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Ray: A Tribute to the Movie, the Music, and the Man (Newmarket Pictorial Moviebooks)by Taylor Hackford
Synopses & Reviews
Ray Charles has the distinction of being both a national treasure and an international phenomenon. By the early 1960s Ray Charles had accomplished his dream. He'd come of age musically. He'd made it to Carnegie Hall. He had taken virtually every form of popular music and broken through its boundaries with such awe-inspiring achievements as the LPs "Genius Plus Soul Equals Jazz" and "Modern Sounds in Country & Western." Through his efforts, rhythm & blues (or "race music" as it had been called) became universally respectable, jazz found a mainstream audience it had never previously enjoyed, and country & western music began to chart an unexpected course to general acceptance, then worldwide popularity. And along the way Ray Charles was instrumental in the invention of rock & roll. Jamie Foxx (Any Given Sunday, All) is Ray Charles in this high-energy film portrait of an exceptional man who became one of America's most famous icons. Born into abject poverty in the segregated south, Ray lost his sight at the age of 7 under tragic circumstances. Inspired by the love and mental strength of his single, working mother, Charles developed the fierce resolve, wit, and incredible talent that would eventually enable him to overcome not only Jim Crow racism and the cruel prejudices against the blind, but also to discover his own unique musical style, which twice revolutionized American popular music. Nonetheless, as Ray's unprecedented fame grew, so did his weakness for drugs and women, until it threatened to destroy everything he held dear. This stranger-than-fiction tale of an African American's meteoric rise out of poverty and racism, his incredible struggle to compete successfully in a sightedworld, and his ultimate victory over his own personal demons makes for an inspiring and unforgettable true story of human triumph. Unchain My Heart also starts Regina King (Jerry Maguire, Daddy Day Care), Larenz Tate (Menace 2 Society, A Man Apart) and Kerry Washington. In ad
"This handsome book is as much an homage to musical genius Ray Charles as it is a behind-the-scenes look at how a film was made about his life. Although the bulk of the text is made up of the film's screenplay, it's the accompanying images of Charles and of Jamie Foxx (who plays Charles in the film), as well as the insightful essays (by Foxx, director Taylor Hackford, music supervisor Curt Sobel, producer Stuart Benjamin and others), that make up the book's best parts. Some spreads juxtapose separate-yet eerily similar-photos of Charles and Foxx; others, taken prior to Charles's June 2004 death, show the two artists laughing together. The informative articles explain various aspects of the filmmaking process (e.g., how the filmmakers made prosthetics for Foxx to wear over his eyes so that he could experience blindness). Other pieces discuss how the filmmakers depicted such aspects of Charles's life as the tiny, 'ultra poor enclave' he grew up in; the trauma of watching his four-year-old brother drown in a washtub; his bold departure from his hometown when he was only 17 (and blind); his struggle with heroin addiction; and his groundbreaking, controversial fusing of blues with gospel music. 204 color photos." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
Book News Annotation:
The screenplay and many stills from the movie starring Jamie Foxx as Ray Charles are included in this slightly oversize (9.25x11.25") volume. Not indexed.
Annotation ©2004 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
A stunning tribute hardcover gift book and full-color companion to the film—the never-before-told life story of American music legend Ray Charles—directed by Taylor Hackford, starring Jamie Foxx.
Born in a poor town in Georgia, Ray Charles went blind at the age of seven shortly after witnessing his younger brother's accidental death. Inspired by a fiercely independent mother who insisted he make his own way in the world, Charles found his calling and his gift behind a piano keyboard. The soulful singer exploded with worldwide fame when he pioneered an inimitable style incorporating gospel, rhythm and blues, country, orchestral, and jazz influences. As he revolutionized the way people appreciated music, he simultaneously fought segregation in the very clubs that launched him and championed artists' rights within the corporate music business. Ray provides an unflinching portrait of Charles' musical genius as he overcomes personal demons while transforming into one of this country's most beloved performers.
The Newmarket Pictorial Moviebook includes the complete screenplay illustrated throughout with movie stills, historical photos, storyboards, and commentary by friends, musicians, and historians, as well as complete cast and crew credits, and original introductions by director Taylor Hackford and actor Jamie Foxx. In addition, the book showcases a special 16-page tribute section on Ray Charles created after his death on June 10 with excerpts of articles and eulogies. 204 color photos.
About the Author
Taylor Hackford directed Against All Odds, An Officer and a Gentleman, Proof of Life, Everybody's All-American, and The Devil's Advocate.
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