Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Ray Charles: Mess Around

Having heard today’s Bluesday Tuesday selection a while back, I marked it down for future reference. It is a song that not only predates my life, but my familiarity of the late, great Ray Charles’ recordings. The 1953 single release of “Mess Around” is one of his definitive recordings.

From what I can tell, “Mess Around,” was Ray’s third single release on Atlantic Records and the first of his many early singles to chart. While he wouldn’t chart on the mainstream charts until 1957, “Mess Around” ascended to the #3 position on Billboard’s R&B Chart.

“Mess Around” was written by Ahmet Ertegün, the president of Atlantic Records, under the pseudonym of “Nuggy.” The song drew influence both instrumentally and lyrically from a number of sources as Ertegün borrowed liberally from his predecessors in the blues genre. This is great stuff from Ray.

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