Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music: Wikis


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Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music
Studio album by Ray Charles
Released April 1962
Recorded February 5–7, 1962
Capitol Studios
(New York, New York)
February 15, 1962
United Recording Studios
(Hollywood, California)
Genre R&B, country soul, pop, piano blues, jazz
Length 39:33
Label ABC-Paramount
Producer Ray Charles, Sid Feller
Ray Charles chronology
The Genius After Hours
Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music
Modern Sounds, Vol. 2
Singles from Modern Sounds
  1. "I Can't Stop Loving You"
    Released: 1962
  2. "Born to Lose"
    Released: 1962
  3. "You Don't Know Me"
    Released: 1962
  4. "Careless Love"
    Released: 1962

Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music is a studio album by American R&B and soul musician Ray Charles, released in April 1962 on ABC-Paramount Records. Recording sessions for the album took place in early to mid-February 1962 at Capitol Studios in New York City and at United Recording Studios in Hollywood, California. Production was handled entirely by Charles and renown conductor Sid Feller. A departure from Charles's previous work, the album features country, folk, and Western music standards covered and redone by Charles in popular song forms of the time, including R&B, pop, and jazz.

As his fifth LP release for ABC-Paramount, Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music became a rapid critical and commercial success as it brought Ray Charles further mainstream notice, following his tenure for Atlantic Records. With the help of the album's four charting singles, Charles earned recognition in the pop market, as well as airplay on both R&B and country radio stations. Modern Sounds and its lead single, "I Can't Stop Loving You", were both certified gold in sales by the Recording Industry Association of America on July 19, 1962, as each record had sold half a million copies in the United States.

Regarded by many critics as Charles's best studio album, Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music has been considered by several music writers to be a landmark album in American music. The album's integration of soul and country music bent racial barriers in popular music, amid the height of the African-American civil rights struggle. In the process of recording the album, Charles became one of the first African-American musicians to exercise complete artistic control over his own recording career. In 2003, the album was ranked number 104 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.




After his Atlantic Records contract had ended, Ray Charles signed with ABC-Paramount Records in November 1959, obtaining a much more liberal contract than other artists had at the time.[1] Following his commercial and pop crossover breakthrough with the hit single "What'd I Say" earlier that year, ABC offered Charles a $ 50,000 annual advance, higher royalties than previously offered and eventual ownership of his masters — a very valuable and lucrative deal at the time.[2] Composed by Charles himself, the single furthered Charles's mainstream appeal, while becoming a Top 10 pop hit and selling a million copies in the United States, despite the ban placed on the record by some radio stations, in response to the song's sexually-suggestive lyrics.[3] However, by the time of the release of the instrumental jazz LP Genius + Soul = Jazz (1960) for ABC's subsidiary label Impulse!, Charles had virtually given up on writing original material and had begun to follow his eclectic impulses as an interpreter.[3]

With his first hit single for ABC-Paramount, Charles received national acclaim and a Grammy Award for the Sid Feller-produced "Georgia on My Mind", originally written by composers Stuart Gorrell and Hoagy Carmichael, released as a single by Charles in 1960.[3][4] The song served as Charles's first work with Feller, who arranged and conducted the recording. Charles also earned another Grammy for the follow-up "Hit the Road Jack", written by R&B singer Percy Mayfield.[5] By late 1961, Charles had expanded his small road ensemble to a full-scale big band, partly as a response to increasing royalties and touring fees, becoming one of the few black artists to crossover into mainstream pop with such a level of creative control.[3][6] This success, however, came to a momentary halt in November 1961, as a police search into Charles's hotel room in Indianapolis, Indiana during a concert tour led to the discovery of heroin in his medicine cabinet. The case was eventually dropped, as the search lacked a proper warrant by the police, and Charles soon returned his focus on music and recording.[6]


