Ray (2004) - full transcript

The story of Ray Charles, music legend. Told in his adult live with flashbacks to his youth we see his humble origins in Florida, his turbulent childhood which included losing his brother and then his sight, his rise as pianist in a touring band, his writing his own songs and running his own band and then stardom. Also includes his addiction to drugs and its affect on his working life and family life.

♪ J'[music playing]


N[woman singing]

Always remember
your promise to me.

Never let nobody or nothing
turn you into no cripple.

[birds cawing]

(bus driver)
All right!

Rest stop, 45 minutes.

Come on, folks.
We gotta move.

We leave at 2:45 p.m.
on the dot. Can't be late.

Hot meals
and bathrooms inside.

All right, uh, there's a
window out back

for y'all to buy sandwiches.

And I suggest you make
good use of them outhouses.

Ain't nothing but bushes
for you in the Carolinas.


[people chattering]

Can I help you, sir?

Yes, sir.


Who you riding with?

Nobody. Just me.

Boy, I can't take

for some blind nigger
traveling 3,500 miles alone.

L--|--l paid for this here
ticket, and it says

that you have to take me
to Seattle.

Don't you be smarting off
to me, boy.

With all due respect, sir,
I earned the right.

I may have left my eyes
on Omaha Beach,

but I ain't asking no charity
from Uncle Sam.

I got a job waiting
for me in Seattle.

You were in Normandy?

Shuttling troopers
to the beach.

We took a direct hit.

I'm sorry, son.

[sighs] I'll keep an
eye on you myself.

Come on.
Take a seat in the back.

♪ J'[Anytime by
Ray Charles playing]

♪ Any time 4“

♪ You're feeling lonely a“

♪ Anytime 4“

♪ You're feeling blue a“

♪ Anytime 4“

♪ Anytime you feel
down hearted a'

♪ That will prove
your love for me is true a'

♪ Anytime 4“

♪ You're thinkin' about me N

Til, what the hell
do you think you're doin'?

Billy, don't get
your feathers all ruffled now.

I met this 0l' boy over
at the O.C. at Clarkfield,

and well, he plays
a mean jazz piano.

I don't care if he whistles
Dixie out his ass.

He ain't gonna
do it here.


Boy, are you blind?

Yes, sir.
Since I was seven.

Well, let me help you
out then.

This is a country band.

We don't play
no boogie-woogie.

Uh, yes, I understand.
I love country music.

All right, go on.
Tell me.

What is it you love
about country music?

I--I love the stories.

Uh, you know,
about fallin' in love

and having love
knock you around

and then the pressures
of the world on you so tough.

It--it makes you
feel small.

You want to give
your soul to God.

You might as well.
Your ass belongs to Him.


Boy, are you sure
you blind?

Last time I checked.

♪ J'[piano playing]

Okay. Come on in.

I think you're outvoted.

Til, one hint of trouble,

and your blind nigra's
out of here.



I'm gonna have
to put some glasses

before he scares
somebody half to death.

(bus driver)
Seattle, Washington, folks.

Change bus here
for all points north:

Bellingham, Mount Vernon.

Vancouver, Canada.

[people chattering]

♪ J'[trumpet playing]

Uh, that's Diz. Emanon.

Yeah. But what's it
spell backwards?

Ah--ah--ah, come on, man.

Why don't you give me
something difficult?

"No Name."

Say, daddy-o,
what ax you play?

Uh, piano.

Just blew in
from Tampa, Florida.

Me and my partner,
Gossie McGee, came here,

you know, want to
fatten up our style.

Cop some licks from some more
experienced cats. You dig?

You know what?

Why don't you let me
take you inside?

You know,
show you around.

All right. Perfect gentleman.

This is just
like my place.

So, what's your name?

Ray Robinson.

I'm Quincy Jones.

Quincy Jones.

Hey, Gerry!
This here's my man, Ray.

He's here to see his friend,
Gossie McGee.

So I figured
I'll show him inside--

Don't mess with me, Q.
He can come in, but not you.

Vice is on my ass for letting
you underage kids in.

Get out of here, Q.

Can't you see--
Get out of here, Q.

He's blind! I gotta show him in.
Get out.


Hey, Ray Robinson, when am I
gonna hear you play, baby?

Uh, well,
that may cost you.

Welcome, all you cool cats
and fine felines.

You've come to the place where
the sophisti-cats and hipsters

hang their bebop hats.

So snuggle up
and come near

for tonight is Talent Night
at The Rocking Chair.

Let's hear it
for Dancin' Al!

♪ J'[drums playing]

Gossie's been c:attin' around with one
of my waitresses since he got here.

He never told me that his
partner was a blind 'Bama boy.

Demurs just called.

Thurmond's sick.

What about Sassy?

Flat tire.

Okay, 'Bama. Why don't you get on
up there and show me what you got?

Well, I-I'm not prepared to do
my thing right now, tonight--

This is the only audition
you're going to get, puddin'.

So either get on up there, or you and
Gossie can haul your asses back down South.

Here. Smoke some of this.



This ain't no tobacco, man.

No, hold it in,
it'll calm you down.

All right, Oberon.

Get on up there
and introduce him.

Yes, ma'am.

Okay, 'Bama. Let's go.


Now, I got something special
for all you satin dolls.

And I don't mean
Oberon's big thunder.

[women laughing]

Now that's
for another show.

Now we got some
new blood for ya.

Yeah, straight off
the bus from Florida,

I give you Ray "Don't
Call Me Sugar" Robinson!

[man clapping]

How y'all doing tonight?

Better than you!

[all chuckling]

Relax, Ray. Relax.

I got it.

Uh-uh, what do y'all
want to hear?

(Aretha) How about a
little Nat King Cole?

Y'all like Nat King Cole?

♪ If you ever plan
to travel west ♪

'Bama ain't bad.

(Oberon) Yeah, I'd say
he saved our asses.

[woman chattering]

What the hell is
Ray doin' up there?

Auditioning for you,

He ain't no good without me.

How'd you and the 'Bama like to
do a week here at the Chair?

I know a good bass player.

A nice jazz trio could score
big with the right manager.


Come on now, Gossie,
don't be so small-minded.

You know
you've got to give to get.

Now what exactly do I
have to give?

25 percent.

But I'll be gettin' you
other gigs.

All right,
next question: What do I get?

What do you need?

Double scale as leader,
plus 10 percent.

What about the 'Bama?

He's about as green
as a blade of grass.

I can handle him.

♪ Flagstaff, Arizona ♪

Yeah, he's green.

♪ Kingman, Barstow ♪

So, Gossie,
you don't need to worry

about a hotel room
for the 'Bama.

He can flop at my place.

Hey, y'all never change.

♪ Get your kicks
on Route sixty-six N

Ray, you coming back to bed?

I'm getting some water.

I can see that,
but mama ain't finished yet.

For the first time anywhere,

let's hear it
for The McSon Trio!

♪ A buzzard took the monkey
for a ride in the air ♪

♪ The monkey thought that
everything was on the square ♪

(Marlene) Ray, when
you coming out?

In a minute.

Mama's got some more blackberry
cobbler for you, baby.


[people chattering]

♪ Straighten up
and fly right ♪

♪ Cool down, papa,
don't you blow your top N

[all cheering]

(Ray) Marlene, if you're
gonna send us out on tour,

(Ray) Marlene, if you're
gonna send us out on tour,

we're gonna need
more than $5 a day.

How come we can't get paid
after each gig?

Because you boys will spend
everything you make.

The club sends the checks
to me, so as I can bank them.

I just want to see
my own checks, that's all.

You don't see, Ray.
You're blind, baby.

Or did you forget?

Now, you want to go out on your
own and see how well you do?

(Quincy) Ray! Hey,
Marlene, where's Ray?

(Marlene) He's in the back bedroom.
And wipe your feet.


Ray, uh, six-nine, where you at?
Six-nine. Six-nine.


Lionel Hampton just asked me to
go on the road with him, man!

Lionel Hampton, man!

Sure he did.
Then why you still here?

And dig this: His wife, she
kicked me off the tour bus.

Told me to come back when I started
shaving. You believe that?

Uh--uh, Seven-oh, could you do me a
favor, man, and close that bag for me?

What's wrong? You got two hands.
You can olose it yourself.

I got two feet, too.
Could you close it?

I got it.

Excuse me, sir!

Man, we're gonna be late.

I got to get
my own place, Gossie.

Why? I mean,
you got free rent right now.

Like hell it's free rent.


Oh, come on, Ray.

Why you gonna mess
with a good thing?

All I'm saying is you keep
layin' that pipe with Marlene,

and I bet you she's gonna
make us all rich.

Hey, sir, excuse me!

[people chattering]

♪ Straighten up
and fly right ♪

♪ Straighten up
and stay right ♪

♪ Straighten up
and fly right ♪

♪ Cool down, papa ♪

♪ Don't you blow your top N

[all cheering]

[man whistling]

(Oberon) Just back from
their triumphant tour

of the Yakima Valley,
The McSon Trio!

They'll be back right here,

same time, same place,
next week.

[people chattering]

Hey, baby, you sound more like
Nat than the King himself.

What's your name?

Ray Robinson.

Ray Robinson?

I'm Jack Lauderdale,
Swing Time Records.

Oh, hey--hey, hey, Jack!
How you doing, man?

Oh, good.

How about us makin'
a record together?

Oh, yeah, yeah.
Hell, yeah! Let's do that.

Can I help you?

I don't think so.

We're just talking
a little business.

Then you need to talk to me,
'cause I'm his manager.

Whichever way
the wind blows.

It's blowing.

Jack Lauderdale,
Swing Time Records.

Marlene Andres.

(Gossie) Gossie McGee.
Gossie McGee.

Great set, baby.

We're going to talk
with Mr. Lauderdale here.

Come on, Jack.
I'm buying.

I'm coming in, uh,
to talk to him.

You are doing
a fabulous job!

Yes, man.

Eh, look, let's talk to him
about this record.

Hey, no, no, we're gonna
let Marlene handle that.

You get Oberon
to call you a cab, all right.

Great set, Ray.


Hey, daddy-o, want a smoke?

I got some gage,
fresh off the boat.

It's clean and seedless.

So that's how it is, huh?

You keep me high
while they talk the business?

I ain't the one
playing you, man.

Oberon, listen...

You know, Marlene and Gossie are the
ones running the game on you, Ray.


They sliced up the pie
the first night you played.

35 percent off the top.

Plus Gossie's
double scale as leader.

If anybody's leading the band,

I'm the one
that's the leader.

Forget the b0' humps.
You know what?

L--I'm--I'm gonna go
my own way.

Who's gonna
book your gigs?

Marlene's got you locked up.

And she ain't gonna give up
her golden goose.

♪ Straighten up
and fly right ♪

♪ Cool down, papa,
don't you blow your top N

Hey, Ray Robinson,
you are fantastic.

There you go.
Give me some skin.

What's that?

Jack's card.

I got his number
at the hotel.

♪ J'[trumpet playing]

(Ray) Come on, Q. It's
not that complicated.

Now let's just play it again.

That's a B flat,
C 7, scale it up,

and triple it off
the back end.

Yeah, nigger!
Yeah, that's it.

Ray, what did I tell you
about cookin' in the dark?

Are you tryin'
to burn the house down?

Think about it, Marlene. Uh--uh,
What do I need the light for?

Well, you don't need
to be cookin' anyway.

We brought you
takeout from Oscar's.

Well, get your money back.

I got fried chicken
right here.

Come on, Seven-oh,
try this.

Yeah! About time.

Hey, that's home-cooked,
right there.

Mmm, no, thank you.

This chicken
is the mostest, huh.

Just needs a little hot sauce
and it'll be perfect.

Yeah. So, what did
Jack Lauderdale have to say?

Oh, I clocked him
comin' out the gate.

He's a two-bit hustler.

Oh, I see.

Yeah, turns out the only hit
that Swing Time ever had

was Open the Door, Richard,
which was a joke record.

Uh--uh--uh, what about him
recordin' me?

Oh, he'll record you,
if we pay the freight.

Scratch a liar,
find a thief.

What's that
supposed to mean?


(Ray) You see I saw Jack
Lauderdale tonight,

and he gave me a $500
advance on my record.

He also said he'll put me
on the road with Lowell Fulson

and pay me three times
what you pay.

Now, that's a lie!

Hey, no way he's not gonna put some
blind man on the road. Think about it.

I mean, you--you need
watchin' out for.

And he ain't got the time to
look after you the way I do.

Is that what you've been doing, Gossie?
VVatc:hin' out for me?

Is that why you get
paid double what I do?

Who told you that?

It's true, ain't it?

You two have been
gaming me since I got here.

Ray, baby, listen--
I ain't listening to you!

Ray, I've--I've been meaning
to talk to you aboutthat

Then why aren't you talkin'?

Um, look, Ray, Ray,
let's not do nothin' stupid.

I might be blind,
but I ain't stupid!

Q., get my bag
from upstairs.

Get it!

Wha-- right now?

Ray, man, we done been
through a whole lot.

(Marlene) Ray, now wait a minute.
I can explain everything.

Think about what you're doing.

Ray, Ray, now you're makin'
a big mistake.

