I was inspired to re-watch the bio-pic Ray after recently touring the Capitol Records building in Hollywood and learning that scenes from the 2004 film about the life of music legend Ray Charles had been shot in one of their recording studios.
Photo Courtesy Ray Charles Foundation
Director Taylor Hackford does a superb job on the commentary track of the DVD, describing in detail how the film was put together ~ what's real (most of it) and what portions were cinematically crafted to tell a 73-year-long story in 153 minutes.
Brother Ray had an incredible ride through this world, from the lowest lows to the highest highs and left behind a unique, unmatched legacy when he passed on June 10, 2004. For the unaquainted, you can read all about him at his offical website, including updates about his 80th Birthday Celebration this year.
He was laid to rest eight days after his death at Inglewood Park Cemetery in Los Angeles County, Calif., entombed within the Mausoleum of the Golden West in a modest-looking wall crypt that bears his birth name, Ray Charles Robinson. A treble clef aptly serves as the dash between his birth and death years.
The Eternal Love Corridor where he rests is simply gorgeous, awash in (mainly) natural light that pours in from stained glass ceiling panels above and a niche wall nearby. I found it to be quite peaceful there. If you stand quietly and listen closely while paying respects, you too just might hear the faint sounds of one particular angel leading a heavenly choir in your heart's ear.
Want to know more about Mr. Charles? Here's some worthwhile links to explore:
Official Ray Charles (RayCharles.com)
The Ray Charles Legacy (Twitter)
Ray Charles: Proud to be a Legend by Lawrence Christon (Los Angeles Times 12/24/1986)
Ray Charles Memorial Page (Findagrave.com)
The Death of Ray Charles by Scott Michaels (Findadeath.com)
Ray Charles' Funeral (National Public Radio)
Of the countless songs in the Ray Charles catalog (love, love, love A Song For You) here's my pick to wrap this up, one of my favorites ~ Seven Spanish Angels with Willie Nelson, courtesy of the WillieNelsonVevo channel: