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.
I never wanted to be famous. I only wanted to be great.
Learning to read music in Braille and play by ear helped me develop a damn good memory.
I don`t know what would have happened to me if I hadn`t been able to hear.
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.
Love is a special word, and I use it only when I mean it. You say the word too much and it becomes cheap.
Music is my life, professionally, for nearly 60 years. To be recognized by the academy is still the highest honor.
There are many spokes on the wheel of life. First, we`re here to explore new possibilities.
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.
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.
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.
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.
My music had roots which I`d dug up from my own childhood, musical roots buried in the darkest soil.
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.
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.
The fact of the matter is, you don`t give up what`s natural. Anything I`ve fantasized about, I`ve done.
"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."