Rhino Factoids: Ray Charles Enters the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Friday, January 23, 2015
Rhino Factoids: Ray Charles Enters the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

29 years ago today, Ray Charles officially joined the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and while some might generally think of Charles’s music as being more in the vein of R&B, jazz, or even country (he did top the country charts in ’85 with “Seven Spanish Angels,” you know), surely we can all agree that the man’s music most definitely rocks.

Charles was certainly in good company on January 23, 1986: his other fellow performer inductees included Elvis Presley, Buddy Holly, Chuck Berry, Fats Domino, James Brown, Jerry Lee Lewis, Sam Cooke, the Everly Brothers, and Little Richard. (If you hadn’t already guessed from that list, yes, it was the Hall of Fame’s very first induction ceremony.) When it was Charles’s time to shine, Atlantic Records founder and president Ahmet Ertegun took the stage to say a few words about the man for whom he wrote “Mess Around” before introducing “my adopted honorary Turkish brother,” Quincy Jones, who handled the formal induction duties.

Jones described Charles as “my friend – he’s also been a genius – for 38 years, a man who filled my heart and head with soul, rock ‘n’ roll, or whatever you want to call it,” and when Charles took the stage, he couldn’t have looked, sounded, or acted any happier.

But, hey, why are we describing it for you when you can watch the whole thing yourself?

Now that we’ve discussed his induction and you’ve actually seen it, you’re probably of a mind to kick back and enjoy some of the music that brought Ray Charles into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in the first place.

Thankfully, we can deliver.