Following his blues fusion with gospel and jazz influences on his earlier Atlantic material, which had brought him much fame and controversy, Charles sought to experiment with country music.[7] As noted by himself in the liner notes for What'd I Say (1959), Charles was influenced by the genre in his youth, stating that he "used to play piano in a hillbilly band" and that he believed that he "could do a good job with the right hillbilly song today."[8] At Atlantic, he attempted to incorporate this style and influence with his cover of country singer Hank Snow's "I'm Movin' On". Charles later said about the song, "When I heard Hank Snow sing 'Moving On', I loved it. And the lyrics. Keep in mind, I’m a singer, so I like lyrics. Those lyrics are great, so that’s what made me want to do it."[1] The "I'm Movin' On" sessions were his last for Atlantic.[6] Charles's recording of his acclaimed studio effort The Genius of Ray Charles (1959) brought him closer to expressing his jazz and pop crossover ambitions. Described by one music critic as "the most important of his albums for Atlantic", the record was the first to introduce Charles's musical approach of blending his brassy R&B sound with the more middle of the road, pop-oriented style, while performing in the presence of a big band ensemble.[9] Recording of the album, as well his ABC-Paramount debut, The Genius Hits the Road (1960), a collection of place-name songs devoted to parts of the United States, expanded on Charles's thematic and conceptually-organized approach to albums rather than commercially successful singles production.[9] Inspired by this approach and his recording of "I'm Movin' On", Charles originally made plans for a single-less concept album.[8][10]

When Charles had announced that he wanted to work on an album of country music in 1961, during a period of racial segregation and tension in the United States, he received generally negative commentary and feedback from his peers, including fellow R&B musicians and ABC-Paramount executives.[1] The country album concept, however, meant more to Charles as a test of his record label's faith and respect to his artistic freedom rather than a test of social tolerance among listeners amid racial distinctions of country and R&B.[6] Fueled by his esteem for creative control, Charles pitched the idea of a country album to ABC representatives.[6] Following the successful lobby of the concept and a contract renewal in early 1962, which was linked to the launching of his own Tangerine label, Charles prepared his band for the recording sessions that produced Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music.[6]


Charles and Sid Feller in studio, 1962

The recording sessions for Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music took place at three sessions in mid-February 1962. The first two sessions were set on February 5 and 7 at Capitol Studios in New York, New York, at which one half of the album was recorded and produced. The other half was recorded on February 15 of that same year at United Recording Studios in Hollywood, California.[11] Instead of drawing what he should record from memory and his knowledge of country music, Charles asked his newly appointed A&R (Artists and Repertoire) man and record producer Sid Feller to research top country standards through major country music publishers.[6] By canvassing premier country publishing companies, such as Acuff-Rose Publishing (which featured the Hank Williams catalog) and Hill & Range Songs, most of which were located in Nashville, Tennessee, Feller amassed around 250 songs on tape for Charles to consider recording for Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music. From New York City, Feller sent the recordings to Charles, who was living in California at the time, for him to choose and later recalled the experience:

[H]e listened to all of them to see which one he could make a Ray Charles record with. A Ray Charles version. Not copy a country & western singer's version. So in other words, by hearing the original, he knew what he didn't want to do. So consequently, he made up his own things, and some of the things he made up, you know, the melodies themselves are interpretations. Some of the ballads, that were so beautiful, he just made it sound like Ray Charles made it up, even though he was singing the exact melody of the original. And yet when Ray Charles sings it, it sounds like a brand new song.[6]
Sid Feller

As the selected compositions provided the country and western foundation for the album, the musical arrangements represented the album's modern component. Eager to display his big band ensemble in a studio session, Ray Charles enlisted premier jazz arrangers Gerald Wilson and Gil Fuller, while Marty Paich, who was previously active in West Coast jazz, was hired to arrange the lush strings and chorus numbers.[12] Despite enlisting a roster of professional arrangers and musicians, Charles intended to control the artistic direction of the sound and concept of the recordings. In order to indicate the specific licks he wanted emphasized, Charles would put together voice-and-piano demos and pass them along to the arrangers, which informed them of what he wanted to do with specific sounds. According to Feller, at one point during the recording process, Charles rewrote an entire botched arrangement and dictate the parts to each backing musician, as there were eighteen in total.[6] As the arrangers would do their best to interpret his musical preference, Charles's focus was set on the material and his take on the country and western tunes that he had chosen for Modern Sounds,[12] which would serve as his eighteenth LP release overall.[13] According to Charles, the title of the album was conceived by producer Sid Feller and his affiliates, including the executives and management experts of the ABC-Paramount label.[14]


