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203: Aretha Franklin & Ray Charles: ‘Spirit in the Dark’

I’m about to submit myself to a month-long prayer marathon, be bored out of my mind, try to seriously ponder my destiny for the coming year, and sneak in an occasional thought about Aretha and Ray’s ‘Spirit in the Dark’.

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103: Little Stevie Wonder, ‘Fingertips’

Little Stevie Wonder recorded ‘Fingertips’ at the age of 12 – a fledgling perhaps, but certainly not innocent. Rhythm and blues was born of the unholy coupling of gospel and the profane. There’s a fervor brewing here that may have begun on the altar in the church choir, but reached its pitch afterwards up in the balcony with some willing young soprano. The lad knows of whence he sings.

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196: Ray Charles, ‘You Don’t Know Me’

Ray pretty much invented soul and then cornered the market. Instead of leaving well enough alone, he went and invaded Nashville, dressing a string of Country and Western classics in his jazz/pop/soul style, but with fiercely personal interpretations. Something new under the sun. Something indelibly beautiful.

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