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Oct 5, 2007

Was Ray Charles really blind?!?!

I got some promotional material this week from the folks at KingFest. They included a piece written by a Don Bird. It seems Don has been a well-known figure in the Canadian music business for many years and he attended last June's KingFest Music Festival at Seneca College, writing a review on it and highly praising the festival. There was a pointer to Don's website in the piece and I looked him up. I went to his Blog site also and read his latest entry, which was a personal tribute to Doug 'Dr. Music' Riley, who recently passed away in Toronto. Don and Doug worked together for several years, ostensibly writing commercial jingles. Don told how Doug Riley had worked on an album with Ray Charles, writing, arranging, playing and living at Ray Charles home in the southern U.S., for a while. Don says Doug recalled Ray Charles' chauffeur taking them home one evening, when he suddenly pulled over, stopped the car, and Ray Charles got behind the wheel and drove the rest of the way home. Doug Riley was freaked out. He found out the Charles also flew his own planes and mixed his sessions in the studio. Go to to read about this in detail. Don Bird calls his blog posts 'Bird Droppings' and there are some interesting entries.
Have a great Thanksgiving. BtheB

1 comment:


I spent time with Ray Charles; played the piano with him a few times - he was blind, and it's too bad that stories like this exist.