Lyrical themes

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The lyrical themes present on the album consist mostly of heartbreak and love, while most of the material chosen by Charles were ballads as well. The concept which had originally attracted the interest of Charles to this style of music was the strength he admired in writing such a ballad's somber or melancholy lyrics and then performing the ballad beautifully and with emotional stability; an element he had found to be common in even the most diverse musical genres.[14] Writer Daniel Cooper later wrote on the similarity of most of the album's material, in terms of theme and style, stating "His country forays play like a series of intricate variations or like one long meditation on the expansive qualities of music commonly described as the white man's blues."[14]

Despite the racial and social implications of R&B and country at the time, Charles did not agree with contemporary views of race records and other genres, including pop and country, as essentially different.[10] Charles shared his view on the lyrical similarities of the blues and country music in an interview with Ben Fong-Torres of Rolling Stone, stating "[T]he words to country songs are very earthy like the blues, see, very down. They're not as dressed up, and the people are very honest and say, 'Look, I miss you, darlin', so I went out and I got drunk in this bar.' That's the way you say it. Where in Tin Pan Alley will say, 'Oh, I missed you darling, so I went to this restaurant and I sat down and I had dinner for one.' That's cleaned up now, you see? But country songs and the blues is like it is."[10]

In an interview with music historian Peter Guralnick, Charles further elaborated on his understanding of this by saying, "You take country music, you take black music, you got the same goddamn thing exactly."[14] While Modern Sounds features mostly covers of country and western music standards, its sound and musical style are marked by the heavy rhythm and blues influence of Charles's playing. A considerable amount of the material's melancholy lyrics and words are backed by piano and orchestral arrangements that are rooted in jazz, as well as West Coast and Charles's style of piano blues.[15]


The opening track on Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music, "Bye Bye Love", originally a hit for the Everly Brothers in 1957, was reinvented by Charles with the accompaniment of Gerald Wilson's brassy arrangement. "You Don't Know Me", a Nashville Sound-tune written by country musicians Eddy Arnold and Cindy Walker in 1955, features a bittersweet melody, while the folk song "Careless Love" features Charles slightly augmenting the lyrics. The former became a great success when it was released as a single and Charles's version of the song has been noted as the best by many critics. Music writer Bill Janovitz later wrote of Charles's cover of "You Don't Know Me":

The genius, the pathos, and the soul that is Charles oozes into this recording, offsetting any gloss and sheen in the string-and-vocal-ensemble-laden production. His unmistakable voice aches with unrequited love and desire, longs for a woman that does not even see him as "just a friend/That's all I've ever been/For you don't know me." No matter how many times one hears the song, it still induces chills down the spine after the narrator blows any chance he might have had and is left alone at the end.[16]
Bill Janovitz

Both composed by Hank Williams, "You Win Again" and "Hey, Good Lookin'" are derived from Williams's different emotional perspective. The difference is further accentuated by Charles's interpretations of the songs.[12] "I Can't Stop Loving You", a countrypolitan ballad with lush, cushioned arrangements, was placed at the 11th spot in the track listing, assumed by Sid Feller to be the album's weakest song, after which becoming the album's top-selling single. Charles was disappointed with him, as Feller was in charge of sequencing for the album.[12] A component of Modern Sounds is creative reliance on honky tonk musician Floyd Tillman's songwriting, covering the heartbreak ballads "It Makes No Difference Now" and "I Love You So Much It Hurts". The Ted Daffan-penned "Worried Mind" and "Born to Lose" expand his take on country balladry and feature a blend of piano blues with string arrangements.[17]


Commercial performance

Flyer issued by ABC in promotion of Modern Sounds in C & W, 1962

Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music became one of the best-selling albums recorded by a black musician of the time, as well as one of the best-selling country albums,[7] selling over 500,000 copies in its first three months of release.[18] This achievement was due in part to the mainstream promotional efforts Modern Sounds had received from ABC prior to and following release.[19] The album proved to be crossover hit as well, as distributors claimed the record had been selling in pop, R&B and country music markets; at the time, often referred to as white and black markets during the period.[19]

