Sunday, February 13, 2011

"I Got a Woman"

"I Got a Woman" is a song co-written and recorded by American Jazz musician Ray Charles and released as a single in December of 1954 on the Atlantic label as Atlantic 45-1050 b/w "Come Back Baby." Both sides later appeared on his 1957 album Ray Charles (or, Hallelujah I Love Her So).


Built on a gospel hymn, "Jesus Is All the World to Me," Ray was listening to on the radio while on the road with his band, he and his band member, trumpeter Renald Richard penned a song which was built among a gospel frenetic pace with secular lyrics and a jazz-inspired rhythm and blues background, the song would be one of the prototypes for what later became termed as "soul music" after Charles released "What'd I Say" nearly five years later.


The song was recorded late 1954 in an Atlanta studio and was Charles' first #1 R&B hit in January 1955. The song would lead to more hits for Charles during this period when he was on Atlantic. It was later ranked #235 on Rolling Stone's list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time, one of Charles' five songs on the list.

Kanye West Version

Fifty years later, rapper Kanye West would sample "I Got a Woman" for his #1 US hit, "Gold Digger," in 2005, bringing Charles back into the charts (with help from Jamie Foxx, who also played Charles in the biopic, Ray, and imitated him in the intro), only this time credited as a songwriter of his own #1 hit posthumously after his death in June 2004. Two years later, reggae legends Toots & the Maytals covered the song on their album "Light Your Light."

Cover versions

The song has been covered by many artists, including:

* Anneke van Giersbergen
* Baby Face Willette
* Bobby Darin
* Elvis Presley
* Jimmy McGriff
* Booker T. & the M.G.'s
* The Beatles
* Roy Orbison
* Al Kooper
* The Honeydrippers
* The Monkees
* Stevie Wonder
* Johnny Cash and June Carter
* Jerry Lee Lewis
* Them
* John Hammond
* Bill Haley & His Comets
* Jamie Cullum
* Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee
* Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
* The Gibson Brothers
* Andrew Wild
* Kermit Ruffins & Rebirth Brass Band
* Bryan Adams
* John Mayer Trio
* Ramblin' Jack Elliott
* Sammy Davis Jr.
* Toots & the Maytals
* Jimmy Smith
* Pink Anderson
* Alonzo Pennington
* Freddie Scott 1963 chart single, ballad version

Single by Ray Charles
from the album Ray Charles (or, Hallelujah I Love Her So)
A-side: "I Got a Woman"
B-side: "Come Back Baby"
Released: 1954
Format: 7" single
Recorded: Atlanta, Georgia, 1954
Genre: Rhythm and blues
Length: 2:31
Label: Atlantic 45-1050
Writer(s): Ray Charles
Producer: Jerry Wexler


No comments: