The Ray Charles Memorial Library chronicles the extraordinary life and accomplishments of Ray Charles. The Library is aligned with the core of his humanitarian work — using his story to inspire and educate young people and those less fortunate on how to conquer adversities and create success in spite of obstacles.
The Library is a self-guided interactive exhibit, divided into seven galleries highlighting significant aspects of Ray Charles’ life and career. There are touch screens inviting students to explore and learn about his most memorable recordings.
Gallery 1: Students/ Visitors will enjoy a 13-minute video of Mr. Charles’ humble beginnings. Growing up in the segregated south, blind at 7 years of age but finding a way to overcome being sightless in a sighted world.
Gallery 2: Welcomes students and is narrated by Quincy Jones on the “Emergence of a Musical Genius.” Ray Charles being a natural musician, schooled himself in American music which provided him with a deep appreciation of sound and song.
Gallery 3: B.B. King introduces the students to “Breaking the Musical Boundaries.” Ray Charles routinely ignored musical boundaries, he sang and played what sounded right to him, in the process opening the door to decades of great music.
Gallery 4: ”Making Music.” This gallery has four recording studios where students can mix a track and receive feedback on their efforts from Ray Charles.
Gallery 5: “Building a Legacy” narrated by Jimmy Jam. This gallery teaches students about Ray’s entrepreneurial endeavors and with the help of his business partner Joe Adams he built a small empire.
Gallery 6: A welcome video narrated by Taylor Hackford on “A Lifetime of Achievement.” Here students will learn of the countless awards and keys to many cities the world over bestowed upon Ray Charles.
Gallery 7: Has a karaoke machine with three microphones and a stage allowing the students to perform with Ray Charles and the Raelettes.