Upon the album's release in early April 1962 in both mono and stereo format,[20][21] a reviewer for Billboard magazine claimed that "In addition to being powerful dealer material, this package will fracture knowledgeable jockeys who will find in it a wealth of material to talk about as well as play."[19] By mid-April, reports of the album's sales and radio airplay had started coming in from cities such as Dallas and Philadelphia. On June 23, 1962, the mono issue of Modern Sounds replaced the West Side Story soundtrack album as the number one album in the United States, knocking it off the top of the Billboard Pop Albums chart.[19] The album spawned four charting singles, "Born to Lose", "Careless Love", "I Can't Stop Loving You" and "You Don't Know Me", the latter two of which went number one on the Adult Contemporary chart.[22] The hit singles quickly gained a significant amount of radio airplay on both country and R&B stations.[23] By mid-May, the album's lead single, "I Can't Stop Loving You", had sold 700,000 copies within its first four weeks of release.[19] Record dealers began describing the album as "equal in sales action to some of the early Presley disks" and, after moving 400,000 copies of the single, influential Atlanta record distributor Gwen Kestler told Billboard magazine that "the record is so hot in her district that people who don't even own record players are buying it."[19] "I Can't Stop Loving You" hit number one on the Billboard Pop Singles chart on June 2, spending five consecutive weeks at the top of the chart. By the time it fell off the top, the single was reported to have reached nearly a million-and-a-half sales, moving over 100,000 copies per week.

While Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music and its hit singles were earning massive sales in the United States, Ray Charles was touring Europe with his big band and the Raelettes. Charles performed both his signature R&B and jazz material at such venues as Paris Olympia and the Hot Club de France, where he was hailed as "a true jazz artist in the tradition of Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington."[19] Upon his return to the United States at the end of the summer, ABC-Paramount had officially recognized his achievements, presenting Charles with two gold records — one for "I Can't Stop Loving You", the other for his Modern Sounds album — during a live concert performance at the Convention Hall in Asbury Park, New Jersey.[19] Through his ventures into country music and the European jazz scene, Charles's white audience grew significantly at concerts.[19] The album was quickly followed by another recording of country, western and pop standards covered by Charles, and recorded in September 1962. Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music, Vol. 2 was released six months after the first volume and proved to be equally successful, while also earning a gold certification by the following year.[18][24] Following his tenure with ABC-Paramount, Charles later went on to achieve more commercial success recording country music under Warner Bros. Records throughout most of the 1970s and 1980s.[25]

Critical response

 Professional ratings
Source Rating
Allmusic 5/5 stars[26]
Billboard (favorable)[27]
Blender 4/5 stars[28]
Country Weekly 5/5 stars[29]
Los Angeles Times (favorable)[30]
Q 5/5 stars[17]
Rolling Stone 5/5 stars[9]
Time (favorable)[31]
Virgin Encyclopedia 5/5 stars[32]
Yahoo! Music (favorable)[33]

Critical recognition of the album upon initial release was mostly favorable with general praise coming from music critics of rhythm & blues and country music.[24] "I Can't Stop Loving You" later earned Charles a Grammy Award for Best Rhythm & Blues Recording at the 1963 Grammys,[34] while Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music was nominated for Album of the Year.[35] Following the years leading up to the subsequent reissue of Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music in 1988, the album's legacy and reputation continued to build, as did Charles's reputation in country music. The album soon received praise from critics for Charles's fashion and style of interpreting country music into the R&B language.[25] In a review for Allmusic, critic Stephen Cook called the album a "fine store of inimitable interpretations", and also stated "Less modern for its country-R&B blend and lushly produced C&W tone than for its place as a high-profile crossover hit, Modern Sounds in Country and Western fit right in with Ray Charles's expansive musical ways while on the Atlantic label in the '50s ... Charles's intones the sleepy-blue nuances of country crooners while still giving the songs a needed kick with his gospel outbursts."[26] Journalist John Morthland later wrote of Modern Sounds, describing it as a "landmark LP of transcendent vocals set against kitschy orchestrations that (along with early rock 'n' roll) illuminated black-white roots connections for a popular audience."[36]

