Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

Concord Records Release Deluxe Edition of Ray Charles's 'Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music'

Concord Records Release Deluxe Edition of Ray Charles's 'Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music'

Ray Charles's Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music, Volumes 1 & 2 are major landmarks in American culture. Released during the heart of the Civil Rights Movement, the album broke racial barriers and proved that signature performances work in all genres, taking country standards and transforming them into soul and R&B classics.

In the creation of the album, Charles became one of the first recording artists to have ownership and complete control of the masters. Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music has been listed among the greatest albums of all time, along with the Beatles, Dylan, Motown, Springsteen, Hendrix and the Beach Boys.

On September 6, 2019, Concord Records will release a deluxe edition of Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music, Vols. 1 & 2 on high-fidelity, 180g vinyl featuring remastered audio. These groundbreaking albums were previously reissued on digital and CD on February 22nd, becoming available for the first time on streaming platforms.

This past year, Ray was honored by the Grand Ole Opry with An Opry Salute to Ray Charles, which was broadcast this September on the PBS affiliate in Nashville. Featuring performances celebrating the iconic Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music tracks and his contributions to country music, the special will be airing across PBS stations this fall.

Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music, Vol.1 became an instant classic when it was first released in 1962. The album spawned four chart-topping singles: "Born to Lose," "Careless Love," "You Don't Know Me," and "I Can't Stop Loving You," the latter (and the album itself) being RIAA-certified Gold in only one month.

The success led to the recording of Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music, Vol. 2. Focusing more on balladry, one side featured performances by the Ray Charles Big Band with the Raelettes, and the other with a string section and the Jack Halloran Singers. Like its predecessor, it was released to both critical and commercial acclaim. In 1999, Vol. 1 was inducted into the GRAMMY Hall of Fame for "historical significance," as was the lead single, "I Can't Stop Loving You," in 2001.

Many musicians possess elements of genius, but only one-the great Ray Charles-so completely embodied the term that it was bestowed upon him as a nickname. His staggering achievements over a 58-year career include 17 GRAMMY Awards, induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, a Lifetime Achievement and the President's Merit Award, the Presidential Medal for the Arts, France's Legion of Honor, the Kennedy Center Honors, a NAACP Image Awards' "Hall of Fame Award," and numerous other music Halls of Fame, including those for Jazz and Rhythm & Blues, a testament to his enormous influence.

Charles successfully mastered (and forever changed) the blues, jazz, gospel, rock, pop, and country music landscapes, continually airing his soulful heart. He teamed up with the best of the best in each stylistic genre, including B.B. King, Aretha Franklin, Lou Rawls, Hank Williams, Willie Nelson, Stevie Wonder, and countless others. As he describes. "I'm not a country singer. I'm a singer who sings country songs. I'm not a blues singer, but I can sing the blues. I'm not really a crooner, but I can sing love songs. I'm not a specialist, but I'm a pretty good utility man. I can play first base, second base, shortstop. I can catch and maybe even pitch a little." "Genius" doesn't begin to describe it.


Side A

Bye Bye Love

You Don't Know Me

Half as Much

I Love You So Much It Hurts

Just a Little Lovin'

Born to Lose

Side B

Worried Mind

It Makes No Difference Now

You Win Again

Careless Love

I Can't Stop Loving You

Hey, Good Lookin'

Side C

You Are My Sunshine

No Letter Today

Someday (You'll Want Me To Want You)

Don't Tell Me Your Troubles


Oh, Lonesome Me

Side D

Take These Chains From My Heart

Your Cheatin' Heart

I'll Never Stand In Your Way

Making Believe

Teardrops In My Heart

Hang Your Head In Shame

Featured at the Theatre Shop

T-Shirts, Mugs, Phone Cases & More

Related Articles View More Music Stories

From This Author TV News Desk