Ray Charles was a famous American music composer, singer and piano player.
Charles is known as a music genius, partly because of the way in which his songs crossed genres. He blazed a trail in the early days of blues, gospel, country, jazz, soul and rock and roll.
His music was—and still is—inspirational to millions of people around the world.
Charles had many mega-hits. Some of best-known are “Georgia On My Mind,” “Hit the Road Jack,” and “What’d I Say.”
On Monday, the U.S. Postal Service honoured Ray Charles by putting his image on a postage stamp.
The stamp is part of the “Music Icons Forever” series.
The stamp features an image of Charles by photographer Yves Carrere. It was designed to look like an old 45 rpm record sleeve.
Ray Charles earned 17 Grammy Awards, which recognizes outstanding achievement in music. It is one of the highest honours a musician can earn.
Charles was also given a National Medal of Arts in 1993 and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986.
He has performed for seven U.S. presidents: Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush Sr., Clinton and Bush Jr.
The stamp can be used on any mail that requires a regular, $.46 American postage stamp.
Along with the Ray Charles Forever stamp, the U.S. Postal Service also released a CD with a collection of 13 “remastered” classic songs by Ray Charles.
By Kathleen Tilly
Some of Ray Charles’ most famous songs are: “Georgia On My Mind,” “Hit the Road Jack,” and “What’d I Say.”
Listen to one of these songs in your class. What do you think the song is about? How does it make you feel when you listen to it? How would you describe Ray Charles’ style of music?
Listen to the song again. As you listen to the song, paint a picture of the song in your mind. Once you have a clear picture in your head, draw that image using any materials your have available. You want to make sure to show the emotions in the song in your piece of artwork so think carefully about the colour and details that you draw.
Reading Prompt: Extending Understanding
If you were to design the next postage stamp, who would you feature on it? Why did you pick this person? Design what the stamp would look like and explain your design to a friend.
Express personal opinions about ideas presented in texts (OME, Reading: 1.6).
Extend understanding of texts by connecting the ideas in them to their own knowledge, experience, and insights, to other familiar texts, and to the world around them (OME, Reading: 1.6).
Extend understanding of texts, including increasingly complex or difficult texts, by connecting the ideas in them to their own knowledge, experience, and insights, to other familiar texts, and to the world around them (OME, Reading: 1.6).
Grammar Feature: Commas in a list
Commas are sometimes used to separate items in a list. Read through the article carefully and circle all of the commas in the article. How many times are commas used to separate items in a list? What rule did the journalist follow when she wrote the lists (hint: what word does she add before the last item in a list)?