- No mas: Principal bans Spanish language in intercom announcement
- Hacking software could put ‘zombie drone army’ in user’s hands
- Support for stricter gun laws drops: poll
- 10 whales dead, 41 others stranded in Everglades
- John Boehner faces bipartisan pressure to allow gay-rights vote
- Martin Bashir resigns from MSNBC over ‘ill-judged’ comments about Sarah Palin
- Rep. Duncan Hunter: While Obama prays for Iranian change, U.S. should ready its nukes
- Best company ever? Veteran Beer Co. exists to employ vets, provide quality beer
- Iran official: Sanctions ‘utterly failed’ to stop nuclear program
- ‘Black Santa’ display at IU sparks student outrage
Ray Charles Memorial Library opens in L.A.
The Ray Charles Memorial Library officially opened its doors Thursday night. Housed in the studio and office building Charles built in South Los Angeles in the early 1960s, the library features interactive exhibits about the musician’s life and career.
Charles‘ friends and colleagues _ including Quincy Jones, B.B. King, producer Jimmy Jam and filmmaker Taylor Hackford _ welcome visitors via video to each section of the library, which is more like an interactive museum. Touch screens invite guests to explore Charles‘ most memorable recordings, while exhibits feature some of his Grammy awards, stage costumes, old contracts and ever-present sunglasses.
Charles‘ fans can see his personal piano and saxophone, his collection of microphones and letters he received from Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Johnny Cash. The library also includes a mixing station, where visitors can compose their own mixes of Charles‘ classic rhythms and melodies, and a karaoke room, where they can sing along with Charles and the Raelettes.
His recording studio and a closet full of his clothes remain on the second floor of the building, which was declared a cultural and historic landmark by the city in 2004.
When Charles lost his sight as a child, his ears became his eyes, he said, and he dedicated himself to music, eventually blending genres and breaking down barriers both social and musical.
Willie Nelson said Charles “caused country music to leap ahead _ maybe 50 years _ because he’d done the impossible: He’d crossed over the other way.”
Hackford and former Raelette Mable John were among those celebrating the library’s grand opening.
The facility is a product of Charles‘ charitable foundation, which he established in 1986 to serve the hearing impaired. Though Charles was blind, he felt that not being able to hear music would be a true handicap. When he died in 2004 at age 73, he left all of his intellectual property and $50 million in cash to continue the foundation’s efforts.
The Ray Charles Foundation also provides grants to support hearing disorder and educational causes. The library’s main aim is to educate and inspire disenfranchised children who have seen arts education cut from their school curricula, said library and foundation president Valerie Ervin.
The library will be open exclusively to school children by invitation only. Officials plan to extend access to the general public sometime next year.
- Hola: Boehner prepares to push amnesty bill through House
- Apple wins facial recognition patent for iPhone 6
- Inside China: Nuclear submarines capable of widespread attack on U.S.
- Puerto Rico caravan honoring Paul Walker ends in 6 drunken-driving arrests, 72 speeding tickets
- Kill team: Obama war chiefs widen drone death zones
- Xbox One, Playstation 4 games penalize users for cursing in their own homes
- MILLER: Obamas EPA closing smelter will not affect ammunition supply
- Pentagon may give recruits 'a shot to start over' after shameful social media posts
- Tipsforjesus mystery diner leaves huge tips across America
- U.S. drops 2,000 mice on Guam by parachute to kill snakes
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Playing Through covers the world of PGA golf, as well as tips your the average golfer to play better.
The only thing broken about our immigration policy has been our collective cowardice as a nation to enforce our current immigration laws
Al Maurer provides a common sense, conservatarian, Constitutional conservative perspective from the battleground state of Colorado
Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfills the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things.