Ray Charles Robinson was born on September 23, 1930 in Albany Georgia. His
father was Bailey Robinson, a railroad repair man, and his mother was
'Retha. His father never married his mother. His legal wife was Mary Jane,
who also helped to raise Charles.
By the time he was three, young Charles was learning to play the piano.
When he was five his brother, who was three at the time, drowned. A few
months later Charles got the disease that would make him go blind by the
time he was seven.
After he became totally blind at the age of seven, Charles went to a
school for the blind in St. Augustine, Florida, where he learned to play
the trumpet, the saxophone, the clarinet, and organ, though his preferred
instrument is still the piano.
When Charles was 15, his mother died from food poisoning. He decided to
become a musician soon afterwards and he set out on his own. He played with
various band throughout Florida until he was seventeen. He then wanted to
get as far away as possible from Tampa and also stay in the United...
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