That clown is spoutin'
promises that he can't keep.

You'd be a fool
to follow him.

Ray, Ray,
we'll make a new deal!

Whatever makes you happy!

The deal is
you can lay the pipe now.

You'll break your neck going down
these stairs by yourself. Hang on.

Oh, man.

Ray, I ain't never seen you do
nothing like that, man. Never.

That ain't nothing,

[children chattering]

[child laughing]

Stop cheating, Ray.

(Young Ray) George, you can't catch me.
Come on.


Come on, George.

Aretha Robinson,
have you lost your mind?

Eula, you promised to split every
wash basket with me, fair and square!

And I did!

Hell, you did!

You charge white folks
one thing and pay me another.

Now who's gonna
wash these?

You can.
Now pay me my money!

[man chattering]

Okay, I'm a-giving you
your two little dollars.

But don't you be expectin'
no more work out of me!

I got all I need
out of you.

Ray and George, come on!

(Eula) That's right.
Get out of my yard

and don't y'all
never come back!

[children chattering]

Y'all got to learn
to read and write real good,

so you never have to work
for people like that.

Scratch a liar,
find a thief.


Yes, Mama.

[people chattering]

♪ J'[piano playing]

(Jack) Smell that, Ray.
Smell the success.

We're in LA, man,

the place where the Negro
comes to spread his wings.

(Ray) You--you know, man, I know
my ears ain't deceivin' me.

Is that Art Tatum?

It sure is, baby.
You want to meet him?

L--l can't meet him.
A-Art Tatum is the most.

♪ J'[piano playing]

So, Ray, we got to talk about
your name, man: Robinson.

Sugar Ray got the Robinson
franchise all sewed up.

So I'm thinkin' we go with
your middle name, Charles.

As in, Ray Charles.

I don't care
what you call me, man,

just as long as my name's
on the record.

But we're gonna
toast to that.

Hey, what's the haps, Jack?

Oh, my goodness.
Give me some skin.

What's up, baby?
How you doin'?

(Jack) Lowell Fulson, meet your
new piano player: Ray Charles.

Ray Charles,
the blind sensation.

Ow! Damn! I'm gonna use that
on the album cover.

He's really
the sensation.

L--l love your music,
Mr. Fulson.

Uh, the man's got taste.

Hey, and the man ain't
been on the road

with a band before,
so now you take care of him.

Like my own brother.



I'm gonna be right back.

All right.

(Lowell) Yeah, you got
the one on the left.

Look here,
let me do the talking.

♪ J'[piano playing]

Don't go inside that place.

You know what Mama said.

Go home
and don't tell Mama nothin'.

Go, George.

[horse snorting]

George, get out of here!

[men chattering]

♪ J'[piano playing]

[people chattering]

Hey, boy,
who let you in?

You must be
Aretha's son, huh?

Yes, sir.
Ray Charles Robinson.

I've been seeing you
sneakin' around here.

You like the piano, huh?

Come on, you want
to learn how to play?

Come on over here.

Let me show you how to play.
Come on.

I'm gonna teach you
how to play.

What we'll do, I'm gonna teach
you three notes, right?

This is the first note,
right here.


Play that.

And here's the second note,
right here.

Play that.

Here's the third note.

Now, here's the way
it goes.

Listen closely, now.

Play that.


Try the other notes.

Every club we hit,

it's your responsibility
to rehearse the band.

These are some
lazy-ass bastards,

so you gotta make sure
that they don't slough off.

You gotta be ready
and dressed to open the show.

Now, Lowell likes to take
a nap before he goes on.

You just do your thing until
he feels like c:omin' out.

And when Lowell's playin',
you keep the band sharp.

Uh--uh, just one thing.


Did Jack tell you that
I have to be paid in singles?

You just do your job,
you're gonna get your money.

♪ Baby, come on, down ♪

♪ Your daddy's
in the heart of town ♪

♪ Come on down ♪

♪ Your daddy's
in the heart of town ♪

[all chattering]

How'd you get the name
Fathead anyway?

Why do they call me

Nah, you don't want to hear.

But this is what
I really want to know.

Do any of you
fine young ladies know

where we can get a nice steak
this time of night?

You mean something big,
thick, and juicy?

Oh, yeah,
that's just what I mean.

[women laughing]

Fathead, where you guys
headed, man?

I ain't babysittin'
no blind cat.

Uh, I'm sorry, Ray,

but, uh, the law says
there's only six to a cab.

Come on, ladies,
let's get out of here.

[all laughing]

[door closes]

♪ J'[piano playing]

[birds chirping]

♪ Everyday ♪

♪ Everyday I have the blues ♪

♪ Everyday, everyday ♪

[all laughing]

(Jimmy) Pay up, baby!
Yeah, that's all right.

I been shootin' craps
since I was 12 years old.

Don't never shoot craps
on a white woman's grave.

Why not?

It's bad luck.

♪ You know bad luck
and trouble, people a'

♪ Well, you know
I had my share ♪

[man chattering]

That's for being
late to the bus.

you a low-down piece--

You better move on.

Ah, Mr. One-dollar Bill.

$5, $10, $15, $20--

Now, you like to start
counting that again?

All right, damn you.

$284, $285...

Listen, man, I ain't
no damn seein'-eye dog.

♪ You know ain't nobody
worried about me a'

♪ I don't see nobody,
nobody cryin' N

[people chattering]

Fathead, open up. Open up.
I got to take a leak.

[men chattering]

Hey, what you doing, man?
Close the door, Fat!

Say, Ray, we'll be in here
for a little while.

Use the women's can,
down there on your right.

I don't want to use
the women's can.

This way.

[door closes]

[men chattering]

[men chattering]


Oh, God!

Say, Ray,
you all right?

Yeah, I must have slipped
on the wet.

There's a pipe broke.

There's water everywhere.
You see it?

(Jimmy) Let's go, man.
Close the door.

All right,
quit playing, Ray.

We'll be in here a while.
Now go on now!

[door closes]

[men chattering]

Where you from, Ray?

North Florida.

Oh, North Florida boy.

Your people
still down there?


All right.

Hey, uh, pardon me
for askin',

but how do you
get around so good

without a cane
or a dog?

How do you get around so good
without a cane or dog?

I'm sorry.
I didn't mean to pry.

My ears got to be
my eyes, man. lts--

Everything sounds different.

You know that's why
I wear hard-soled shoes,

so I can hear my footsteps
echo off the wall.

So when I pass by an open
doorway, the sound changes.

Wow. That's cool.

You know you got to learn pretty quick
if you want to get around on your own.


You know, during the war,
there was a whole lot

I had to learn fast,
or I wouldn't be here.

Seein' that much death
ain't natural.

Yeah, seein' death
ain't natural.

[cow mooing]

Boys, get from
'round that still.

Y'all know
better than that.

Come on, catch me.


Stay from 'round this fire
and get clean.

Dinner will be ready soon.

Hear me, Ray?


No, you didn't.
You missed me.

Stop cheatin', Ray.

Okay, you got me.

But I got you back.

I'm not playin' no more.


(George) Come on, Ray.
Let's go swimmin'.

Let's go swim
in Mama's washtub.

Ray, come on, Ray,
play with me.

You better get down
before Mama sees you.

I'm a giant!


Some giant.

Come on, George.
I ain't playin' this game.

That ain't funny.

[rooster crowing]

Boys, I got some field peas
and rice cooking.

And there's that smothered
corn left from yesterday.

And if you're real good, I might
have two pieces of peach cobbler.

Ray, didn't I tell you
to get in this house?

Dear God, no!

[man shouting]

That's Aretha's boy!

Breathe, baby, breathe.

Just breathe, baby, breathe.
Let it out!

Let it out, please!

Breathe for your mama, now.

Come on, George.

Why didn't you do somethin'?

Why didn't you call me?

Help us, Lord!

The Lord done took him home.

[woman screaming]

[tires screeching]

All right.

Food and piss stop.
Open it up.

The food is hot.
You've got 45 minutes.

I could eat a horse.
Where's it?

Follow your nose.
Right over there.



45 minutes
ain't enough time.

We need more
than that, Jack.

Not to eat,
you don't.

Now if you got other business,
you better choose,

because this bus
is rollin' on time.

Come on, Mercedes got
a washroom in the back.

And you,
you can smell it.


Yes, sir?

Uh, could you help me
in there?

Sure thing, Ray.

Hey, Mercedes.

Hey,baby. I hope you wiped your
feet before you came in here.

There you go. Come on.
Take that.

The bathroom's right there
in front of you.


You want me
to fix you a plate?

Uh, no, I'm--I'm fine.

All right.

Sweet potato pie it is.

Whoo, let's go, man.

That was a long
bus ride, wasn't it?

Oh, come on, man.

Hey, man!
The can's down the hall.

I know where the can is.
What y'all doing?

Do yourself a favor
and leave.

I'll leave when
I'm gettin' ready to leave.

Come on, Fathead,
I want in.

This ain't no weed, Ray.

And we ain't
snorting no bitch.

This is boy.

Boy'll make your ass
null and void.

So get on out of here, man.

Null and void,
just like my life.

I'll be right at home.

Look, I ain't gonna
wait all night.

Hell, it's his funeral, man.

Ray, let's go get
something to eat.

when I get a taste.

Ray... (Jimmy) What
you gonna do, man?

This train's pullin' out,

I ain't having nothin'
to do with this.

I warned you, Ray.
(Jimmy) Come on, man.

I been warned.

Sit down, Ray. Right there.

I'm gonna take you
on a little ride.

It'll cost you, though.
You got some cash?

Will this do?

That'll do.

Where you been?
Where them other fools?

Come on,
get it while it's hot!

(Jimmy) You're going to
feel a little pinch.

I ain't givin'
up on you, boy.


Just take the ride.

It's better than sex.

There ain't nothin'
better than sex.

♪ We Will walk' ♪

♪ through the streets
of the city ♪

♪ Of the city ♪

♪ Where our loved ones ♪

♪ have gone on before ♪

♪ We will stand on the banks ♪

♪ of the river ♪

♪ Of the river ♪

♪ Where we'll meet ♪

♪ to part no more ♪


Y I pray ♪

Y I pray ♪

♪ Be free from now on ♪

♪ Pray to you, Lord ♪

♪ Where our true ones
have gone ♪

♪ Gone before ♪

♪ Gone before ♪

♪ We will stand on the banks ♪

♪ of the river ♪

♪ Where we'll meet ♪

♪ to part no more N


[rooster crowing]

Ray, come on, let me put this
salve on I got from Dr. McLeod.

No, I don't like it.
It stings.

BOY, get up here.

I paid a whole dollar for it.
It better work.

Now hold up your head,
like the doctor says.

This is gonna
make you feel better.


Ray, come on in
for dinner.

Ray, I won't beat around
the bush with you.

You're goin' blind.

The dootor's sayin' there's nothing they
can do, so we got to do it ourselves.

Yes, ma'am, I know, but--

Stop it.

Stop it right now.

We ain't got no time
for no tears.

Ain't nobody gonna
have no pity on you

just 'cause
you're goin' blind.

Now wipe them eyes.

Yes, ma'am.

Okay, I'll show you
how to do something once.

I'll help you
if you mess up twice.

But the third time,
you're on your own,

'cause that's the way
it is in the world.

All right,
now get up.

Remember, you goin' blind,
but you ain't stupid.

Remember how many stairs
there were?


Good. You're gonna have to
learn how to use your memory.

Now turn around.

I want you
to hold out your hands,

and use them as your eyes,
and find the door.

That's real good, baby.

♪ J'[music playing]


♪ Baby,
let me hold your hand ♪

♪ Till I make you understand ♪

X on, baby r

♪ Let me hold your hand ♪

♪ I really true believe ♪

This fool makes one record, and you'd
think he's the star of the band.

Well, he's got somethin',
ain't he?

His wax won't
even hit the charts.

You're still the man.

♪ I want you to know ♪

♪ I'm in love N

She wasn't that fine.

There's somethin'
wrong with you.

No, man, she's fine. She's fine.
You leave her alone.

Look at Ray.

You see that?

He feels her wrist
'cause he figures

that's the way to tell
if she's good-looking or not.

You know I had my eye on you
all night long.

Oh, he right this time.

(Fathead) See what a little
fame does to Null and Void?

Anybody see that fine-looking
gal in the yellow dress?

[all laughing]

You hear this man?

You snooze, you lose.

We gonna dock your pay, man.

That's $2 off of your busride.

♪ Baby,
I want you by my side a'


♪ I want you to know 4“

♪ Our love
we will never hide a'

♪ Oh, no, no, no M'

All right, who's next?

It's a shame, Jimmy.

You're just gonna
piss this right up your arm.

You don't tell me
what to do with my money.

All right, come on. Step up.
The $1 sensation.

You wanna keep counting?

(VVilbur) What's the
matter with you, boy?

$50 ain't good enough for you?

That ain't $50. Keep counting.

I guess you want charity, since
that record of yours ain't selling.


Get him off my back!

[Wilbur shouting]

Break it up!

What the hell's
going on in here?

The blind sensation don't like
the money I'm trying to pay him!

He's cheating me! I quit!

