It is down to my mother.
Mum never, as far as I know, ever played a musical instrument, or even showed any desire to do so, but she sang and sang. She sang when doing the housework and sang along with the radio. She did stop singing now and again, to watch cricket, or to obsess about Tom Jones.
But it was not Jones, nor some of her other favourite singers such as
Nana Mouskouri that interested me, it was Ray Charles.
There was one record of hers I played, Careless Love, It introduced to be to the blues. And it was the blues I followed. From the delta blues of Robert Johnson, through BB King to the heavy rock of Led Zeppelin or big band jazz. It was all the blues, was derived from the blues or contained the blues.
This music was far from the music my mother listened to. But it all tarted with one of her favourites.
So here’s Ray Charles with Careless Love. It isn’t the most definitive Ray Charles song, nor is it the best version of Careless love (that has to be Bessie Smith’s version with Louis Armstrong on cornet).
But here’s Ray. Decause to me that is where it began. Thanks Mum.