“And now… the genius Ray Charles”

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June 8, 2021

On June 10, 2004, we lost one of the most unique, innovative and creative performers of our time, his name was RAY CHARLES. In my career as musician, broadcaster, promoter, journalist, having worked with many iconic names, I have to say the epitome of my career, was for me to introduce Ray at the Berwick Fair, in Berwick PA, on June 19, 1987. 

I recall my initial meeting that day with his manager Joe Hunter, in which Joe stated, “ Eddie, you’ve got two minutes to intro Ray, you can say anything you want, as long as you end with … and now ‘the genius Ray Charles.” Later, the feeling was so powerful when I shook Ray’s hand, introducing myself, as his bodyguards escorted him on stage, dressed in an impeccable and ornate, brocaded tux coat. And, Ray did autograph one of my albums, which reads, “Eddie…. I am busted, don’t you be…Ray 87′.” Of course, “Busted” was a major hit for Ray in 1963.