Oh, you lying son of a bitch!

(Fathead) Don't be fighting
nobody that can see!

Listen, I ain't runnnin' around
lookin' for singles for this chump!

There's $50 here, Ray.

You see that, fool?

Shut up, VVilbur! Ray, from now
on, I'll handle your pay myself.

I'm tired of this!

I'll tell Jack to
find you somebody else!

You sure?
It's cold out there.

Don't worry about me,
I can take care of myself.

(Lowell) Ray! Damn it, VVilbur!

Let him go!

What we gonna do now?

N[record playing]

(Ray) "After the death of Moses,
the Lord spake unto Joshua saying:

"'Moses my servant is dead.

"'Now therefore arise.
Go over to Jordan.

"'Be not afraid,

[knocking on door] for the
Lord thy God is with thee.“

Mr. Charles.

Who is it?

Mr. Charles,
my name is Ahmet Ertegun.

May I have
a moment of your time?

What do you want, man?
I'm at church.

I'm sorry.
I'll come back later.

You're here now.
What do you want?

My company, Atlantic Records,
has acquired

your contract
from Swing Time.

I'd like
to discuss your future.

Hold on. Don'tjive me now.
I ain't for sale.

May I sit down?

You see, Mr. Charles,

Jack Lauderdale
has found himself,

shall we say,
a little overextended,

and has had to
unload some of his talent.

When your name
came up, ljumped at

the chance to work with you.
I'm a big fan.

What if I want to go
to another company?

There's a guy out there right
now that is willing to pay me

seven cents a record.
Can you do that?

Man, I could promise you
15 cents a record,

but you won't get it any more
than he'll pay you seven.

What I will do is promise
you five cents a record

and pay you five cents
a record.

If you think pennies,
Mr. Charles, you get pennies.

You think dollars,

you get dollars.

I like how you put
things together, man.

Ahem, you know what?

you're all right with me.


What kind of name is that?

I'm Turkish.

Well, you know what?

I guess Jack Lauderdale's bad
luck is my good fortune.

I knew that Atlantic Records
was bigger than Swing Time.

You guys do good music.
I dig Atlantic.

You could have fooled me.

Well, you know, I gotta keep
my eye on you city boys.

Down home,
we call it "country dumb."

N[piano playing]

Hey, man, it ain't Turkish.

♪ Went to see my sweetheart ♪

♪ Last night around
about ten ♪

♪ She said, move, sweet papa ♪

♪ Squeeze me
every now and then ♪

What do you think?

Man, nobody wants
another Nat King Cole.

♪ 'Cause she sleep that way ♪

♪ The midnight hour ♪

♪ Has found me lonely ♪

♪ So unhappy ♪


Ahmet, it's just
like Charles Brown.

Okay, I'll talk to him.

All right, fellas, that's a cut.
That's a cut, fellas.


Band can take five.

He just don't get it.

You either sound original,
or you got nothin'.

(Ray) Ahmet, what'd
you think of that?

Ray, I want to tell you something, and
I don't want you to take it wrong.

Then give it to me right.

I signed you because I sensed
something special in you

not because you sound like
Nat Cole or Charles Brown.

I thought you like what I do.

We--we love the timbre
of your voice,

we like your virtuosity,
your energy--

But not my music.

Come on, man,
I didn't say that.

Ahmet, this is what I do, man.

I gotta make a living.
This is what the people want.

I don't know no other way.

We got to help you find one.

Look, let's try a little
change of pace, okay?

You're familiar
with stride piano?

You kidding me, man? The man who I learned
the piano from is a stride player.

Okay, I got a song.
It's called The Mess Around.

The Mess Around.
Cute title. Who wrote it?

I did.

Ah, you wrote it.


Well, sing it to me, man.

Sing it?

It ain't like
I can read the lyrics.

Well, it's the key of G.

Okay. Key of G.

♪ J'[piano playing]



Yeah, but it's a kind of
Pete Johnson thing.

Pete Johnson.

Yeah, yeah, that's it.

You like that?
Here we go. Two, three, four.

♪ You can talk
about the pit barbecue ♪

♪ The band was jumpin',
the people, too ♪

♪ They're doin'
the mess around ♪

♪ They're doin'
the mess around ♪

♪ They're doin'
the mess around ♪

♪ Everybody doin'
the mess around N

All right, that's good.
Let me take it from here.

♪ Now this band's gonna
play from nine to one ♪

♪ Everybody here's gonna
have some fun ♪

♪ Doin' the mess around ♪

♪ Ah, doin' the mess around ♪

♪ They doin' the mess around ♪

♪ Everybody doin'
the mess around ♪

♪ Now you see that girl
with that diamond ring ♪

♪ She knows
how to shake that thing ♪

♪ Mess around ♪

♪ I declare
she can mess around ♪

♪ Ah, mess around ♪

♪ Everybody do
the mess around N

Now we got something!

That's all right there.

What do you think, Ahmet?

Great, Ray!


Who's that?

Ray, I want you to meet
my new partner, Jerry.

Mr. Ray Charles,
Jerry Wexler.


Don't worry, Ray. I'm going to
step back, I'm gonna watch,

I'm gonna learn how to produce a record.
I'm in awe.

That was out of sight.

That's some running
and riffing, man!

this'll make you shout, man.

♪ J'[piano playing]

(King Bee) We're listening to
that new recording, Mess Around

by Atlantic recording artist,
Ray Charles.

And we have the gentleman
live here in the KCOH studios.

So, Ray, when you're not making your
own music, what do you listen to?

You know what, the fact is, King
Bee, I really and truly love gospel.

One of my favorite groups
is from right here in Houston:

the Cecil Shaw Singers.

You heard it: Ray Charles endorses
Houston's own Cecil Shaw.

We'll be playing
gospel all day Sunday

but right now,
let's hear some more

of that Mess Around
by Ray Charles.

K.B., line 1.

♪ J'[song playing]

King Bee.


Yeah, he's right here.

Miss Della Antwine
of the Cecil Shaw Singers.

Hello, Miss Antwine.

You sung tenor in
Jesus ls My Shepherd, right?


How did you pick me out?

I--l hear like you see.

Like that hummingbird outside
the window, for instance.

I can't hear her.

You have to listen.




Yes, you can.


You hear that?


Her heart just
skipped a beat.

Oh, did you like my record?

The one that King Bee
was playin'?

It was very nice.

Different than the others.

I've heard
a lot of your music.

Was it very nice, too?

Look, Miss Antwine, if you
don't really like the record,

you ain't got to beat around the bush
with me. I mean, my mama never did.

It's not that I don't
enjoy your music.

It's just that I feel
I've heard it before.

I keep wondering what the
real Ray Charles sound like.

Ray Charles? Who's he?

if you don't know.


Sorry. I should have
kept my mouth shut.

Oh, no, no.
Then you wouldn't be you.

You know, it's not like I
haven't heard that before.

I guess I just, uh, never
really listened, that's all.

[people chattering]

Ain't nobody ever put
it that sweet, I guess.

(Ray) You know what,
Miss Della Bea Antwine?

You really are a country girl.
You know that?

How'd you know?

I could tell by
the way you ordered.

[mimicking] "Let me get
molasses with my cornbread."


Were you raised
on a farm?

My mother did a little
sharecropping in Florida.

Is she still there?

God bless her heart, she passed
away when I went to school.

Ray, I'm sorry.

(Ray) She never
was real healthy.

She just worked herself
to death, poor thing.

That's why she didn't want me
carrying around no tin cup.

The kids
I went to school with,

they were doing basket-weavin'
and wickerwork.

But not you.
Because of your gift.

Because of my ears.

See, I can mimic
damn near anybody,

and I--l--l--l make a
pretty decent living at it.

It's just, if I
change my style up

and people
really don't dig it,

I mean, what am I
left with, you know?

I mean, when you're blind,
Miss Antwine,

you ain't got
that many choices.

Seem to me like you got all
the choices in the world.


God gave you
the gift to sound

like anybody you please,
even yourself.

(Della) We're here.
This is where I live.

[birds chirping]

Well, you think
the preacher'd let me in?

I mean, uh, I'm a sinner,
but I need a little prayer.

His wife don't like
me having male company.

Well, tell him there's a soul
out here that needs savin'.

(Ray) You know what, Miss Antwine,
you really got me thinkin'.

About what?

About my life.
About my music.

About everything.

Ray, don't--don't you think
we're movin' a little fast?

Listen, I'm--I'm gonna
go to New York

for a couple of weeks,
and when I get back,

you can take it as
slow as you want.

All right, Mr. Charles.

All right, Miss Antwine.

I'll see you
in a couple of weeks.

Well, hold on, now.
Let me call you a cab.

I got it. Three blocks up,

left for two, right for one.

Fifteen giant steps,

and I'm at the
Crystal White Hotel. Hello.


(Ahmet) Mess Around was a
positive step for us, Ray.

We're making progress.

(Ray) Oh, come on, Ahmet.
Now, you've been nice to me.

But I haven't given
you guys any hits.

Atlantic Records
has been good to me,

but if you want me to do
something special,

I'm gonna need my own band.

Oh, man. Taking a band out on
the road costs a mint, Ray.

I mean, even Joe Morris is struggling.
His band's had a hit record.

But, Ahmet, listen,
I'm not Joe Morris.

Man, you told me if I think
pennies, I get pennies.

I'm thinking dollars,

Ruth Brown's got
a tour booked in Georgia.

She needs a band.

I--I'll take it.

I could write the charts
for her, I--l could do backup,

and also be an openin' act.



(Ahmet) But you're going to
be financially responsible.

You're gonna have
to make it work, Ray.

[chuckfing] Yeah, yeah, I'm gonna
make it do what it do, baby.


[bicycle bell rings]


Miss Antwine,
it's been two weeks.

It's been three.


Now, where's the preacher at?
And the wife?

They in Dallas till Monday.

Well, hallelujah!

Della Bea.

Kind of like a honey bee,


Can I call you Bea?

Yeah, I'd like that.

There's only been two cats that I
ever really trusted in my life.

There's Jeff Brown, he's
going to be my tour manager,

Fathead Newman,
my tenor man

and now you.

But you gotta
do me a favor.

Bea, you gotta
always tell me the truth.

Oh, yeah. Just like
you did before.

Don't feel sorry for me
just 'cause I'm blind.

How could I pity
someone I admire?

Can I play
something for you?


No, Ray.

Yeah, right now.
Right now. I'm gonna...



[Della sighs]

It's right there.
You got it.


Yeah, yeah,
this will work.

[Ray clears throat]

Now you go ahead and play. I'm
gonna close these drapes.

All right.

I don't want no
neighbors looking in.

♪ Well ♪

♪ I got a woman ♪

♪ way over town ♪

♪ She's good to me ♪

♪ Oh, yeah ♪

♪ I got a woman ♪

♪ Way over town ♪


♪ She's good to me ♪

♪ Oh, yeah ♪


♪ She give me money ♪

Ray. Ray, that's

♪ When I'm in need N


It's a gospel song.

I know what it is.
I wrote it.

I mean, you told me
to find my own voice.

Well, Bea, this is it.

But it--it ain't-- It ain't right to
be changing gospel music into this.

Into what? Is it--
Is it devil music?

Evil music? Do you think--
Do you think I'm evil, Bea?

[stammering] Look, I've
been performing gospel

and blues all my life.
It's who I am.

And if I'm gonna do my own thing,
I--l gotta be natural, right?

I'm singing about
my feelings for you.

About how I love you.

What could be more
natural than that?

Huh, Bea?

Tell me.

More natural
than me and you.


♪ I got a woman ♪

♪ Way over town ♪

♪ good to me ♪

[Ray chuckles]

♪ Oh, yeah N

[both chuckling]

(Jerry) So we bite the bullet,
we cancel the tour dates.

(Jerry) So we bite the bullet,
we cancel the tour dates.

But what the hell
are we gonna tell Ray?

(Ahmet) Vvejusthave to
tell him the truth:

Ruth Brown's pregnant,
so there's no tour.

What about LaVern Baker?

Get LaVern Baker
to take the tour.

She doesn't have a record.
There's nothing to promote.

You and Jesse get up there,
write a couple of songs,

let's get her in the studio.

It's gonna take
a month to do that--

What are we gonna do?
We got to do somethin'.

Ray's got a whole
new band up there.

(Jerry) How the hell did he
put together a band so fast?

Boss! Boss,
they're here.

[Ray stammering] Come on. Let's get
together so we can show 'em this.

...break this to Ray.

(Jerry) Oh, you're gonna
let me break it to Ray?

Why me?

Because Ruth Brown
was your idea.

Ruth Brown is a good idea, Ruth Brown was
a good idea, and still is a good idea.


♪ That's good to me ♪

♪ Oh, yeah ♪

♪ I got a woman ♪

♪ Way over town ♪

♪ Good to me ♪

♪ Whoa, yeah ♪

♪ She give me money ♪

♪ When I'm in need ♪

♪ Yeah, she's the kind of ♪

♪ friend indeed ♪

♪ I got a woman ♪



We gotta get this on wax.

Oh, yeah.

♪ Oh, yeah ♪

Hear that, New York?
The sound is huge!

