The Birth of a Legend: 1949-1952 Complete Down Beat · Swing Time Recordings (2-CD) Digipack
  • Down Beat
    Down Beat
  • Swing Time
    Swing Time
  • The Maxin Trio
    The Maxin Trio
  • Ray Charles
    Ray Charles

Ray Charles

The Birth of a Legend: 1949-1952 Complete Down Beat · Swing Time Recordings (2-CD) Digipack

Blue Moon Blues Series

Ray Charles (p, vcl), Maxin Trio & Orchestra, Gosady McKee, Oscar Moore (g), Milton S. Garred, Johnny Miller (b), Teddy Buckner (tp), Marshall Royal, Earl Brown (as), Jack McVea, Stanley Turrentine, Maurice Simon (ts)

Reference: BMCD 4007

Bar code: 8427328040075

Gatefold digipak, includes 32-page booklet with liner notes, credits, discography, lyrics, photos, illustrations and memorabilia.

Very little is known about Ray's earliest years -in the late forties and early fifties- when he was an impressionable piano player eager to leap into the burgeoning rhythm and blues scene. This has all changed with Ebony Records' recent release of his recordings for two small labels from 1949 to 1952.

The 2 CD deluxe-digipack set contains 41 songs, almost half of which are Ray Charles originals. The tale of these songs is almost as interesting as the songs themselves. A number of the songs have been re-issued on a variety of labels, though sometimes the names of the tunes were changed, and at other times, an organ or strings were overdubbed to give them a more modern feel. On still other tracks, Ray's voice was removed and his piano solo repeated. At last in this boxed set, everything returns to the way it was recorded over forty years ago.

Ray Charles will hopefully continue to give us years of wonderful music. Why not spend a little money and discover his wonderful roots with this fantastic double CD set.


Sample this album
Disc 1
Disc 2
Total time: 112:57 min.

CD 1
01. I Love You, I Love You (I Will Never Let You Go) (Lawrence) 2:40
02. Confession Blues (Charles) 2:31
03. Alone in the City (Charles) 2:57
04. Can Anyone Ask for More? (Charles) 2:49
05. Let's Have a Bal (Charles) 2:33
06. Rockin' Chair Blues (Charles) 2:46
07. If I Give You My Love (Leventhal) 2:38
08. Can't You See Darling? (Charles) 2:38
09. This Love of Mine (Parker-Sanicola-Sinatra) 3:03
10. How Long Blues (Carr) 2:36
11. Blues Before Sunrise (Carr) 2:50
12. A Sentimental Blues (York) 2:26
13. You Always Miss the Water (When the Well's Gone dry) (Andre) 2:49
14. Ain't That Fine (Hall) 2:18
15. Don't Put All Your Dreams in One Basket (Morgan) 2:51
16. Sitting on Top of the World (Chatmon-Vinson) 2:17
17. I've Had My Fun (Going Down Slow) (Oden) 2:43
18. C.C. Rider (Rainey-Traditional) 2:35
19. What Have I Done? (Charles) 2:33
20. Honey, Honey (Green) 2:43
21. She's on the Ball (Charles) 2:30

CD 2
01. Th' Ego Song (Glenn) 2:21
02. Late in the Evening Blues (Henry) 3:06
03. Someday (Charles) 3:10
04. I'll Do Anything But Work (Jones) 2:28
05. I Wonder Who's Kissing Her Now? (Adams-Hough-Howard) 2:20
06. All to Myself Alone (Charles) 2:00
07. Lonely Boy (Henry-Lauderdale) 2:50
08. Baby Let Me Hold Your Hand (Charles) 3:01
09. I'm Glad for Your Sake (Lawrence-Tinturin) 2:41
10. Baby Won't You Please Come Home (Warfield-Williams) 2:55
11. Kissa Me Baby (Charles) 3:10
12. Hey Now (Charles) 2:19
13. The Snow Is Falling (Leiber-Stoller) 2:49
14. Misery in My Heart (Charles) 3:04
15. Let Me Hear You Call My Name (Charles) 3:34
16. Why Did You Go? (Charles) 2:49
17. I'm Wonderin' and Wonderin' (Charles) 3:20
18. Walkin' and Talkin' (Charles) 3:10
19. Guitar Blues (Charles) 2:33
20. Back Home (Charles) 2:32

