RAY CHARLES COULD USE HIS BLINDNESS AS A MAGNET FOR WOMEN,
SAYS HIS OLD FRIEND, QUINCY JONES, IN A "60 MINUTES" PROFILE
OF CHARLES TO BE BROADCAST SUNDAY ON CBS
Updated Profile Contains Previously Unseen Footage, Including Charles Discussing His
Heroin Addiction and New Interviews with Jones and Willie Nelson
Ray Charles was blind, but not so blind that he didn't know when a beautiful woman entered the room. In fact, says music impresario Quincy Jones, his old friend, the sly Charles could use his disability to his advantage with women. Jones's interview with Ed Bradley appears in a profile of the late musician to be broadcast on 60 MINUTES Sunday, Oct. 17 (7:00-8:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.
Blind since he was a young boy, Charles had become quite independent later in his life. But with women around, it could be a different story, says Jones. "[Charles was] the most independent man I've ever seen in my life," he tells Bradley. "The only time where he ever appeared to have any kind of handicap was when a beautiful woman was in the room. Then he started walking into walls and so forth," remembers Jones with a laugh. "'Can I help you, Mr. Charles?'" Jones says the sympathetic women would say.
"He would get real blind, you know, when the pretty girls were around," Jones tells Bradley.
The recent interview of Jones is part of new version of a 1986 60 MINUTES profile of the late American music icon that also contains previously unseen footage of him. In one, Charles speaks candidly about his heroin addiction. Bradley also speaks to Willie Nelson, who talks about working with Charles on his last recording before his death last June.
The profile also contains a rare look at Charles' life on the road and footage from many live performances reflecting the wide range and appeal of a talent whose music straddled jazz, blues, gospel, rock and country. Charles blended them all and created soul by combining the blues with gospel.
Says Jones, on the fact that Frank Sinatra called Charles the only genius in the business, "I would agree with that. Ray had a range, 360 range, that I don't think anybody ever had," Jones says. He had a special talent, acknowledges Jones. "He had it. Whatever it is, Ray had it and everybody knew it," he tells Bradley.