But there's only seven cats
on this record.

This is the new
Ray Charles, baby,

and there's nothing
out there like it!

And you heard it first
on The Moondog Show!

♪ Just for me a'

♪ Oh, yeah S'

♪ She give me money N

The Shaw Agency's the best
booker on the Chitlin' Circuit,

that's my opinion.

Milt Shaw, meet Ray Charles.

Ray, it was
Milt's dad, Billy,

who first drew my attention
to a certain blind pianist

when he was
booking Lowell Fulson.

Ray Charles.
We believe in your talent.

We wanna be
in the Ray Charles business.

We've already got you
booked on a 10-city tour

with Roy Milton's
Solid Senders--

Oh, Roy Milton,
I love him.

...and Tangula
the Exotic Shake Dancer.

She is gorgeous.

I gotta tell you,

we think you're onto
something very big here.

Nobody's ever combined
R&B and gospel before.

I've GotA Woman is a smash.

You better start thinking about a
follow-up, my friend. Right now.

You know, this sounds good.
I gotta run to Texas

and take care of some business,
and, I'll be right back.

Well, make it fast. I'm ready
to sell, sell, sell.

A-a-as long as you book
me in front of Tangula.

(Jeff) Della, hold on!
Let me get my camera.

Let me get one picture.

Y'all, y'all,
stay right there! Ray!

Della, let me
get one picture!

Come on. One picture, Della!
Come on, now.

[people clamoring]

Be careful, Ray.

These are your last steps
of freedom, man.

Don't open that door.

(Jeff) Ray, you gotta carry
her over the threshold.

To the right, Ray!
To the right, now!

[people shouting]

Ray, you need some help?

You sure you know
what you're doing?

♪ He knows a woman's place 4“

♪ Right there now,
in her home a'

♪ I got a woman N


[knocking on door]


[knocking on door]

Can I come in?

H-H-Hold on.

What's goin' on, Ray?

Open this door.

Why are you locking
doors on me, Ray?

[Della laughs]

You know
the place is small.

We gotta have
a little privacy.

Uh, what we need is
a little more room.

You know, we're gonna need some
space while we start a family.

Well, Bea, you know I'm gonna be
on the road for most of the year.


I'm just thinking, what
if I'm not a good father?

My daddy
was never around.

And he had
three different families.


you are gonna have one,
starting right now.

Right now?


Well, what do you think?

[Della giggles]

That's all is
what I know.

That's all is
what I know.

♪ >A' I knowa'

♪ Hallelujah,
I just love her so ♪

♪ Now, if I call her
on the telephone ♪

♪ And tell her
that I'm all alone ♪

♪ By the time I count
from one to four ♪

♪ I hear her ♪

♪ On my door 4“

(man) Stop it! Y'all
done lost your minds!

Stop all this stuff!

You need to be saved!

I can't take it
no more. Stop it!

I can't take it!

Hold on. Now,
wait a minute, man.

Take your hands off me!

This ain't right!

(Jeff) Just let the
people hear the music.

Y'all sitting here,
listenin' to this devil!

You're just givin' your money to
Satan, that's what you're doin'.

Hold on,
y-you got a problem?

Yeah, I got a problem!

That's gospel
you're singin'!

You're turning
God's music into sex.

You're making
money off the Lord!

Don't y'all smile at me!
All of y'all are in it, too!

All of y'all are
going straight to hell!

She's right.


No, this here's wrong.

The whole thing's wrong.

[woman shouting]

(Ray) It's okay. It's okay.
Let--let him go.

[angry man shouting]

You got a right to believe
in what you believe.

You can go
to hell by yourself!

Boss, you want
to cancel the show?

Uh, no. I'm not gonna
cancel the show.

Just find me
a bari player by tomorrow.

I just want to ask
the folks right now:

If all of y'all want me to keep
playing, let me hear you say "Amen."


And while you're at it,
find me a girl

with church-training
that can sing

but without
the church attitude.

All right.

Let's go, y'all.
Keep it going, here we go..

Come on.

♪ Let me tell you
'bout a girl I know a'

♪ She is my baby
and she lives next door N

[horn honks]

Ray, YOU got your watch?


(Della) Good. All right, baby,
your blue shirts are on top,

the pants in between, and the
white shirts are on the bottom.

Here's your glasses.
There you go.

[car horn honking]


Why don't you come,
go on the road with us?

Look, baby, what would
I do on the road?

You'd do what I say you do,
that's what you're gonna do.


I've been trying to get a female
voice in the band, anyway.

Can't you just picture me
wobbling around on that stage,

big as a house?

Well, I can't picture you,
you know that.

But I know
what I can do.


Come on, now. Don't start
nothing you can't finish.

Jeff is waiting.


You know I can't go
on the road with you,

not with your baby inside me.


I'm gonna get
your shaving kit.

Uh, Bea,
I--l got it.

Bea, hold--hold on.

Bea, let me get it.

How long you been
hiding this from me?


I'm your wife!

Bea, I--l was just so
excited to see you.

I forgot to leave it back there
with the band, that's all.

Let me--
Let me get it.

Oh, it's just a little
medicine, that's all, baby.

That ain't medicine
to nobody, Ray.

Don't be lyin' to yourself.

It ain't like I'm
dealing it, baby.

I just use it
to get a little taste.

You don't taste poison,
Ray. It kills you.

Now, you got to stop.

I ain't got to do
a goddamn thing!


What about me?
What about your baby?


It ain't like
I'm new to this.

If I felt like this was
jeopardizing my music, or you,

or providing
for that baby,

I would stop in a minute.
But I know it won't.

How do you know that, Ray? How
do-- How do you know that?

You know what? You can talk
till you're blue in the face,

it don't matter.
I'm not gonna stop.

Then I'm 00min'
with you.

No, no.

Well, Ray,
you just said--

No. No.
You know what it is, Bea.

L--| think
it's like you said.

I don't think that the road is
a place for you and the baby.

What are you
saying to me, Ray?

What I'm sayin' is
that when I get home,

I hope that you're
here at my house.

Your house?

Jeff, come get this bag.

All right, Ray.

Hey, Della Bea.

You all right?



♪ It brings a tear 4'

♪ to my eyes ♪

♪ When I began ♪

♪ to realize ♪

That's good,
thank you.

How does she look?

Very pretty.
Brown skin.

♪ I guess I'll drown
in my own tears ♪

Yeah, yeah.

Uh, oh, yeah, that's great.
I really dig your sound.

Uh, what was your name
again, sweetheart?

Oh, Mary Ann.
Mary Ann Fisher.

Mary Ann Fisher.

Uh, Mary Ann,
how would you feel

if I asked you to sing a torch
song with a gospel feel to it?


Well, Gospel's all about
love anyway, isn't it?

Oh, yeah.

[clears throat] Would it
make you feel like a sinner?


Well, Mr. Charles, I love the
Lord, the Lord loves me.

But I ain't no hypocrite.

Hello. You know what?
It's hard to fool me,

but it's impossible to fool
the Almighty, ain't it?

Why don't we rehearse
the song a little bit?


Boss, we got to go.

Go ahead. I'll be
with you in a minute.

(Ray) I just really feel
your-- feel your spirit.

Boss, are you sure?

[Ray chattering]

Let's go.

♪ it brings a tear ♪

♪ Into my eyes ♪

♪ When I begin ♪

♪ to realize ♪

♪ I've cried so much ♪

♪ Well, since you've
been gone ♪

♪ I was drowning ♪

♪ In my own tears N

You're amazing.

So are you, baby.
Uh, come sit next to me.

So, what do you think?

[knocking on door]

Ray, telephone.

Take a message.

It's Della Bea.

Damn it.

Uh, tell her I'm busy.

Come on, man,
I ain't lying to Bea.


Is that the wife?

Shut up.

I-I'll be there
in a second.

Don't mess with
thisjunk, all right?

All it'll do is
make you sick.

[birds chirping]

Does he have all
his fingers and toes?

Yes, he does.

Can he, uh...

Can he see?


[Della chuckles]

You want to hold him?

No, I can't.

Come on, Ray.

I wouldn't know
what to do it right.

That's what you
came here for.

Use this hand
to hold his head.

Okay. Right there.

[baby crying]

[Della shushing]

That's your daddy.


He ain't no bigger
than a loaf of bread.

Thank you.

He's not my gift
to you, Ray.

He's your son.

You know I'm gonna take care of
both of you. You know that, right?

I love you.

I love you, too, Ray.

But there's
something I got to say.

I know you're a musician,
a working musician,

but don't bring the road
into our home again.

The home I'm making
for you and our children.

Bea, I--l promise
I won't do that.

It--it's just there's
some things--

No. Now, don't
say no more.

I ain't no fool.

You know, you're
the only woman I'll ever love.

[birds chirping]

[bottles clinking]


Mama! Mama, help!

Mama, help!
Mama, help, please!

I need you!

[dog barking]

[girl chattering]

Mama, help!


[hen clucking]

[men chattering]

[goat bleating]

[people chattering]

[cow mooing]

[metal clanking]

[people chattering]

[cow mooing]

[kettle boiling]

[firewood crackling]

[birds chirping]


[birds twittering]

[horse hooves clomping]

[hens cackling]



[grasshopper cheeping]

I hear you, too, Mama.
You're right there.


Yeah, yes, I am.


Why are you crying, Mama?

'Cause I'm happy-

[bottles tinkling]

Hey, it's Uncle Jeff!

Got my camera!

Sarah! Sarah!
Come on in.

Put the flowers
right there behind them.

All right, big smiles,
everybody. Big smiles.

N[music playing]

[people chattering]

♪ Hello Mary Ann ♪

♪ You know
you sure look fine ♪

♪ Hello Mary Ann ♪

♪ You know
you sure look fine ♪

♪ Hello Mary Ann ♪

♪ I could love you
all the time ♪

♪ Oh Mary Ann a'

♪ I say baby don't you know? 4“

♪ Oh Mary Ann a'

♪ Well baby, don't you know? a'

♪ Don't you know ♪

♪ that I love you so? ♪

♪ Oh, oh, oh I'

Hi, Junior.

Come on, Ray, let's get this boy
home so he can get something to eat.

I have those cookies
you like.

♪ Oh Mary Ann a'

♪ Can I take you
home tonight? h“

Boss, we try to make it through
these cracker speed traps,

we gonna be a little late.

Yeah, just stay
within the limits.

All right.

Why don't we get
that spot in Memphis, huh?

We could have our own place.

Baby, I'm not
leaving Houston.

I bet she don't do this.

Oh, baby, hold on.

Goodbye don't mean gone,

I'm not gonna
leave my family.

Okay, baby, okay.
No need to get sore.

How about we give me a little
more to do in the show, huh?

How about a solo?

You just don't stop,
do you?

Look, I'm going up to New York
to do some publicity.

You take a week off and stay
here, find some material,

and when I get back,
we can talk about it.

Okay. Okay.


[crowd cheering]

[crowd applauding]

(Ray) Ah, you know what,
I dig New York, man.

It's like everybody here's
making their own sound.

(Jerry) They loved it.
Ray, they loved you.

We're gonna
get the cover of Billboard.

You know what, I want to do a session
while I'm here. How about tomorrow?

What, you got
the band here?

Yeah. I've got the
band here Step down.

Everybody except Mary Ann, because
I need a different background.

You know what I'm sayin', I've been
hearing this thing in my head,

kind of like a dance
between a man and three women.

Sounds fun.
Can I watch?

It's a dance of voices,

W-What do you have in mind?
Like three Mary Anns?

Oh, no, no, no.
That's too smooth.

I need somethin'
that--that's more raw.

The Cookies.

What about The Cookies?

Yeah--yeah, Cookies
are sweet.

(Ray) a' If you don't
want you don't have to A“

♪ Get in trouble ♪

♪ If you don't want
you don't have to ♪

♪ Get in trouble ♪

♪ If you don't want
you don't have to ♪

♪ Get in trouble ♪

♪ Say you better
leave my woman alone ♪

♪ Well, I know
you are a playboy ♪

♪ And you've got women
all over town ♪

♪ But, listen buddy, if you ever
sweet-talk my little girl ♪

♪ I'm gonna
lay your body down ♪

♪ If you don't want
you don't have to ♪

♪ Get in trouble ♪

♪ You know you don't want ♪

♪ Oh yeah ♪

♪ If you don't want
you don't have to ♪

Jesus, he's on fire, huh?

Maybe we should
sign these girls up.

If I know Ray,
we won't get a chance.

♪ You better leave ♪

♪ You better leave ♪

♪ Woman alone ♪

♪ Woman alone ♪

♪ I'm sayin' ♪

♪ Leave woman alone ♪

♪ You better leave ♪

♪ Woman alone ♪

♪ My woman alone ♪

♪ If you don't want
you don't have to ♪

♪ Get in trouble ♪

♪ If you don't want
you don't have to ♪

♪ Get in trouble ♪

♪ If you don't want
you don't have to ♪

♪ Get in trouble ♪

♪ You better leave
my woman alone ♪

♪ Woman alone ♪

♪ My woman alone N

[Tom whoops]

(Tom) It doesn't get any
better than that, Ray.

Yeah, you know what,
I love it!

