I grew up seeing a specific Ray Charles album long before I'd realize their value.
I distinctly remember A 25th Anniversary In Show Business Salute To Ray Charles. It was a 2LP compilation of Ray Charles' hits on both the Atlantic and ABC record labels. Around the time I discovered it, I was still too young to realize its worth.
What did make me understand Ray Charles' importance to music was the classic Cosby Show episode when the cast members perform a piece to (Night Time Is) The Right Time.
For a good number of viewers, like myself, it was the first time I'd heard the song and I was mesmerized. I never forgot the song and quite probably vowed I'd own the song one day.
On the subject of owning the song, I ducked into a local Montreal record store not too long ago that was selling a copy of The 25th Anniversary album. I found it odd that there would be Ray Charles greatest hits packages that did not have What'd I Say or Hit The Road Jack on them. I learned the reason why. He recorded his earliest hits one label and went to record later hits on the latter. That makes the 2LP collection special. I considered buying it for the nostalgia sake of possibly showing it to my own son if I were to have one in the future.
It would be years a few more until Quincy Jones, Chaka Khan and Ray Charles combine to remake The Brothers Johnson classic I’ll Be Good To You.