Musical genius Ray Charles says Elvis copied musical style of blacks; he's not 'The King.'
Legendary musician Ray Charles recently told the world what he thinks of Elvis Presley, who is known as the king of rock |n' roll. Appearing on the NBC news program Now [aka Now with Tom Brokaw and Katie Couric (BS)], Charles told Bob Costas that Elvis' main contribution was that he got white people to start listening to music that they normally wouldn't have listened to.
"I guess I'm going to lose at least a third of my fans," Charles, 63, conceded, as he spoke quite frankly about Elvis. "To say that Elvis was so outstanding, like they say, he's the king, I don't think of Elvis like that because I know too many artists that were far greater than Elvis."
He pointed out that, "Nat Cole got in trouble in Alabama when the women swooned over him. Got put out of town. And black people been going out shaking their behind for centuries. What the hell's so unusual about that?"
The superstar who learned to play the piano at age 3, and lost his sight to glaucoma at 7, said Elvis essentially copied the musical style of black artists.
"He was doing our kind of music. He was doing the Willie Mae Thornton Jailhouse Rock. That's black music. So what am I supposed to get so excited about, man? I think all that stuff about saying he's the king, that's a piece of bunk."
During the interview, Charles also told Costas that he's not a blues singer, a jazz singer, or a country singer. "But what I am is, I am a singer that can sing the blues, I am a singer that can sing jazz, I am a singer that can sing country. I don't specialize in nothing. I am a utility guy." When asked where he would go and what he would do if he could see for one day only, Charles replied: "Oh. I can't even imagine anything like that. I just don't know because I don't know of any place. If I could see for a day I would probably just stay where the hell I am and just smoke it over."