We gonna put it out
just like that.

You know, I never got a
record in one take before!

You Cookies sound sweet.

When it's happening, baby,
I mean, it just feels right.

I know what you mean. I got the
shivers in this studio tonight.

That's 'cause they ain't
paid the heating bill.

I have a question for
all of you:

How would you like to
go on the road with me?

[all exclaiming]

Wait--wait. How, um,
how much you gonna pay us?

You know, Ahmet takes
care of all of that.

Oh, what, you mean
he don't listen to you?

Yeah, you better know he does.

Look, don't worry about it. Brother
Ray'll take oare of all of you.

Well, my mama taught me to
take care of myself, honey.

Is your mother here?

No, she's not,
but I speak for us.

No, you don't.

Okay, Speak for Us, how
about, uh, ahem, $20 a week?

$20 a week is good.
We'll take $40. Each.

$40 each?

You heard me.

Uh, how about $25?

We'll take $30.

I better say yeah before you
talk me out of my drawers.

[all squealing]

$30 a week!

Uh, deal?

Oh! Yeah.

Oh! Margie, right?

Well, look, Margie,
from now on, you guys

are going to be
called The Raelettes.


Does that mean
we have to "Let Ray"?

Oh, Lord! What am I going
to do with you?

I'm sure you'll think
of somethin'.


$30 a week!

(Margie) We're going
to be The Raelettes!

[all laughing]

♪ J'[piano playing]

[women chattering]

[all giggling]

(Jeff) Fathead, come on,
you're on the clock.

Come on, Bob,
you're late.

[Ray bangs piano]

(Ray) All right, hold on, Jeff.
Listen up.

From now on, we're gonna sing,
uh, four-part harmony.

Ethel, I want you to sing,
uh, uh, alto.

Margie, you sing tenor. Pat,
soprano, and Mary Ann, bass.

I ain't no bass.
I'm a soprano.

I'll sing bass.

I mean, where we come from,
we can sing anything.


We're talking about singing,
sugar, not hog calling.


Oh, that's cold.

Who are you
calling a hog?

Well, if the corncob fits...

You better shut your mouth
before you get--

Wait a minute!
You stop now!

Hey, hey, hey!
What is all the cackling for?


Mary Ann, sweetheart, I wrote
something special for you: a solo.

A solo?

Yeah. C-Come on down here,
let me play it for you.

♪ What kind of man are you? ♪

♪ Why do I love you so? ♪

♪ What kind of man
are you? ♪

♪ Yeah, yeah ♪

♪ When you love me
no more ♪


Ethel! Come here and see
this new piano Ray got.

It's called
a--a--a Wurlitzer.

A what?

You got to see this thing.
It's out of sight.

[people chattering]

Baby, I got your
drink here for you.

Don't play that.

Oh, she--she want me to
play something else.

[people laughing]

♪ What kind of man are you? ♪

♪ I just can't satisfy ♪

♪ What kind of man are you? ♪

♪ Oh, yeah ♪

♪ No matter how I try ♪

Oh! Oh! Oh!

We got some hell
going on, gentlemen!

Now, this is a car.
This is a car!

[all whooping]

Looks like
a damn Wieniemobile!

Lookie here!

(Jeff) Come on, let's
take it for a spin!

(Ray) Since I'm the boss,
you got to let me drive.


Don't hit nothing,

♪ What Kind Of Man Are You? A'

♪ I'm always left alone N

[both laughing]

Ooh! You okay?


What room are you in?


Ooh, honey,
you are so nasty.

That's what
I love about you.

No, seriously,
what room are you in?

Uh, I'm in 626.



Baby, I can't wait
till we get to your room!

Here's 626.
Right here.

Where's the key?

You have to get it.

I have to find it?


Is that it?

It might be.

(Margie) I'm not going to
unbuckle your pants yet.

Let's get you in.

(Ray) Miss Mary Ann Fisher,
ladies and gentlemen.

[crowd cheering]

(Fathead) Wait till you see
what I got in the goodie bag.

(Fathead) Wait till you see
what I got in the goodie bag.

Goodie bag?

Gonna fly you to
the moon, baby.

Let me get
your hand, Ray.

There go three.
That's for you.

[Fathead panting]

I thought you was
my friend, Fathead.

The weight is off.

Don't start with me, Ray.

The weight is off.

It ain't off.

When you get high, man,
and you try to cop,

those dealers spank your ass.

You gotta have
more discipline.

You know what, man? I ain't
messing up my high tonight,

sitting here with you,
arguing about nothin'.

Look, Fathead,
just tie me off.

Come on, Fathead. Fat.

Take care of your bad self,
you know so damn much.

Later, Margie.

Bye, Fathead.


Ain't nothing free
in this world but Jesus.

Hey, Margie.

What do you want?

Do me a favor, sweetheart,
and--and pick that up for me.

You're going to
have to get me off.

I'll do it,
if you let me try some.

Shit. No, honey.

This ain't for
no little girls.

I ain't no little girl!

I understand.
It's just that this stuff

will take you places
that you don't want to go.

See, I want to share
that with you.

Listen to me!

If I ever hear about you
doing some drugs

you're through, you hear me?

You believe that more than
you believe in Jesus!

Don't say that,


Ray, I watch your show
every single night.

And every night
is new to me.

Maybe because
it's new to you.

It's like you live
every single word

and then you
bend some crazy note,


And damn if you
don't break my heart.

You got genius, baby.

I just want to
be a part of that.

Just want to be
a part of that.

♪ You know the night time,
darling a'

♪ Night and day 4“

♪ Is the right time 4“

♪ Night and day 4“


♪ Night and day 4“

♪ With the one you love, now a“

♪ Night and day 4“

♪ Say now oh baby ♪

♪ Night and day ♪

♪ When I come home baby, now ♪

♪ Night and day ♪

♪ I want you to hold my hand ♪

♪ Night and day ♪

♪ Yeah, tight as you can ♪

♪ Night and day ♪

♪ I know the night time ♪

♪ Night and day ♪

♪ Whoa, is the right time ♪

♪ Night and day ♪

♪ To be with the one
you love, now ♪

♪ Night and day ♪

♪ You know what
I'm thinking of ♪

♪ Night and day ♪

♪ Whoa!
Sing your song, Margie ♪

♪ Night and day ♪

♪ Baby ♪

♪ Night and day ♪

♪ Baby ♪

♪ Night and day ♪

X on, baby r

♪ Night and day ♪

♪ Do I love you? ♪

♪ Night and day ♪

♪ No one above you ♪

♪ Night and day ♪

♪ Hold me tight ♪

Look at him. Look at
his knees shaking.

He's got that
junkie itch.

♪ Because the night time ♪

He's totally hooked.

♪ Oh, is the right time ♪

Yeah, but listen tothatsound.
He's brilliant.

You can never trust
a junkie, man.

What do you want me to do?
Listen to him, man.

♪ I said baby ♪

♪ Night and day ♪

♪ Baby ♪

♪ Night and day ♪

♪ Baby ♪

♪ Night and day ♪

X on, baby r

♪ Night and day ♪

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday!
Happy birthday, Ray!

You know what to do.

Take a deep breath.
Go ahead.



He blow them out?

Every single one.

♪ I know the night time ♪

♪ I know the night time ♪

♪ Night and day ♪

♪ Everyday is the right time ♪

♪ Night and day ♪

♪ Night and day ♪

♪ You know a'

♪ Night and day N

[crowd cheering]

You know what, I--| just want
to thank you so very much.

Please, uh, another round of
applause for Miss Margie Hendricks.

Thank you so much,
and good night.

Hey, you see
what time it is?

What's the problem?

The problem is on the contract.
That's the problem.

Ray! Ray! You still
got 20 minutes left.

Okay, what you want to do?

That fool's holding us to
every second of the contract.

Go--go baby-sit him.
I'll take care of it.

It's okay.

You know what, they say we got
a little bit more work to do.

That was the last song
in the book, Ray.

You know, Fathead,
it ain't never the last song.

Now, band, follow me and do
what I do, say what I say.

This is how we gonna do it.

♪ Hey mama,
don't you treat me wrong ♪

♪ Come and love your daddy
all night long ♪

♪ It's all right ♪

♪ Whoa, it's all right ♪

♪ Hey, hey, hey, yeah ♪

♪ See the girl
with the diamond ring ♪

♪ She knows how to
shake that thing ♪

♪ Whoa, it's all right ♪

♪ Hey, hey, hey, yeah ♪

[all whooping]

That's what I'm talking about.

♪ Tell your mama,
tell your pa ♪

♪ I'm gonna send you back
to Arkansas ♪

♪ Oh yes, ma'am,
you don't do right ♪

♪ Don't do right ♪

♪ What'd I say? ♪

♪ Tell me what'd I say ♪

♪ Tell me what'd I say ♪

Where can I get
that record from?

I don't know.
It doesn't exist yet.

I'll tell Ray
he should record it.


IMmm ♪

IMmm ♪

IOoh ♪

IOoh ♪

IEee ♪
IEee ♪

IOoh ♪
IOoh ♪

♪ It's all right ♪

♪ Baby, it's all right ♪

♪ Baby, it's all right ♪

♪ Oh, it's all right ♪
♪ Baby, it's all right ♪

♪ Mama, it's all right ♪

♪ Baby, it's all right ♪

♪ It's all right ♪

♪ It's all right ♪

♪ It's all right, now N

Yeah, that's it.

N[What'd I say?
by Ray Charles playing]

Oh, this is it.

I'm telling you, that is out of sight.
That's a hit.

It's fantastic, Ray. But what the
hell are we gonna do with this?

It's too damn long.

Every night we play this, man,
we bring the house down.

I'm telling you,
it's guaranteed.

Tom, cut the playback!

Come on out here.

♪ Baby, it's all right h“

You know what, Ray,
you're probably right.

I mean,
I'm sure you're right.

I've never heard
a sound like this before.

But how the hell are
we gonna market this?

We could cut the second verse,
pop back into the chorus.

Man, you cut that,
I'll cut you in half.

All right, all right,
Ray. Ahem.

We could, uh,
split it up.

Do a Side A/Side B
type of thing.

It's been done before.
What the hell, right?


It's s-sexual.

It's just too
damn sexual for kids.

Let's do it.

Yeah, baby! That's why
I love y'all, man.

(Jerry) All right. What the hell?
It's Atlantic, right?


We'll release it
in the summer.

There's less censorship,
school's out.

The kids are ready
to kick loose.


Tom, let's see if we can
cut this pumpkin in two.

Show me what your
genius is all about.

You got it, boss.

Yeah, that is it. You put one on
Side A, put another on Side B.

Man, that sounds
out of sight.

How you feeling, Ray?

I feel groovy, baby.

I'm talking about the junk.

It's starting
to show.

You're scratching
all the time.

You can't sit still.

Hey, man, have I ever
missed a date?

No, you never have.

Who's the one who delivers
a record in one take, hmm?

Ray, you deliver better
than anybody I know

but I'm not talking to you
as a businessman.

Now come on,
listen to me.

I'm worried about you.

As a friend, I'm telling you,
man, your slip is hanging.


"Your slip is hanging."

You been hanging out with us
country boys too much, man.

Uh, don't worry about this, man. If
this monkey gets too heavy on my back,

I'll get an organ grinder,
man, and put him to work.



He's off the Chitlin' Circuit.

Down Beat voted him Best Male
Jazz Vocalist by a 2-to-1 margin.

Well, if you want to keep him
in Philadelphia,

you're going to find him
a bigger venue.

♪ Make me feel so good 4“

What'd I Say!

♪ Make me feel so good 4“

♪ Make me feel so good 4“

♪ Make me feel so good, yeah a“

Forget second billing.

Ray Charles headlines at a
thousand per or no deal.

♪ Make me feel so good, yeah a“


♪ Make me feel so fine a'

♪ Make me feel so fine a'

♪ Make me feel so fine a'

♪ Make me feel so fine a'

♪ Baby, it's all right 4“

♪ Baby, it's all right 4“

(Della) Ray, I'm-- I'm having
second thoughts about this.

(Della) Ray, I'm-- I'm having
second thoughts about this.

I don't-- I don't know
nobody in L.A.

(Ray) Bea, I don't want my
kids growing up in the South.

Now, L.A. is where, you know, a
Negro can spread his wings and fly.

Ray, my whole family's
in Texas.

That's why
we're moving to L.A.

Tell you what, Jeff, tell
the boys they can go ahead

and start their
vacation right now.

(Jeff) All right, boss.
Once I get you inside.

♪ Make me feel all right h“

(Della) Look at that
huge coconut tree!

That ain't no coconut tree, Della.
That's a palm tree.

There's thousands
of them.

[baby coos]


Here's the keys to your
life, a brand-new life.

Oh, Ray.

Ray, this is too much.

Have you seen
the dining room?


But, baby,
it's October.

But you know what, I
wanted to celebrate early,

because the band is gonna be
playing during the holidays.

[both murmur]

You are unbelievable.

Look at your presents.

Baby, look at what
Santa brought you.

You must have been good.

Go ahead! Christmas
is early, baby!

Go get it.

What's he taken?
A guitar.

A musician just
like your daddy.

Can you play?

[phone ringing]


What else you got?

What's that?

How'd you get this number?

How do you think I got it?

Put Ray on the phone.

[Della chattering]

Ray, telephone.

Deal with it, man.

Ray, it's important.

L-I'll be right back.

All right.

Who is it?

It's Margie, man.

Junior, oome--oome and help your
mama change your brother's diaper.

(Ray Jr.)
I don't want to go.

I want to stay and
open my presents.

All right, come on!
I don't want to go.

I don't care.
Don't let me tell you twice.

Hello. (Margie) Hey, baby.

Surprise! I came to L.A.
to surprise you.

Surprise me?
Are you out of your mind?

I'm with my wife
and my kids.

Well, on the road,
I'm Mrs. Ray Charles.

That's on the road.

Yeah, but, baby, come on, I
got everything set up for us.

Did you hear what
I just said to you, huh?

Oh, wait a minute, baby, look,
I got a bottle of Bols, and--

Shut up.Shut up. Listen, we
record in two weeks, okay?

I'll see you then.

Wait a minute, Ray!


♪ One of these days,
and it won't be long 4“

♪ You're gonna look for me 4“

♪ and I'll be gone 4“

♪ 'Cause I believe a'

♪ I believe, yes 4“


♪ I say I believe right now 4“

♪ I believe a'

♪ Yes I believe ♪

♪ Well I believe
to my soul now ♪

♪ You're tryin' to make
a fool of me ♪

♪ I believe, yes I believe N

Hold on, wait, wait.

Cut, cut, cut. You know,
y'all know that sounds off.

Ahem, you know what,
the three-part harmony is off.

Let's start it all over again,
uh, from the top with the band.

♪ I believe it,
I believe it N

Whoa, pardner!
Uh, what was that?

I knew you'd like that, Ray. It's
an eight-track. We just got it.

We can record
each part separately.

Whoa, Nellie! You know,
I can't wait to see that.

[all laughing]

What's so funny?

Nothing, "pardner."

Margie's drunk. Jeff?

[door opening]

You should go home
and sleep it off.

Margie, come on now,
let me take you home.

No! I'll leave when I'm good
and goddamn ready!

She's good and goddamn
ready right now.

Why don't you make me
leave this, sucker!

Teach you to treat me
like some piece of meat!

I ain't shutting up!

Should we get in there?

Get them all out, right now.

You'll have to make me leave!

You know what, Jeff?
Get all of them out of here.

You're a cold-ass bastard!

Let go of me, Jeff!

You're a cold-ass bastard,

See, he wouldn't spit on me
if my ass was on fire!

Damn right I wouldn't.

Put me down, Jeff!
Put me down! Damn it!

You dropped your shoe.

[all laughing]

All right, come on,
let's get back to work.

Tom, this is
what I want you to do.

We'll lay my vocals down
and finish the harmony parts.

Uh, how're we gonna do
the harmonies, Ray?

You sent the girls home.

I know what I did with the girls.
Let me take care of that.

You just turn that eight-track on,
and I'll do the girls' parts myself.

And go out here somewhere and
find rne an "Oh, Johnny" girl.

Uh, one minute.

What the hell's
an "Oh, Johnny" girl?

I think I've got an idea.

♪ Last night
you were dreaming a'

♪ and I heard you say 4“

♪ Oh, Johnny! a'

♪ When you know
my name is Ray a'

♪ That's why
I believe right now a'

♪ I believe a'

♪ Yes I believe a'

♪ I say I believe right now 4“

♪ I believe a'

♪ Yes I believe N

The sky's the limit, Ray.

I got you
a $5,000-a-night raise.

They're gonna up you
to 15 per.

Rehearsal in
10 minutes.

Jeff, could you get
me some cigarettes?

Okay, boss.

15 per, huh?

You know, Ray, your contract with
Atlantic is expiring in four months.


Yeah, I've got
the contract with me.

They're going to
double my royalties.

Before we jump back
in that pond,

I thought I'd find out
what else was out there.

I had a very productive chat
with ABC-Paramount yesterday.

ABC? Who told you
to do that, huh?

And you know, Atlantic is family,
just like the Shaw Agency.

Ray, my job is to get you
the best deal possible.

ABC is very interested.


How interested?

How about a $50,000 advance
each year for three years?

You produce
your own records.

They'll deduct recording costs
and give you

75 percent.

Ahmet and Jerry are
flying in tonight,

so will you put them off until I
can talk things out with ABC?

Well, my mama said, ain't
nothing wrong with talking.

(Sam) Hey, enough
of the formalities.

Come on, let's go back
into the office, Ray.

I hope I can call you Ray.

I want you to be
comfortable here.

Because I'll tell you something,
everything is gonna be better at ABC.

Moving from an indie label
to a major

means you can sell
a lot more records,

as well as attract much larger
crowds, both white and Negro.

Yeah, but Mr. Clark, you know, I've
been at Atlantic: for so long,

I just want to give those guys a chance,
you know, to at least match the offer.

Oh, certainly, certainly.

But, uh, I doubt
they'll be able to.

We're giving you
a state-of-the-art deal here.

Well, you know, since I'm producing my
own records, I was wondering if I could

uh, own my masters, too.


Ray, we've--we've never
done that before.

No record company has.

Well, I think I'm going to have to have it
that way for me to leave Atlantic Records.


(Jerry) Ahmet believes we're
family here at Atlantic.

I believe we're family
here at Atlantic.

Obviously, you don't!

Ahmet wouldn't believe it.

You know what he said, Ray?

He said you would never
turn your back on us.

Never for a schlockmeister
like Sam Clark!

[Jerry chuckles]

That's rich.
Sam Clark's a corporate slug,

who wouldn't know the difference
between Earl Hines and Art Tatum!

We let you grow here, Ray.

And nobody's taking credit for
your talent, but we nourished it.

We let you do your thing.

God damn it!
We deserve better than this.

You know what, don't think
that I don't appreciate

everything you guys
have done here, Jerry.

Ahmet, I'm very proud of the work
that we've done here together.

But, Atlantio has done pretty good
money-wise on my records, haven't they?

Yes, we've done
very well, Ray.

You--you were the ones that taught
me that making a record is business,

and find the best
business deal you can.

Now, 75 cents of every dollar,
and owning my own masters

is a pretty damn
good deal.

Can you match it?

Ray, we would love to
match it, but we just can't.

That's a better deal
than Sinatra gets.

I'm very proud of you.

Looks like those boys are going
to get a taste of oountry dumb.


He'll be all right, man.

[door slamming]

You guys
always do find the best.

You guys
always do find the best.

♪ Georgia ♪

♪ Georgia ♪

♪ The whole day through ♪

♪ The whole day through ♪

♪ Just an old sweet song ♪

♪ Keeps Georgia on my mind ♪

♪ Georgia on my mind ♪

♪ I said Georgia ♪

♪ Georgia ♪

Listen to that crap.

Thought you said that ABC wasn't
going to foroe nothing on him.

They didn't.

It was Ray's idea.

Something new.

What are we then, Jeff?
Something old?

Yeah, what about us?
We got to eat, too.

♪ Other arms should
reach out to me ♪

♪ Other eyes smile tenderly ♪

♪ Still in the peaceful dreams
I see ♪

♪ The road leads back
to you N

[crowd cheering]

It's a hit record.

What the hell
is wrong with that?

(reporter) Critics say you've
gone middle-of-the-road.

The orchestra, the chow,
The Perry Como Show, man'?

If I feel the music,
that means it's real.

No, it ain't.
Ray Charles is a sellout.

The blind Liberace, leaving those
Rocking Chair roots behind.

Quincy Jones.

Can we get a picture
of these two guys?

Hey, boy.

Look, here, uh,
this interview is over.

I'd love to
get you two together, man.

S-some other time.

Look at you. How's it going, man?
You look good.

Let me look at you.
You look good, too.

You hear what they're
saying about me?

I just said that I--l can't do it no more.
I've gone middle-of-the-road.

So crank out
another hit.

Let me tell you something,

it ain't easy
to keep on being greezy, kid.

Where you blow in from?




Yeah, man.
France is where it's at.

Yeah, man. And all that stuff
you've been playing,

man, it's just--
it really feels out of sight.

You know, we gotta
record something together.

I mean, people will
really dig it.

So, where you going
after the Festival?

Oh, I--| go to D.C., Richmond,
uh, Virginia, Georgia.

You know what, once you get the
record out there, you gotta sell it.

The South, man?


I'm not doing that no more.

Hey, come on, kid, that's
where the money is, baby.

You know, When I left Seattle
with Hamp,

we went down there, man.

And it felt like
I walked into a prison cell.

You know, a black man is a
"boy" in Mississippi, Ray.

Even if he's 80 years old.

[people chattering]

I'm never playing
to Jim Crow again. Ever.

If that's what you feel,

I'm serious, Ray.
Man, we gotta do something.

Well, you know,
what--what the hell, man.

You're just going to leave a lot
more money on the table for me.

You're welcome to it,

♪ J'[electric piano playing]

You ready to work?

Work on what?


Get over here, you gotta
help me with this.

Percy just sent me
some new music.


[Margie coughing]

♪ J'[continues playing]

You know what
they're saying about me?

Said I've lost something, said
I've gone middle-of-the-road.

They may as well say
the same thing about you.

You were the soul
of this band.

Now every time you're around,
you're just drunk.

Drunk soul
of a blind junkie.

What a lovely couple.

Why don't you
just get out of here?

I ain't drunk, Ray.

I'm pregnant.


Yeah, that's right.
I'm having your baby.

You ain't really...
You--you can't do that.

I'm gonna have to
talk to the doctor.

You gotta get rid of it.

My God!

What, because
I'm not your precious Bea?

I'm not good enough
to have this baby?

You lay up
in my bed every night.

My bed!

I'm gonna have this baby, Ray.

No,Ray!No! Come on, come on.
Come on, just listen.

Just listen to me.

You know
I care about you, baby.

I won't let nothing happen to you.
I'll pay for everything.


It's gonna cost you
more than money.

I want you to leave her, Ray.
Come and be with our baby.

You out of your damn mind. You knew
the rules when you got into this.

You know goddamn well I ain't
gonna leave my family.


Leave your family?

You are a damn fool,
you know that?

Between the dope
and the music and me,

you already done left
your damn family!

You know what the sad part about it
is, Ray, you don't even know it.


You know what?

From now on, it's strictly
business between you and me.

♪ J'[electric piano playing]

Yeah, that's it. That's it.
Keep that anger.

♪ Hit the road, Jack ♪

♪ And don't you come back
no more ♪

♪ no more,
no more, no more ♪

♪ Hit the road, Jack ♪

♪ and don't you come back
no more ♪

♪ You ain't right,
hit the road Jack ♪

♪ Don't you come back
no more ♪

♪ no more,
no more, no more ♪

♪ Hit the road, Jack ♪

♪ and don't come back
no more ♪

♪ What you sayin'? ♪

♪ Hit the road Jack ♪

♪ And don't come back
no more ♪

♪ no more,
no more, no more ♪

♪ Hit the road Jack ♪

♪ And don't you come back
no more ♪

♪ Now baby, listen baby ♪

♪ don't-a treat me
this-a way ♪

♪ For I'll be back
on my feet some day ♪

♪ Don't care if you do
'cause it's understood ♪

♪ You ain't got no money,
you just ain't no good ♪

♪ Well, I guess
if you say so ♪

♪ I'd have to pack my things
and go ♪

♪ That's right ♪

♪ Hit the road, Jack ♪

♪ And don't you come back
no more ♪

♪ no more,
no more, no more ♪

♪ Hit the road Jack ♪

♪ And don't you come back
no more ♪

♪ What you sayin'? N

Hey, Ray, it's Sam.

Can you hear me? It's Sam!

Yeah, hey, Hit the Road
is our second number one.

Yeah. ABC is taking out ads
in all the trades.

Yeah, oh, and congrats
on your Grammy nomination.

No, no, no I know
you're going to win.

Hey, you feeling all right?

Well, come on, baby, be happy.
You're doing good.

Thank you, Sam.

[police siren wailing]

I really am happy about that.


[phone clicks]

I'll stop by Jeff's room and
get my money on my way out.




Margie, you ain't gotta leave,

I'm on your hit record.

If I'm ever going to go solo,
then now's the time.

Yeah, I--l don't want you...

I don't want you to go solo.

Ray, for once,
I'm doing something for me.

You remember the hummingbird,


The hummingbird, Bea.

[door slamming]

And I don't want you to go.

[bottles tinkling]

[people chattering]

Somebody will fetch you

when your bus
gets to St. Augustine.

And when you get there,
show them this sign,

and tell them you're name is
Ray Charles Robinson.

And them sandwiches I made, don't
eat 'em all at once. You hear?

Oh, please,
don't make me go away.

I'll keep up
with the normal kids.

I'll be good,
just like George.

This ain't got nothing
to do with George.

I've taken you
as far as I can, baby.

Them teachers at that blind school,
they can teach you things I can't.

And you need an education
in this world.

I don't want
no education!

Don't say that!

I don't!
I want to stay with you!

Stop it, Ray!

I won't have you living
hand-to-mouth like me, you hear?

