Ray Charles Statue - Greenville, FL
N 30° 28.151 W 083° 37.959
17R E 247246 N 3373722
Quick Description: This statue of Blues Hall of Fame member Ray Charles is located in Ray's childhood home of Greenville, Florida.
Location: Florida, United States
Date Posted: 1/24/2010 1:50:49 PM
Waymark Code: WM8459
The Ray Charles Memorial is located in Haffye Hays Park in Greenville. This full-size bronze statue was sculpted by Bradley Cooley and Bradley Cooley Jr. in 2005. In 1982, Ray Charles was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame. Some of his other honors include 17 Grammy Awards, Georgia State Music Hall of Fame, a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, Rhythm & Blues Foundation, ranked by Rolling Stone Magazine as #10 on their list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time, and the Hit Parade Hall of Fame.
A plaque near the statue reads as follows:
Ray Charles "R.C." Robinson
(September 30, 1930 - June 10, 2004)
The musical genius known to the world as Ray Charles was a native son of Greenville and known to his childhood playmates simply as "RC".
Shortly before his birth, Ray's mother, 'Reitha Robinson went to Albany, Georga to stay with relatives. About one month later, 'Reitha brought her son, Ray, back home to Greenville.
Ray grew up poor, and learned to play the piano from the owner of the Red Wing Cafe. At age 7, Ray's sight failed and he was sent to The School For Deaf and Blind in St. Augustine, where he continued his education and learned Braille. During holidays and summers, Ray returned to Greenville to visit his family and friends.
Ray was 15 when his mother died and he was on his own. He began to travel and exhibit his musical talents. The rest, as they say, is history. Over the years, Ray returned to his hometown from time to time, referring to it affectionately as "Greensville."
The roots of Ray Charles' musical genius started in Greenville, developing into a talent embraced by the world. He pioneered soul music and is considered one of the most outstanding musical talents of the century. His influence is felt in gospel, rhythm and blues, jazz, rock and roll and country music. The singer, pianist and bandleader was 74 when he died on June 10, 2004.
The life-size bronze likeness of Ray Charles at the keyboard was created by Bronze by Cooley and stands as a permanent memorial to the legendary musician from Greenville.
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