"I Can't Stop Loving You" was later ranked #49 on Country Music Television's list of the 100 Greatest Songs of Country Music.[37] Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music was ranked #97 on VH1's 2001 list of the 100 Greatest Rock 'n' Roll Albums and #16 on Blender magazine's 2002 publication of The 100 Greatest American Albums of All Time.[35][38] The album was also ranked #2 on Country Music Television's list of the 40 Greatest Albums.[39] In 1999, the album was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame, as was "I Can't Stop Loving You" in 2001. Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music was cited by The Recording Academy as a recording of "historical significance".[40] In a November 2003 issue of Rolling Stone magazine, Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music was ranked #104 on the magazine's list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time, one of Charles's two entries and his highest ranking on the list; it is accompanied only by his The Genius of Ray Charles at #263.[41]


Country music

Charles and Johnny Cash performing on The Johnny Cash Show, 1970

Following the massive commercial success and notice of Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music, country music experienced an immediate increase in popularity. According to music writer Daniel Cooper, "the album raised the genre's profile", specifically Nashville sound, of which Charles had covered.[14] Benefiting from this were songwriters, music publishers and country singers who covered the subgenre's material. As noted by Cooper, by the end of 1962, Nashville country publishers were being held as "the hottest source of music material in the record business these days."[14]

Ray Charles's success with the stylistic fusion of country and soul on Modern Sounds later lead to country soul efforts from performers, such as Candi Staton and Solomon Burke who were both greatly influenced by Charles's Modern Sounds recordings.[42] Many country music artists, such as Willie Nelson and Buck Owens, have cited Charles's take on country music and Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music as their major influences.[7] In an interview for Country Music Television, Nelson said of Modern Sounds's influence that the album "did more for country music than any one artist has ever done."[42] Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music has also been perceived by many critics and writers as a landmark album in American music, as the record was the first to blend the two racially distinct genres of country and soul. On the legacy of country soul and Modern Sounds, columnist Doug Freeman of the Austin Chronicle wrote of Charles's influence through the album, stating:

Country and soul have always had a tenuous connection, undoubtedly exacerbated by the racial identifications of their respective fanbases. Yet despite the perceived disconnect between the two genres, the populist formats of both have always been more fluid and contiguous than is traditionally recognized. Elvis’ melding of country and R&B may even arguably be considered the genesis of rock & roll, though that middle ground has largely only served to allow soul and country to remain segregated. With his 1962 Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music, Ray Charles created the benchmark for crossing the line, highlighting the similarities in sentiment often overshadowed by sound.[43]
Doug Freeman

Summing up on the impact Modern Sounds had on country music and listeners, writer Daniel Cooper later wrote, "There is no telling how many people, who perhaps never paid much attention to country music or even had professed to dislike it, listened anew based on the impact of having heard what Ray Charles was capable of doing with that music."[44] Charles eventually earned a country music repertoire and reputation following the success of the Modern Sounds records, later country hit singles for Warner Bros. Records, and various appearances at country music events, including The Johnny Cash Show in 1970 and the Grand Ole Opry's 58th anniversary in 1983, the program to which he listened to as a youth.[45]

Social impact

Following the album's release, Charles quickly earned an influx of white listeners and audiences at concert venues, without experiencing a fall-out from his predominantly black audience.[44] Writer Daniel Cooper later said of the album's effect, "It's an idea as corny as any country song you can think of, and one that Charles knew to be true; music unites people. It just really does."[44] Throughout the years following its initial reception, Modern Sounds gained further acknowledgment of its impact on the music industry and society. Through conceiving and recording the album, Charles became one of the first African-American musicians to receive and practice artistic control bestowed upon by a mainstream record company.[7] In a 1998 interview, country musician Raul Malo acknowledged the album's influence, calling it "one of the most important records of our time, not only because of its content, but also due to its social and political ramifications."[46] In a July 8, 2004 article for Rolling Stone magazine, music journalist Robert Christgau praised the impact and influence that the Modern Sounds recordings had on music, stating "In the world it created, not only could a black person sing the American songbook Ella Fitzgerald owned by then, but a country black person could take it over. Soon Charles's down-home diction, cotton-field grit, corn-pone humor and overstated shows of emotion were standard operating procedure in American music, black and white."[47]

