“Busted” Performed by Ray Charles (1963)

August 13, 2008

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Composed by the award winning songwriter Harlan Howard, Ray Charles’ performance of “Busted” won him his fourth Grammy in a row – Best Rhythm and Blues Recording 1963.

If I say this is one of my favorites songs you are probably thinking I am being redundant — but it truly is. In fact most of Brother Ray‘s songs are favorites of mine.  And while researching this blog I have come to find more of Ray’s catalog that had eluded me over the years and I am loving those newly discovered “oldies but goodies” too!

The previous year Charles won a Grammy for a song from his “Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music” album and this song had been recorded by Country artist Johnny Cash in 1962.

The more I delve into the Genius of Ray Charles — I think his “Genius” is that he defies categorization!  He started out winning in the newly created R&B category of the Grammy Academy, but he charted both Billboard “Pop” and “Black” (the term that I despise and will go back to calling it R&B for my sanity),  and yet he had recorded a majority of classic “country” songs to this point.  His performances were tinged with “jazz” and “blues”, and yet oftentimes his orchestration was bordering on “classical”. Wow — what a conglomeration!

Yes I am sure that the “Genius” of Ray Charles is that he was not one musical genre, but a melding of all musical genres! You may read more about Ray Charles at Answers.com

“Busted” reached #4 Pop and #3 R&B on the US Billboard charts and #21 in the UK.

Watch the Genius at work, performing this classic during a 1982 European concert.

I appreciate your visit.

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Filed under:ABC/Paramount,Busted,Country Crossover,Country Pop,Covers That Hit!,Grammy Gold,Harlan Howard,Magnificent Male Vocalists,Pop/R&B,Ray Charles,Sixties

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Rebecca August 17, 2008 at 8:49 pm


I love it. Busted is one of my favorites.


2 ThatDeborahGirl September 10, 2008 at 1:55 pm

Chile, to really get the full flavor of this song, try the Austin City Limits version. Talk about fly! OMG, You can barely understand Ray (he’s either drunk or high or maybe just on a roll) but the soul in that one is awesome and undeniable! I love it and it’s a lot better than this sanitized for the album version.

Either way, it’s a great song. But if you can get your hands on that live performance…it will knock your socks off.


3 Dan Gunter September 24, 2009 at 11:44 pm

This was one of my family’s favorite songs when I was a kid back in the ’60s. My mother–who was born in a log house in the Missouri Ozarks in 1920–related to it entirely. We were still sharecroppers when the song came out–and we were poor for a long time after it came out. One of my older sisters bought the LP, and we about wore it out on this song. Brother Ray spoke the truth when he performed that song–and even though he didn’t write it, he made it his.


4 SonDan September 26, 2009 at 9:30 pm

You are certainly right about that Dan: everything Brother Ray sang he made his own. Even the Muppet’s classic “It Ain’t Easy Being Green” and “America the Beautiful” became “Ray Charles songs” once he sang them his way. Thanks for sharing your musical memories of this song. That’s what music is all about to me. It never let’s us forget our roots because whenever we hear it — details come flooding back to mind.


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