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Modern Sounds in Country & Western Music, Vols. 1 & 2 Original recording remastered, Import

4.5 out of 5 stars 92 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Expanded and remastered reissue of the 1962 classic album and its successful follow-up. Packaged together for the very first time, volume 2 has never-before been available on CD! For Ray Charles, this music represented the culmination of a lifelong love affair he shared for Country & Western music. It vastly expanded his pop demographic and made countless new country converts by giving these 24 songs a soul-steeped urban dimension.

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Bye Bye Love
  2. You Don't Know Me
  3. Half as Much
  4. I Love You So Much It Hurts
  5. Just a Little Lovin'
  6. Born to Lose
  7. Worried Mind
  8. It Makes No Difference Now
  9. You Win Again
  10. Careless Love
  11. I Can't Stop Loving You
  12. Hey, Good Lookin'
  13. You Are My Sunshine
  14. No Letter Today
  15. Someday (You'll Want Me to Want You)
  16. Don't Tell Me Your Troubles
  17. Midnight
  18. Oh, Lonesome Me
  19. Take These Chains from My Heart
  20. Your Cheating Heart
  21. I'll Never Stand in Your Way
  22. Making Believe
  23. Teardrops in My Heart
  24. Hang Your Head in Shame


Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 2, 2009)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording remastered, Import
  • Label: Concord Records
  • ASIN: B0025X4OYI
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (92 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #19,307 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Originally released on ABC-Paramount in 1962, Modern Sounds in Country and Western, was a revelation, both for fans of country music and for fans of Ray Charles. The former had never heard their favorites orchestrated with the depth of soul brought to the table by Ray Charles, and fans of the genius singer had never before heard him indulging his love of country songwriting so deeply. Nashville had adapted to brass and strings in an attempt to create crossover hits, but their charts and players never swung with the sort of big band finesse and bravado of these arrangements, and their vocalists rarely found the grooves mined by Charles. The second volume, issued the same year, follows the same template, with Nashville standards rearranged and conducted by Gerald Wilson and Marty Paich, and recording split between New York and Hollywood.

Having been a country music fan since his youth, Charles evidently didn't hear any line that would separate him from the Nashville songbook. His recording supervisor, Sid Feller, was tasked with gathering songs, and ABC, thinking the whole ideas was a lark, left the pair alone to follow Charles' muse. The album spun off four hit singles, including a chart-topping remake of Don Gibson's "I Can't Stop Loving You" and a heartbreaking cover of Cindy Walker's "You Don't Know Me" that fell just one rung shy of the top. Marty Paich's strings brilliantly underline and shadow Charles' vocals, adding atmosphere without ever intruding or overwhelming the singer or the song.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
It's been 50 years now since the release of one of the most influential albums in the history of music. In 1962, at the height of the civil rights struggle, a prominent black "soul" music artist released an album of Country and Western standards, re-imagined with Soul, Gospel, Blues, and Jazz elements. (In hindsight, the strangest part of this story may be that a major record company would be willing to release it.)

"Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music" went on to spend 14 weeks at the top of the Billboard 200 "Pop Albums" chart, and four of its singles also charted, including "I Can't Stop Loving You" that reached #1 on the Hot 100 "Pop Singles" chart, as well as peaking at #1 on the Black Singles and Easy Listening charts. (It's worth noting that "I Can't Stop Loving You" was the second-to-last track on the B-side, the traditional spot for a throw-away song. There were no throw-aways on this album.)

The influence of the album has been both broad and deep. It is widely credited with re-vitalizing the ailing Country Music genre, which had been losing ground to Rock and Roll since the mid '50s. But even more astonishing was the influence it had on the civil rights movement. The album gained widespread sales and airplay throughout the south and had lasting impact on the production and performance of Country music. In 2004 music journalist Robert Christgau wrote, "Charles's down-home diction, cotton-field grit, corn-pone humor and overstated shows of emotion [became] standard operating procedure in American music, black and white." After Charles' death in 2004, Rolling Stone wrote, "Ray Charles made it acceptable for black people to sing country & western music, in the process doing almost as much to break down racial barriers as did the civil-rights movement.
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Format: Audio CD
Talk about a CD that showcases Ray Charles' incredible talent! He could sing, play piano, arrange music, write and more. These country and western songs shine bright when Ray Charles performs them with so much genuine emotion. I really love to hear Ray sing; he could do a lot with that voice of his. This also marks the first time that the songs from volume two are on CD; and this is great for Ray Charles fans and anyone who enjoys high quality control country and western timeless ballads.

"Bye Bye Love" is dynamic and Ray bats this straight out of the ballpark with a flawless musical arrangement. This is one awesome starting number for this CD! Other numbers that shine bright would have to include "You Don't Know Me" with that incredible arrangement while Ray sings this to perfection--and beyond; "Half As Much" with that incredibly sophisticated sound; the energetic "Just A Little Lovin'" with its fine drums and percussion; "Born To Lose" which was one of Ray's best known hits; "It Makes No Difference Now" showcasing Ray's incredible sense of timing; "You Win Again" with those fantastic strings and that chorus backing up Ray; the poignant "Careless Love;" "I Can't Stop Loving You" which is another of Ray's best known hits; "You Are My Sunshine" with a very creative arrangement that Ray aces as effortlessly as if it were mere breathing; "Don't Tell Me Your Troubles" with Ray handling complex tempo and key changes like the pro he was and always will be; "Take These Chains From My Heart" which features Ray squarely front and center as he sings this beautifully; "Your Cheating Heart" with Ray's excellent diction bolstering his performance and "Hang Your Head In Shame" which ends the CD leaving me wanting more.

It's no secret that Ray Charles was a giant amongst giants; he will never be forgotten. I'll treasure this album for years to come; it's a great Ray Charles album and it's a fine CD to add to your collection.
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