Ray Charles was a musical innovator who blended different genres of music and created a new musical style. Charles died on Thursday 8 June, 2004 at age 73 of liver disease. He was born in Albany, GA, on September 23, 1930, and he died at his Beverly Hills home, surrounded by family and friends.
Ray Charles launched in the early 1960s a lot of hits, including the popular "I Can't Stop Loving You," "Georgia On My Mind" and "Hit The Road Jack" that quickly became known worldwide.
The music producer Quincy Jones said about him: "There will never be another musician who did as much to break down the perceived walls of musical genres as much as Ray Charles did."
The gifted pianist and saxophonist, who became blind by age 7 and an orphan at 15, shattered during his whole life the musical categories and defied easy classifications.
He made his first triumphant European concert tour in 1960, a feat which, except for 1965, he repeated at least once a year ever since.
Over the course of long 58 years career, Charles put his stamp on it all with a deep and warmly roughened voice. Smiling and swaying behind the piano, grunts and moans accompanying his songs, Charles' music appealed to many generation of devoted music fans.
The SNAPO has issued in the death week of the great musician the miniature sheet shown above. The print run is of 100,000 sheets, all numbered on the verso of the sheet.
The photograph of Ray Charles' statue in Montreux, Switzerland, was taken in Feb. 2004 by the designer of the sheet and the author of this Web site. Montreux is the place of a renown jazz festival, where Ray Charles was invited and where he played several times.