Album details

Original sources:
The encosed tracks were originally issued on the following 78 r.p.m. discs
CD 1: Down Beat / Swing Time #171, 178, 179, 211, 212, 215, 216, 217, 218
CD 2: Swing Time #228, 229, 249, 250, 274, 297, 300, 326

Personnel on CD 1

The Maxin Trio [#1-15]
Ray Charles (p & vcl), Gosady McKee (g), Mitchell 'Tiny' Webb (g on 10-15), Milton S. Garred (b on #1-9), Ralph Hamilton (b on #10-15).

Tracks #1-2 recorded in Seattle, February 1949
Tracks #3-15 recorded in Los Angeles, 1949

Ray Charles Trio [#16-21]
Ray Charles (p & vcl), Gosady McKee (g), Milton S. Garred (b).

Tracks #16-21 recorded in Los Angeles, 1950

Personnel on CD 2

Ray Charles with Orchestra [#1-4]
Ray Charles (p & vcl), Teddy Buckner (tp), Marshall Royal (as), Jack McVea (ts), Charles Waller (bs), Louis Speiginer (g), Billy Hadnott (b), Clifton 'Rudy' Pitts (d). ReRoy 'Snake' White (arr).

Recorded in Los Angeles, on May 26, 1950

Ray Charles Trio [#5-8]
Ray Charles (vcl, p, celeste on #6 & 8), Oscar Moore (g), Johnny Miller (d).

Recorded in Los Angeles, on November 24, 1950

Ray Charles [#9-10]
Ray Charles (p & vcl), with unknown guitar & bass.

Recorded in Los Angeles, 1951

Ray Charles with Orchestra [#11-14]
Ray Charles (p & vcl), Billy Brooks, Fleming Askew (tp), Marshall Royal, Earl Brown (as), Stanley Turrentine, Maurice Simon (ts), Charles Waller (bs), Frank McClure (b), Eddie Pipper (d).

Recorded in Los Angeles, 1951

Ray Charles [#15-18]
Ray Charles (p & vcl), with unknown guitar & bass.

Recorded in Los Angeles, 1952

Ray Charles [#19-20]
Ray Charles (p), Jack McVea (ts), with unknown guitar & drums.

Recorded in Los Angeles, 1952

All Los Angeles sessions were recorded at the Universal Recording Studios, that were located at 6757 Hollywood Boulevard.

Photographs of the original 78 rpm labels are by courtesy of of Steve C. LaVere
Lyrics of songs transcribed by Mike Baillie

Original sessions produced by Jack Lauderdale

Compiled and produced for CD release by Jordi Pujol

Note: Certain songs have appeared with different titles on subsequent labels and reissues. All the above tracks are as Ray Charles originally recorded them, but over the years some altered versions have been reissued on several labels, overdubbing an organ or drums, as well as adding strings and choirs.

Press reviews

"Of all the countless compilations that have been stitched together of Ray Charles' early sides for Jack Lauderdale's Swing Time Records, this two-disc box is the only CD package that treats these enormously important works with the reverent respect that they deserve (meaning decent mono sound quality instead of murky electronic reprocessed stereo dubbed from vinyl, cogent liner notes, and full discographical annotation). This is where the genius began, imitating Charles Brown at the very start (1949) and sounding like nobody but Brother Ray by 1952 (when he defected to Atlantic and hit the real big time). Forty-one tracks in all."

Bill Dahl (All Music Guide)


15,95 €  (tax incl.)

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