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Old Aug 29, 2007, 04:29 PM   #1
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Join Date: May 20, 2007
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A Ray Charles musical for you, in Mumbai
29 Aug, 2007, 0152 hrs IST, TNN

MUMBAI: The wait is finally over for Ray Charles fans. ‘I Can’t Stop Loving You - The Ray Charles Musical’, the smash-hit show from London’s West End, is coming to town. Brought to you by Johnnie Walker Live, the show premieres on the evening of August 30 and will continue through September 2 at the Jamshed Bhabha auditorium.

A first, this could probably be the only chance for Ray Charles fans to watch the musical in our country.

The cast is already in the island city and is staying at Hilton Towers, Mumbai, the hospitality partners, who are working with their guests to put back a little of what the life takes out.

The two-hour show is sure to keep the heart pounding as the cast belts out one hit after another. If you haven’t booked the tickets for the show yet, you may miss out on the chance to relive 31 super hit songs of Ray Charles that are going to be performed. They include smash hits like ‘A song for you’, ‘I got a woman’, ‘I can’t stop loving you’, ‘Georgia on my mind’, and ‘What’d I say’.

To give a brief history, ‘A song for you’, which is special to millions of Ray Charles fans, is also a favourite of former US president , Bill Clinton. He reportedly “loves” the song. ‘I’ve got a woman’, with a seven-piece band fronted by Ray Charles playing gospel piano, was his first national hit. This track reached No. 2 in the US R&B chart in 1955.

The Grammy award winner ‘Let the good times roll’ (1960) is featured in The Genius of Ray Charles album. ‘What’d I say’, a wild blues/gospel/Latin mix, went on to become one of Ray Charles’ biggest ever hits. In 1959, Ray Charles signed a contract with ABC-Paramount Records and moved to the ‘pop’ market, belting out ‘Georgia on my mind’ and ‘Hit the road, Jack’.

Some Beatles stuff will also be featured at the show. The Beatles fans could savour ‘Let it be’, ‘Imagine’ and ‘The long and winding road’. The song ‘The long and winding road’ was written by Paul McCartney in 1968. He said that he wrote this song with Ray Charles in mind: “I just sat down at my piano in Scotland, started playing and came up with that song, imagining it was going to be done by someone like Ray Charles.” As it was destined, Ray Charles recorded the song later in August 1973 for the album Soul of the Holy Land.

This innovative singer and pianist, whose combinations of blues and gospel pioneered soul music, passed away in 2004. To his credit lie at least a dozen Grammy awards, including the life time achievement award in 1988.
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