Hit & Run

Volcanic Action of My Soul

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Jim Henley offers this "consoling thought of the week":

Ray Charles on our money. ALL our money.

I like the idea. More generally, I like the idea of adorning our money the way we adorn our stamps: not (just) with dead politicians, but with dead artists, scientists, and other cultural worthies. There's a debate now between the people who want to keep FDR's face on the dime and the people who want to grant it to Reagan, but why not drop both in favor of someone virtually everyone loves? Why not a picture of Charles?

My favorite Ray Charles album, by the way, is a boxed set called The Complete Country and Western Recordings. It has all the tracks from both of the Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music albums, in which he revamped various country hits as rhythm & blues numbers; and it's got three more discs filled with both straight country and country-gone-R&B. The high point is a staggering soul version of "Ring of Fire." If you need some music to mourn him by, you'd have a hard time doing better than this.