Now listen, if you want to do
something to make your mama proud,

promise me, promise me you'll never
let nobody turn you into no oripple.

You won't become
no charity case.

You'll stand on
your own two feet.

I promise.

I love you, baby.

I'm so proud of you.

[bus approaching]


No more segregation!

No more segregation!
No more segregation!

No more segregation!
No more segregation!

[police siren wailing]

(protesters) No more segregation!
No more segregation!

No more segregation!
No more segregation!

No more segregation!
No more segregation!

Welcome back to Augusta, Ray!

Hey, good to see you.

(protesters) No more segregation!
No more segregation!

Do you believe
in the protest, Ray?

Get out of here!

Ray, I'm sorry about this.
Hurry on up inside.

We got refreshments

Mr. Charles!
Mr. Charles!

You know tonight's show
is segregated?

The dance floor
is whites only.

Negroes can't leave
the balcony.

That's how it is, man.
You know, this is Georgia.

You think we don't know that?

Negroes are persecuted
in this state every day!

Ain't nothing
I can do about that.

I'm an entertainer. And--and we all
gotta play Jim Crow down here.

I'm sorry, man.
Now get out of here, boy.

It doesn't have to
be that way.

You could change things,
right here and now!

I'm sorry, son.
Ain't nothing I can do.

You hear that, boy?
That's the way things are.

Ain't nothing
or nobody can change it.

Now get your black ass out of here,
and take that trash with you!

Hold on-- hold on. He--he's right.
He's right, Jeff.

Get them on the bus.

You sure?

Get them back on the bus!

Y'all heard him!
Y'all heard Ray!

Back on the bus!

Are you serious?

[protesters cheering]

Get them on the bus.

I can't do nothing here.

Ray, you know me.

I'm not gonna lose money just
because you suddenly got religion.

Ain't nothing I can do, man.

We have a contract with me. You
break it, I'll sue your ass!

I'll win, Ray! You gotta
do what you gotta do.

Look, I'll win big!

Do what you gotta do.

I told you,
I'll own your ass, Ray!

[all yelling]

Thank you, Mr. Charles.

You could be the first.

No, thank you, son.
You were right.

You're right.

[all cheering]

You'll never
work Georgia again!

(Milt) He filed a lawsuit and
it's more than a fine, Ray.

This guy's got juice. He can get you
barred from ever playing Georgia again.

But he's willing to drop the
suit if you'll make up the gig.

Not if it's segregated.


I admire what you're doing,
man, but you can't afford this.

Georgia is
our highest-grossing state.

I'm not playing any more to Jim Crow
joints ever again, did you got that?

Yeah. I got it.

Jeff, get those people in here
so we can rehearse.

Com on, y'all, let's go.

♪ J'[Unchain My Heart
by Ray Charles]

♪ Unchain my heart 4“

♪ Unchain my heart 4“

♪ Baby, let me be a“

♪ Unchain my heart 4“

♪ Unchain my heart 4“

♪ Unchain my heart 4“

♪ 'Cause you don't
care about me a'

♪ Unchain my heart 4“

♪ Why lead me
through a life of misery a'

♪ When you don't care
a bag of beans for me a'

♪ So unchain my heart oh
please, please set me free a'

Now, go ahead and dance!

Let's dance, everybody!

Come on!

Let's dance now!

[all cheering]

Charles, you okay?

Yeah. What's going on?

Just kids onstage dancing.

Well, let them dance.
That's what they're here for.

Please don't hurt them!
Just keep dancing!

Keep going!
Keep going!

♪ I'm under your spell ♪

♪ Like a man in a trance ♪

♪ But I know darn well ♪

♪ That I don't
stand a chance ♪

♪ So unchain my heart ♪

♪ Unchain my heart ♪

♪ Let me go my way ♪

♪ Unchain my heart ♪

♪ Unchain my heart ♪


♪ You worry me
night and day ♪

♪ Unchain my heart ♪

♪ Why lead me
through a life of misery ♪

♪ When you don't care
a bag of beans for me ♪

♪ So unchain my heart, oh
please, please set me free ♪

♪ Please set me free ♪

♪ Please set me free ♪

♪ Oh won't you
set me free a'

♪ Please set me free a'

♪ Whoa, set me free a“

♪ Please set me free N

[knocking on door]

(man) Mr. Charles,
it's Western Union!

We have a telegram
for you.

You have to sign
for it, sir.

I'm coming.

Indianapolis police. Got a report
of loud music coming from here.

Where do you think
you're going, pal?


I'm just going
to the bathroom.

this son of a bitch.

Recognize this, Ray?
Heroin's a felony.

It ain't like
I'm dealing it, man.

I'm not hurting nobody.

Oh, no, you're
hurting everybody.

Yourjungle music is
poisoning our kids' minds.

Hey, I'm gonna put
your black ass away forever.

You have to understand. I got--
I got a wife, I got kids.

I got responsibilities.

Why don't you tell that story
to these people.

Bring them in!

[cell door opening]

(reporter #1)
Ray! Was it a setup, Ray?

(reporter #2) How long
you been on heroin?

Come on, Ray.

(reporter #3) What did
they charge you with?

[all clamoring]

♪ You give your hand to me 4“

♪ And then you say, hello a“

♪ And I can hardly speak a“

♪ My heart is beating so 4“

♪ And anyone can tell ♪

♪ You think you know me well ♪

♪ But you,
you don't know me at all N

Hi, baby.


Uh, uh, Bea, he can stay.

No. Baby, come on.


You know, since I got back--

Since you got out.


Well, since I got here, you haven't
said more than two words to me.

Ray, what am I
supposed to say?

My words don't seem to
mean much to you anymore.

Maybe they never did.

Come on, Bea,
you--you know I love you.

Are you gonna stop then?

You know what, Bea, what you
don't understand is

there's a lot of mean-spirited
people out there.



You know, I had to bring
Junior home from school today

'cause of what
the other kids were sayin'.

They got mean-ass kids
around here.

I think we should move
to Beverly Hills.

No, no, Ray,
we're not gonna move.

'Cause it--it's not
about where we live, Ray.

It's about what you're doing
to yourself.

And those boys worship you.

You want them to end up
using that poison, too?

Bea, that's not fair.

What's not fair?
What's not fair, Ray?

[phone ringing]
That--that's a low blow.


Don'tjive me, Milt.
Don'tjive me, man!


Ah, good, good, good. Tell-tell
Sam I said thank you.

All right.
All right, then.

0h, yeah!

What, Ray?
What? Come on, now.

Ray, tell me what happened.

ABC got the case dropped.

The police
didn't have a warrant.

They bought them off.

Damn it, Bea, do you
want me to go to prison?

No. Ray, I want you
to stop lying to yourself,

and they are making that
completely impossible.

You know what,
you don't understand.

Then make me understand,

Baby, when I walk out that door,
I walk out alone in the dark!

I'm trying to
do something

that ain't nobody ever done
in music and business.

But I can't do it if I'm
alone everywhere I go.

I don't want to
be alone here, Bea.

Not in my own home.

if you don't understand me,

then who will?

[baby crying]

I don't know, Ray.

David? I'm coming!

Mama's coming!

Ray, we pull you out of the fire,
and you want country music?

Ray, we pull you out of the fire,
and you want country music?

Look here, I've been singing
country music all my life.

As a matter of fact, I used to
play with the Florida Playboys.

We made a big
investment in you

and it's paying off

For both of us,
I might add.

We don't want to
lose your fan base.

Yeah, you know,
you got a point there,

but I actually think that we have
more to gain than we do to lose.

Ray, it's a bad idea.

When I came to ABC, you guys
put in the contract

that I can choose
my own music.

You want to read
that paragraph?

[briefcase opening]

It's on page three.

I don't need to see it.

[people chattering]

Good evening, Saint Louis.

It's time
for the main attraction.

The innovator of soul.
The genius himself.

Ray Charles!

[audience cheering]

♪ J'[piano playing]

Go on, go on, Ray!

[audience cheering]

Thank you so much.

You know what, I know that a
lot of y'all don't know that

I--I was brought up
in the South.

You know, every time you turn on
the radio there in the South,

you hear the Grand Ole Opry.

That's what I grew up singing,
so I hope you don't mind,

I--I want to sing something to give
you a taste of my country roots.

Unchain My Heart!

Georgia on My Mind, Ray!

[audience jeering]

♪ I can't stop loving you ♪

Turn 'em, the lights up top
and on the mezzanine,

let's take everything down and
hit Ray with a follow spot.

We're doing it,
on it on my count.

♪ To live in memory ♪

IN 5, 4...

♪ of the lonesome times ♪

♪ Yeah ♪

♪ I can't stop wanting you ♪

♪ It's useless to say ♪

♪ So I'll just live my life ♪

♪ I'll live my life ♪

♪ in dreams of yesterday ♪

♪ Those happy hours ♪

♪ Those happy hours ♪

♪ that we once knew N

[car honking]

(Ray. Jr.)
Cab's here.


Dad, if you can't see, how can you
choose the right color socks?

(Ray) I'm--I'm gonna
show you, all right?

Let me show you something.

See? Right here?

The two, right there, I got it
sewn in thick, so I can feel it.

So, it means two is brown.

One is black. Three is blue.

And--and--and where's four?


Four ain't nowhere. There ain't no four.
You're right.

♪ Heals a broken heart ♪

♪ But time has stood still ♪

♪ Time has stood still ♪

♪ Since we've been apart ♪

♪ Since we've been apart N

[audience cheering]

Still working on the balcony.

Okay, guys, we got
10 minutes to load out!

Change back at the hotel.

They bought that country
jive hook, line and sinker.

Ray, man,
you're amazing.

I'm gonna tell you something. Country
musio. You know why they like it?

The stories, man.
They got great stories.


Ray, I want to introduce you to Joe Adams.
Hal Ziegler hired Joe

as the announcer
for the rest of the tour.

I know you,
Mayor of Melody.

I used to listen to your radio show in L.A.
in the '50s.

We've both come
a ways since then.

What was that counting
you were doing back there?

I was cueing down the lights.
That shuts up the audience

so you can sing your ballad
instead of having to scream it.

Hey, well, I'll be damned.
Who told you to do that?

No one.
It just needed to be done.

See, that's what
I'm talking about.

I like to hear a person say
"it needed to be done"

as opposed to a person
saying, "it ain't my job."

You know,
tell me about Central Avenue.

I know you know
Jack Lauderdale.

Hello, New York!

Hello, Boston!

Hello, Saint Louis!

Good evening, San Francisco!

♪ J'[Bye bye Love
By Ray Charles playing]

♪ Bye bye love a“

♪ Bye bye happiness a“

Ray, I got
some good news for you.

We got the cover of Cash Box.

"The nation's hottest album: Modern
Sounds of Country & Western."

You are hotter
than hell.

That's what they say.

I've been watohin', your albums
are going through the roof,

your concerts are
always selling out.

You'll need shelters
for your money.

You're in a
new tax bracket.

(Jeff) Keep your drawers on, Fathead!
I got the instruments!

Jeff, Joe was in
the film Carmen Jones.

Who was
the director again?

Otto Preminger.

He was also on Broadway
with Lena Horne.

She was the star.
I was supporting.

Is that a fact?

(Joe) Prepare for an
extraordinary evening of music.

Perhaps the most innovative,

and energetic
musical voice today.

Please welcome
to the stage...

it is my distinct pleasure...

Please give your warmest
welcome, the one-of-a-kind...

I present Mr. Ray...

Ray... Ray Charles!

♪ Bye bye love ♪

♪ Bye bye sweet caress ♪

♪ Hello emptiness ♪

♪ I think I'm gonna die ♪

[speaking French]

♪ Bye bye love a“

[speaking Italian]

[Speaking Spanish]

♪ I think I'm gonna die a“

[speaking Japanese]

♪ I think I'm gonna die a“

...Ray Charles!

[audience applauding]

♪ I think I'm gonna die a“

♪ I think I'm gonna die h“

(Joe) Bea, there's a park right
at the end of the street.

You can see the whole L.A.
basin from there.

Not even Beverly Hills
has views like that.

(Ray) How does it look, Bea, huh?
You like it, don't you?

(Bea) I don't know.
I haven't seen it.

You got to like it.


This foyer is designed to impress
anybody who walks through the door.

It has a big winding staircase,
just like Gone With the Wind.

We should get our portraits
painted, like Rhett and Scarlett.

Bea, bring him in here.

Ray, wait till you hear what's
waiting in the living room.

What is it?

I had them build you a solid marble
fireplace, two stories high.

Hot damn!
How do you like it, Bea?

It's awful big.

It sure is:
8,500 square feet.

Biggest house in
the neighborhood.

So, does this meet
with your approval?

Man, this is a palace.

You think this is big? Wait
until tomorrow when you see

30,000 square feet
of RPM Incorporated.

Yeah, headquarters!

(Joe) This is it, Ray. Your
brand-new recording studio.

Did you get
everything I asked for?

Totally state-of-the-art.

Tom Dowd built an eight-track mixing
console, two recorders, the works.

(Joe) Now, this room is bigger
than most people's houses.

Got your own private bathroom
to your left.

