only wanted to be great.
I did it to myself. It wasn’t society… it wasn’t a pusher it wasn’t being blind or being black or being poor. It was all my doing.
Music is my life professionally for nearly 60 years. To be recognized by the academy is still the highest honor.
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.
My music had roots which I’d dug up from my own childhood musical roots buried in the darkest soil.
What makes my approach special is that I do different things. I do jazz blues country music and so forth. I do them all like a good utility man.