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Ray Charles (Conductor)
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    (September 13, 1918-April 6, 2015)
    Born in Chicago, Illinois
    Birth name was Charles Raymond Offenberg
    Conductor/vocal arranger/singer/musician
    Organized and led the Ray Charles Singers
    The Ray Charles Singers recorded over 30 easy-listening albums and were a fixture on Perry Como's TV show
    If you bought one of his albums thinking you were getting one by the other Ray Charles, you were in for a surprise.
    One critic said of his many albums, 'Virtually none is distinguishable from another except by the artwork on the cover, and few are worth plucking from your local thrift store bin.'
    He inspired the background singers' joke: 'I'm doing an album with Ray Charles next week.' 'Which one - the one who's blind or the one who's deaf?'
    He changed his name to Ray Charles a decade before that other Ray Charles did.
    He served as musical consultant for The Muppet Show and the Kennedy Center Honors.
    He sang the male vocal on 'Come And Knock On Our Door' (the Three's Company theme song).
    He wrote 'Fifty Nifty United States' and 'Letters, We Get Letters' (used as the viewer mail theme on The Late Show with David Letterman).

Credit: C. Fishel

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