"You Are Never Far Away From Me" - the Ray Charles Singers
- The Ray Charles Singers
Marie Kettler catches up with Ray Charles at a Tustin party.
Ray Charles is the stage name of Charles Raymond Offenberg (born September 13, 1918, in Chicago, Illinois), an American musician, songwriter, and vocal conductor. He is best known for a series of easy listening record albums which he produced in the 1950s and 1960s as the Ray Charles Singers. This vocal group also sang backup on most of the recordings of Perry Como from 1950 to 1987, and Charles and his singers also appeared with Como in his live performances and on television. The Ray Charles Singers (with Charles featured prominently as lead male vocalist) sang the theme song to the television series Three's Company ("Come and Knock on Our Door"). He is sometimes known humorously as "The Other Ray Charles" to distinguish him from the great soul musician of the same name.
The Ray Charles Singers had a number of hit singles and albums, reaching number three on the pop charts in 1964 with one of the most successful easy listening singles of the '60s, "Love Me with All Your Heart (Cuando Caliente el Sol),"
As a songwriter, Charles is best known for the choral anthem "Fifty Nifty United States," in which he set the names of the states to music in alphabetical order. He also wrote some Christmas songs and other special musical material associated with Como. He has also worked in television with Bob Hope, Glen Campbell, and the Muppets. He continues to serve as a musical consultant to television programs.