In addition to its social implications, the musical integration of soul and country into popular format by Charles changed and revolutionized racial boundaries and restraints in music, and contributed to the historical Civil Rights Movement.[31] Robert Fontenot of was one of several writers to praise the album's musical and social implications, stating "Arguably one of the most brilliant interpretive albums ever released, it did more to integrate modern American music than almost any other LP in history."[48] In paying tribute to the magazine's selection of the 100 Greatest Singers of All Time, which had selected Charles at #2, singer-songwriter Billy Joel noted the album's racial and social impact in an article for Rolling Stone, stating "here is a black man giving you the whitest possible music in the blackest possible way, while all hell is breaking loose with the civil rights movement."[49] Another article for Rolling Stone, written in honor of Charles and his achievements, later stated that through his Modern Sounds recordings, Ray Charles "made it acceptable for black people to sing country & western music, in the process doing almost as much to break down racial barriers as did the civil-rights movement."[50]

Subsequent work by Charles

In addition to the album's legacy as one of the most influential recordings of all time, Modern Sounds also had an effect on Charles's later work.[7] According to writer Nate Guidry, the recording marked the zenith of Charles's popularity and success.[51] By the mid-1960s and continuing into the 1970s and 1980s, the majority of his musical output was focused onto more middle of the road and pop releases, featuring less of his recognizable, trademark soul and R&B, and more of the crossover and fusion tendencies of Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music. On the album's influence, columnist Spencer Leigh of The Independent stated that "Numerous artists followed Charles's lead, but it must be said that Charles himself repeated the trick much too often."[52] The period of releases following Modern Sounds, which includes the musician's later recording years as well, has been recognized by music writers and critics as a "critical slide" and the weakest in his recording career.[7][9][10] Several of the LP albums from this period have yet to be reissued and have remained rare among record collectors, if not out of print.[9] Charles's final studio album Genius Loves Company (2004) would later be released shortly after his death, and proved to be a comeback success, in terms of sales and critical response, as it quickly became Charles's first top-10 album in forty years and the best-selling record of his career.[53][54]

On October 27, 1998, Rhino Entertainment issued a four-disc box set entitled The Complete Country & Western Recordings: 1959–1986, which chronicles Charles's country and western recordings. The collection features the two volumes of Modern Sounds, as well as his later country singles for the Warner Bros..[55] Included in the set is a hardcover booklet of essays by producer Sid Feller, writer Daniel Cooper, and Ray Charles, along with liner photography by Howard Morehead and Les Leverett.[56] On June 2, 2009, both volumes of Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music were reissued as a single package by Concord Music.[57] The reissue was also included as a download in the iTunes Store.[58]

Track listing

Original LP

All tracks produced by Ray Charles and Sid Feller.

Side one
  1. "Bye Bye Love" (F. Bryant, B. Bryant) – 2:09
  2. "You Don't Know Me" (Arnold, Walker) – 3:14
  3. "Half as Much" (C. Williams) – 3:24
  4. "I Love You So Much It Hurts" (Tillman) – 3:33
  5. "Just a Little Lovin' (Will Go a Long Way)" (Arnold, Clements) – 3:26
  6. "Born to Lose" (Brown) – 3:15
Side two
  1. "Worried Mind" (Daffan, Davis) – 2:54
  2. "It Makes No Difference Now" (Tillman, Davis) – 3:30
  3. "You Win Again" (H. Williams) – 3:29
  4. "Careless Love" (Traditional, Charles) – 3:56
  5. "I Can't Stop Loving You" (Gibson) – 4:13
  6. "Hey, Good Lookin'" (H. Williams) – 2:10

CD reissue

1988 Rhino reissue of Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music

The album was later reissued on compact disc by the specialty record label Rhino Entertainment in October 1988. This re-release of Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music featured photography from the Michael Ochs Archives and bonus material recorded by Ray Charles for the ABC-Paramount label.[11]

  1. "Bye Bye Love" – 2:12
  2. "You Don't Know Me" – 3:16
  3. "Half as Much" – 3:28
  4. "I Love You So Much It Hurts" – 3:35
  5. "Just a Little Lovin' (Will Go a Long Way)" – 3:29
  6. "Born to Lose" – 3:18
  7. "Worried Mind" – 2:57
  8. "It Makes No Difference Now" – 3:36
  9. "You Win Again" – 3:31
  10. "Careless Love" – 4:01
  11. "I Can't Stop Loving You" – 4:14
  12. "Hey, Good Lookin'" – 2:14
    Bonus tracks
  13. "You Are My Sunshine" (Davis, Mitchell) – 3:01
  14. "Here We Go Again" (Lanier, Steagall) – 3:18
  15. "That Lucky Old Sun (Just Rolls Around Heaven)" (Gillespie) – 4:21

Chart history

Year Chart Peak position[59]
1962 U.S. Pop Albums chart #1 (14 weeks)
Year Single Peak positions[60]
Pop Singles Black Singles Easy Listening
1962 "Born to Lose" 41
"Careless Love" 60
"I Can't Stop Loving You" 1 1 1
"You Don't Know Me" 2 5 1
"—" denotes a release that did not chart.


The information regarding accolades attributed to Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music is adapted from[35]

Publication Country Accolade Year Rank
Blender United States The 100 Greatest American Albums of All time 2002 16
Blender U.S. 500 CDs You Must Own Before You Die 2003 *
Elvis Costello (Vanity Fair, Issue No. 483) U.S. 500 Albums You Need 2005 *
Fast 'n' Bulbous U.S. The Best Albums from 1949–64 2005 85
Greil Marcus U.S. STRANDED: "Treasure Island" Albums 1979 *
Pause & Play U.S. Albums Inducted into a Time Capsule, One Album per Week 2008 *
The Recording Academy U.S. Grammy Hall of Fame Albums and Songs 1999 *
The Review (University of Delaware) U.S. 100 Greatest Albums of All Time 2001 88
Robert Dimery U.S. 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die 2005 *
Rolling Stone U.S. The Essential 200 Rock Records 1997 *
Rolling Stone U.S. The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time 2003 104
Stereophile U.S. 40 Years of Stereophile: The 40 Essential Albums 2002 *
Time U.S. Top 100 Albums of All Time 2006 *
VH1 U.S. The 100 Greatest Albums of R 'N' R 2001 97
Various writers U.S. Albums: 50 Years of Great Recordings 2005 *
John Tobler United Kingdom 100 Great Albums of the Sixties 1994 *
Paul Morley U.K. Words and Music: 100 Greatest Albums of All Time 2003 *
Exposure Canada 50 Greatest Albums not to make the Greatest Albums lists 2005 10

(*) designates lists that are unordered.


  • Engineers:
    • Frank Abbey (tracks: 1, 3, 5, 8 ,10, 12)
    • Bill Putnam (tracks: 2, 4, 6, 7, 9, 11, 15)
    • Gene Thompson (tracks: 1, 3, 5, 8 ,10, 12)
    • Bob Arnold (tracks: 15), Johnny Cue (tracks: 13)
  • Joe Adams – producer (tracks: 14)
  • Sid Feller – producer (tracks: 1 to 13, 15)
  • Todd Everett – liner notes
  • Bill Inglot, Ken Perry – remastering
  • Hugh Bell, Michael Ochs Archives – photography (album cover, liner notes)


  1. ^ a b c breath of life » RAY CHARLES / “I Can’t Stop Loving You”. Kalamu. Retrieved on 2008-08-13.
  2. ^ RS Biography - Ray Charles 1930-2004. Rolling Stone. Retrieved on 2008-08-14.
  3. ^ a b c d Ray Charles, Bluesy Essence of Soul. The New York Times Company. Retrieved on 2008-12-12.
  4. ^ The RS 500 Greatest Songs of All Time: 44) Georgia on My Mind. Rolling Stone. Retrieved on 2008-08-14.
  5. ^ Hit The Road Jack by Ray Charles Songfacts. Songfacts. Retrieved on 2008-08-14.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i Cooper (1998), pp. 20–22.
  7. ^ a b c d e f VH1 (2003), p. 210.
  8. ^ a b Cooper (1998), p. 13.
  9. ^ a b c d e Hoard, Christian. "Review: Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music". Rolling Stone: 154–156. November 2, 2004.
  10. ^ a b c d The Rolling Stone Interview: Ray Charles. Rolling Stone. Retrieved on 2008-11-09.
  11. ^ a b Discogs - Modern Sounds (1988 reissue). Discogs. Retrieved on 2008-08-13.
  12. ^ a b c d Cooper (1998), pp. 23–25.
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