Right behind you
is my adjoining office.

And step over to your
private bar to your left.

Got a bottle of Bols
right in the center.

You know me pretty good.

(Joe) If you run out,
shout, I'm right next door.

This is nice, right here.

It's the house
that Ray built.

Yes, it is.

♪ Born to lose a'

♪ I've lived my life
in vain N

[children chattering]

Ray Junior, slow down!

This ain't no
baseball diamond!

Charles residence.

Mr. Charles?

Hey, girl,
Bring that boy over here!

I got a hot dog with his name on it!
Come on, now.


Uh, yes,
I know who you are.

What? Oh, God, no.


Yes, I'll get on a plane and
I'll be there as soon as I can.

What happened?

Margie's dead.

Oh, God! H-HOW?

She overdosed.

I didn't start her, Bea.

I didn't let her
do dope around me.

L--l just wouldn't
let that happen.

Yes, I'm sure, Ray. I'm sure
you set a fine example.


What about her baby?

You knew?

His name is Charles Wayne.

He was born October 1, in New York City.
He's 3 years old.

The baby's fine.

He's at her sister's.

All right. I'll start
sending them some money.

You don't have to. I send
them money every month.



(Joe) In five minutes, Mr.
Charles will be here,

(Joe) In five minutes, Mr.
Charles will be here,

and he'll be ready to go.

Now the charts
Jeff is handing out

should be turned in
at the conclusion of--

You're late,
that's a $50 fine.

I ain't late.

I give them
a 10-minute grace period, Joe.

2:05. He's late.
He'll be charged $50.

What? You know what?
Where's Ray?

You don't have to talk to Ray,
you're talking to me.

I'll talk to whoever I damn well
please, and it sure as hell ain't you.

Jive jerk.

Hey, Ray,

this fool Joe Adams is trying
to fine me for being late.

What time did you get here?

What? Just now.
The band's still setting up.

Jeff don't--
Look, I'm not Jeff.

That's a fact, Jack!

Ray, you said
the band was my thing.

[clears throat]
It is.

Then, Fathead,
you go on back to rehearsal.


Ray, you know how it is,
you've been there.

(Jeff) Fathead, go on now.
Let me handle this.

Fathead, go on now.

You want to tell me what
the hell is going on, Ray?

I'm not doing anything
I haven't been asked to.

Ray's running a business.

He shouldn't have to waste time
hearing why people were late.

I'm not talking
to you, Joe.

I'm talking to Ray.

Ray, now I know you think
I'm soft on the band,

but those cats would do
whatever I ask.

But If you come in here with this,
uh, "running a business" crap,

you're gonna lose some good people.
I'm telling you, Ray.

There are musicians waiting in
line to play with Ray Charles.

Not for long,
once they get a taste of you.

Ray, you're the leader, man.
Be one! Come on, now.

You now what Jeff, I mean
things have changed.

It ain't like the days when it was
seven of us on the Chitlin' Circuit.

I mean, if you weren't busy building
a bowling alley, you'd seen that.

So you know about that, huh?

I know about everything.

I'm just trying to figure out
how you did it.

You think
I'm stealing from you, Ray?

If the Shaw Agency is gonna give you a
cut of the 10 percent I'm given them.

I might as well keep the
goddamn money in my pocket.

Leave us alone.
We need to talk.


You can step outside, Joe.

I'll be in my office.

Ray, now I know that jealous bastard
planted that lie in your head.

[drawer opens]

But I have never stolen from
you, Ray, and I never will.

I got a small business loan, and, yeah,
Milt Shaw was giving me a little extra,

but I'm not a thief, Ray.

Then what about that,
Jeff, huh?

A promoter swearing you did side deals
with him so you oould split my overages!

How could you do that to me?

We've been through so much,
we be so like brothers.

You know what, Ray?

If we were like brothers,

why are you paying Joe
more than you're paying me?

Damn all that!
You broke my heart, man.

Well, you know what, Ray? You broke
mine a long goddamn time ago!

Well, then there it is.

You know something, Ray?

You're going to get yours
one day.

And I pray to God that he has mercy
on your soul, you son of a bitch!

Everything all right, Ray?

How the hell
do you think it is?

[car honking]

Go tell him. Go tell him!
Go, go tell him.

Hey, Dad. Hi, there.

I made the all-star team!
The game's on Thursday.

Oh, that's great.

Oh, damn! I'm not gonna be in town.
I'm gotta go on tour.

(Ray) How about I buy you
guys new uniforms, huh?

Tell the coach I don't
care how much they cost.


All right, son, you want to take
your dad's briefcase inside.

The plane to Montreal leaves at 11 :00.
I'll pick you up at 8:30.

All right.

Did you hear what
Ray Junior said to you?


Do you know how much making the
all-star team means to him?

I know. I got things on my mind.
We had to fire Jeff.


He was stealing.


I don't believe it.

Yeah, well,
we're better without him.

♪ My mother told me a'

[audience clapping]

♪ 'Fore she passed away ♪

♪ Said son when I'm gone ♪

♪ Don't forget to pray ♪

♪ 'Cause there'll be
hard times ♪

♪ Hard times ♪

♪ Oh, yeah, yeah ♪

♪ Who knows better than I N

[car tires screeching]

Excuse me!
Get 'em out!

(customs agent #1)
U.S. customs!

We're goanna need to see
some identification, please.

You just arrived
from Montreal?

Yes. ls there a problem?

We were alerted there might
be drugs on this plane.

What? That's outrageous!
I'm going to call our lawyer.

No lawyers
at international checkpoints.

Now, we're going to have to
search everyone on this plane.

Mr. Charles, if you don't mind
we'd like to start with you.

I'd like to see your overcoat.

I don't mind.

Don't say anything, Ray.

What's this?

Ray, this isn't some judge
in Indiana.

It's federal. They can
charge you of smuggling

which can mean
real prison time.


(Sam) Our lawyers will
do what they can, but...

[phone ringing]

[dog barking]

[phone continues ringing]


You can't hide out
in here forever, Ray.

Look, it's my house.
I'm not in prison yet.

No, it's my house.

You ain't been here more than
six days since we moved in.

No, Ray, no! A needle
ain't gonna solve this!

Get out of the way.

Only thing
that can help you is God, Ray.

Don't think of God? Do you have
any idea how it feels to go blind

and still be afraid
of the dark?

And every day, you stand pray forjust
a little light, and you get nothing.

'Cause God don't listen
to people like me.

Stop talking like that.

As far as I'm concerned, me and God
is even and I do what I please.

If goddamn it, if I want
to shoot up, lshootup.

Then go ahead!
But you walk out that door

and I'm doing something I should
have done a long time ago.

I'm taking my boys
and I'll leave.

You're not going away.
You--you have no place to go.

No place?

You think I'm
scared of losing this?

Ray, the only thing I was ever
scared of losing was you.

Because where was I ever gonna
find another Ray Robinson?

So I put up with
some terrible stuff.

Maybe that makes me
part to blame.

But I ain't scared
no more.

You know I love you and those
boys more than anything.

That is a damn lie
and you know it!

You ever look at this?

Really look at it, Ray!

Ray Charles Junior's
"Most Valuable Player."

He was so proud this day,

until you came home too loaded
to go to his banquet.

No! No! There is something you
love more than me and them boys,

more than all the women you
ever slept with on the road,

more than all
the dope you ever took.

What are you talking about?
Your music.

And if you don't stop
using that needle,

they're gonna take away your
music and put you in jail.

Is that poison
worth losing everything?






Mr. Charles?


Mr. Charles.

You don't have to
go through this.

We have a substitute that can
help wean you off heroin.

I have to do it on my own.
I can do it. I can do it.

Ah. Don't touch me.


All right.

We'll do it your way.



Mr. Charles. Mr. Charles,
I'm coming.

He's got no fluids left.

Get an l.V.
in him right away.

(nurse) I'll insert the needle.
No needles.

Yes. It's very important.
You need this.

Runner, I've got a runner!


Let me go. Let me go.
(nurse) Get him on the bed.

Put those restraints on him.

No needles.

[Ray grunting]


[men yelling]

No, no.


George, I miss you.
I miss you, George.

I miss you.



Okay. Uh-oh.

You might be in trouble
right there, Doc.


Hot damn,
you whupped my ass again!

I-I'll tell you what, I won't
lose again the same way twice.

I spoke with the judge in Boston,
and he'll agree to probation.

He was impressed with
your attorney's arguments,

and he believes
you deserve one more chance.

Oh, that's great.

But you must
complete our program

and agree to take
periodic drug tests.

You know what. I'll do it.
I know people don't believe

I'm done with this dope,
but I'm finished.

Who's George?

[woman chattering
over PA system]


you've come through the worst
of the physical reactions.

We should begin
psychotherapy sessions.

Uh, look, forget
the head shrinking, Doc.

I can handle this.

Mr. Charles,

you're not the first
celebrity junkie I've treated.

Junkie? What--

Nobody cons me
at any price.

I'm not trying
to do that.

If you want me to give that
judge a positive report,

you will have to earn it.


Dr. Hacker?





(George) Ray, come on,
Ray, play with me!

He ain't there.

[bottles tinkling]

Talk to me, son.

I ain't no bad dream.
I'm a part of you.

Even all that dope
couldn't keep me away.

Mama, I kept my promise.

You got strong all right.

Went places
I never dreamed of.

But you still
became a cripple.

Come here, baby.
Come here.



It wasn't your fault.

Now promise us

you'll never let
nobody or nothing

turn you into
no cripple ever again.

That you'll always stand
on your own two feet.


(Julian Bond) Today we're
here to right a wrong

that was done to one of our
native sons nearly 20 years ago.

In 1961,

Ray Charles was banned from
performing in the state of Georgia

because he refused to play
before a segregated audience.

Thankfully, we've come
a long way since then.

Some of us have fought for equality
through the political process,

but Ray Charles changed American
culture by touching people's hearts.

So on this day,
March 7, 1979,

We, the duly elected representatives
of the state of Georgia

not only proclaim Georgia on My
Mind our official state song,

we also offer Mr. Ray Charles
a public apology

and welcome him back home.

[all applauding]

♪ Every time
I sing this song a'

If only your mama was here.

She's here.

She ain't never left.

♪ I sing for a“

♪ Georgia S'

♪ Whoa, Georgia a'

♪ The whole day through 4“

♪ Just this old, sweet song a“

♪ Keeps Georgia on my mind a'

♪ Georgia S'

♪ Oh, yeah S'

♪ Yeah, Georgia 4'

♪ A song of you a“

♪ Comes as sweet and clear a'

♪ as moonlight
through the pines a'

♪ I feel that a'

♪ Other arms a'

♪ reach out to me a'

♪ Other eyes 4'

♪ smile a'

♪ tenderly 4“

♪ Well, all right now a“

♪ Yeah a'

♪ Don't you know? 4“

♪ Still in peaceful dreams A“

♪ I see a busy road a'

♪ The road leads back to you 4“

♪ Oh, Georgia 4'

♪ No peace I find 4“

♪ Don't you hear me now? 4“

♪ Just this old, sweet song a“

♪ I say, oh, I say 4“

♪ Keeps Georgia on my mind a'

♪ On my mind a'

♪ On my mind a'

♪ Yeah a'

♪ Keeps Georgia 4'

♪ On my mind a'

♪ You know that the little
girls are on my mind, huh? a'

♪ Yes, it did, now, yeah N

♪ J'[Unchain my heart
by Ray Charles playing]

♪ Unchain my heart 4“

♪ Unchain my heart 4“

♪ Baby, let me be a“

♪ Unchain my heart 4“

♪ Unchain my heart 4“

♪ Unchain my heart 4“

♪ 'Cause you don't
care about me a'

♪ Unchain my heart 4“

♪ You've got me sewed up
like a pillow case a'

♪ But you let my love
go to waste a'

♪ So unchain my heart, oh
please, please set me free a'

♪ Unchain my heart 4“

♪ Unchain my heart 4“

♪ Baby, let me go 4“

♪ Unchain my heart 4“

♪ Unchain my heart 4“

♪ Unchain my heart 4“

♪ 'cause you don't love me
no more a'

♪ Unchain my heart 4“

♪ Every time I call you
on the phone a'

♪ Some fella tells me that
you're not at home a'

♪ So unchain my heart, oh
please, please set me free a'

♪ I'm under your spell a“

♪ I'm under your spell a“

♪ Like a man in a trance a'

♪ Like a man in a trance a'

♪ But I know darn well a'

♪ I know darn well a'

♪ that I don't
stand a chance a'

♪ I don't stand a chance a'

♪ So, unchain my heart A“

♪ Unchain my heart 4“

♪ Let me go my way a'

♪ Unchain my heart 4“

♪ Unchain my heart 4“

♪ Unchain my heart 4“

♪ You worry me night and day 4“

♪ Unchain my heart 4“

♪ Why lead me
through a life of misery a'

♪ When you don't care
a bag of beans for me a'

♪ So unchain my heart,
please, please set me free 4'

♪ Please set me free a'

♪ Oh, won't you set me free a'

♪ Please set me free a'

♪ Whoa, set me free a“

♪ Please set me free a'

♪ Wow, set me free N