Have A Ray Charles Christmas

(conqueroo) Concord Records caps a year in which it reissued many of Ray Charles' classic albums (Genius: The Ultimate Ray Charles Collection, Modern Sounds in Country and Western, A Message From the People and The Genius Hits the Road) with the artist's only Christmas album of his entire career, The Spirit of Christmas.

Concord's digitally remastered reissue marks the first time the album has been available in more than 12 years. Street date is October 6, 2009.

The Spirit of Christmas contains ten songs from the original album: "What Child Is This," "The Little Drummer Boy," "Santa Claus is Coming to Town," "This Time of Year is Near," "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer," "That Spirit of Christmas," "All I Want for Christmas," "Christmas in My heart," "Winter Wonderland" and "Christmas Time." Also included is a non-album never-before-released bonus track, Frank Loesser's "Baby It's Cold Outside" in a duet with Betty Carter.

As usual, Charles has surrounded himself with top musicians. Freddie Hubbard (trumpet/flugelhorn) and Rudy Johnson (tenor sax) appear both on "What Child is This" and "All I Want for Christmas." The Raeletts provide their signature vocals on "The Little Drummer Boy." And both Kevin Turner and Jeff Pevar contribute guitars throughout.

Ray Charles is a 17-time Grammy Award-winning artist and #10 on Rolling Stone's Greatest Artists of All Time. The Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame inductee (1986) has sold more than 10 million albums in the SoundScan era alone.

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