I had a talk with Ray Charles about a month ago he said, "Joe Tex, you got an outta sight show. And if you listen to me, you're gonna make it big but you been singin' to the grown-ups and not to the kids You gotta make a song that'll make them move You gotta keep the kids dancin', keep 'em right in the groove The song don't hafta say much, just give 'em that beat They don't wanna hear the words, son, they wanna move their feet (hit it!) I'm goin' to Memphis y'all I"ma find me a band, and I'm gon' do just like Ray Charles told me to do and when I get it I'm gonna bring it straight to you And I'ma say (Ohhh!) chorus You're right, Ray Charles, yeah you right I got 'em dancin' day and night yeah, you're right, Brother Ray, yeah, you right I got 'em dancin' day and night Ray said: "I don't care if syrup go to a dollar a sop you can let the band play son, don't let 'em stop don't let 'em hold partners when they out on the floor they usedta dance like that, they don't do it no mo. Just let 'em dance is the way I do and if it works for me, Joe, it can work for you when you make this song you'll see that I'm right I'm not gonna lead you wrong, brother, cuz we're too tightThere's a couple more choruses and some adlibs in there, but the point here is not to print the lyrics. Really, the main points are all in the first verse. The only reason I included the second verse is that the line, "I don't care if syrup goes to a dollar a sop" is so hot. (Best believe you will be seeing it here repeatedly.) Now, I don't know if the events in this song are true or apochryphal; it definitely sounds like something Ray Charles would have been astute enough to observe, and given the lyrical intensity of Joe Tex's subsequent records, it's definitely possible. Either way, that's exactly what has happened to popular music, especially the sons of the soul/funk that Ray Charles and Joe Tex (among others) performed. I'm not gonna take it into hyper-evaluation, but I will say keep that first verse in mind next time you listen to the radio. Ray Charles was right.
You're Right, Ray Charles
Joe Tex is one of my favorite artists. I've probably said he doesn't get the respect he deserves eleventeen times. He has some fairly popular songs, like I Gotcha and one of my personal favorites (even though it's pure-D wrong), Ain't Gonna Bump No More (With No Big Fat Woman). Still, overall, I don't think Joe Tex has a whole lot of name recognition. That's one of the reasons I loved it when The Rza used I'll Never Do You Wrong on Ol' Dirty's Snakes. My favorite Joe Tex song has got to be You're Right, Ray Charles. Because I like to think about things, particularly music, I like meta-stuff. YRRC is a meta song. In fact, it's almost like a prophesy. Not really, because the phenomenon he's describing was already taking place when the song was recorded, but certainly between now and then it has gone into overdrive. Here are the lyrics: