"I never considered myself part of rock `n` roll. My stuff was more adult. It was more difficult for teenagers to relate to; my stuff was filled with more despair than anything you`d associate with rock `n` roll. Since I couldn`t see people dancing, I didn`t write jitterbugs or twists. I wrote rhythms that moved me. My style required pure heart singing."
The fact of the matter is, you don`t give up what`s natural. Anything I`ve fantasized about, I`ve done.
I did it to myself. It wasn`t society... it wasn`t a pusher, it wasn`t being blind or being black or being poor. It was all my doing.
Music`s been around a long time, and there`s going to be music long after Ray Charles is dead. I just want to make my mark, leave something musically good behind. If it`s a big record, that`s the frosting on the cake, but music`s the main meal.
My music had roots which I`d dug up from my own childhood, musical roots buried in the darkest soil.
Affluence separates people. Poverty knits `em together. You got some sugar and I don`t; I borrow some of yours. Next month you might not have any flour; well, I`ll give you some of mine.
What is a soul? It`s like electricity - we don`t really know what it is, but it`s a force that can light a room.
What makes my approach special is that I do different things. I do jazz, blues, country music and so forth. I do them all, like a good utility man.
My version of "Georgia" became the state song of Georgia. That was a big thing for me, man. It really touched me. Here is a state that used to lynch people like me suddenly declaring my version of a song as its state song. That is touching.
There are many spokes on the wheel of life. First, we`re here to explore new possibilities.
Music is my life, professionally, for nearly 60 years. To be recognized by the academy is still the highest honor.
Love is a special word, and I use it only when I mean it. You say the word too much and it becomes cheap.
There`s nothing written in the Bible, Old or New testament, that says, ``If you believe in Me, you ain`t going to have no troubles.
I don`t know what would have happened to me if I hadn`t been able to hear.
Learning to read music in Braille and play by ear helped me develop a damn good memory.
I never wanted to be famous. I only wanted to be great.
I was born with music inside me. Music was one of my parts. Like my ribs, my kidneys, my liver, my heart. Like my blood. It was a force already within me when I arrived on the scene. It was a necessity for me-like food or water.