You Don’t Know Me

I clearly remember a light going on for me when I first heard Ray Charles. I was standing out on the sidewalk in front of my house on Sagamore Street, and I Can’t Stop Loving You was coming over the radio. I was maybe twelve years old. I had never cared much for the doo-wop and the staid pop music of the fifties and sixties, but suddenly, for the first time, I felt enthusiastic about the music. I suppose Ray did that for a lot of people, he was that good. Certainly he did it for me. Ray Charles’ music has been a joy, a great positive in my life, for all of my life.

You Don’t Know Me was one of Ray’s first ventures into country-western. The song was written in the early 1950’s and was a hit for Eddie Arnold. Ray Charles takes the song and makes it his own. In the sixties, the lyrics acquired social significance as a sort of anthem or statement of the Black people’s situation via a vis white America: “You Don’t Know Me”. It’s simply a great song. If you never heard Ray Charles do this one, then check it out. Meanwhile you’ll have to make due with Bumba’s feeble efforts.

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