The Grand Ole Opry®, in association with the Ray Charles Foundation and American Public Television, announced that “An Opry Salute to Ray Charles” will premiere in syndication beginning on Thursday, September 5, 2019 on public television stations nationwide (check local listings), with a first-look debut on Nashville Public Television (WNPT) on Thursday, August 15, 2019 at 8:00PM CT. The special, which taped last October, celebrates the songs of Ray Charles and the influence the revolutionary artist had on country music.
Hosted by Darius Rucker, this event unites two iconic entities with unique collaborations and special performances of Charles’ music, performed by artists including Boyz II Men, Cam, Brett Eldredge, Leela James, Jessie Key, Ronnie Milsap, Lukas Nelson, LeAnn Rimes, Allen Stone, Travis Tritt, Charlie Wilson, Trisha Yearwood and Chris Young.
During his formative years in Georgia and Florida, Ray Charles listened regularly to the Grand Ole Opry, beaming throughout the South via Nashville’s WSM-AM. Charles blended the blues and gospel into his original brand of R&B, played jazz, and recorded two volumes of the influential album Modern Sounds in Country & Western Music, reissued on digital and CD on February 22nd, 2019 via Concord Records, also becoming available for the first time on streaming platforms. These landmark recordings are available here: https://found.ee/RayCharles_ModernSounds.
For more information on “An Opry Salute to Ray Charles” and available media assets please visit: http://bit.ly/2Meub7h. For more information on how Ray Charles shaped country music please visit http://bit.ly/2yxhOue.
“An Opry Salute to Ray Charles” was produced by Opry Entertainment Group, Black & White TV, Inc. and The Content Farm in association with The Ray Charles Foundation.