You Don’t Know Me

February 26, 2017 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Modern Music, MUSIC | 0 Comments |

Songs in Our Heart # 73

You Don’t Know Me (Ray Charles) (written by Cindy Walker, with help from Eddy Arnold; released April 1962) [Ray Charles’ record, Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music, is surely selector’s choice for the weirdest disc in recording history.  And one of the most wonderful. On the 10th spin, you begin to see what he was up to: the first real crossover album, C & W meets R & B, with lush orchestration, superb arrangement, dynamite backing harmony and Charles’ great clear and magisterial voice cutting through it all.

Every song works – the slow-boat-to-China songs such as “Half As Much,” “Careless Love,” “It Makes No Difference At All,” “You Win Again” and “Worried Mind,” the great old honky tonks “I Can’t Stop Loving You” and “Hey Good Lookin’,” the swinging “Bye Bye, Love” and “Just A Little Lovin’,” the soulful “I Love You So Much It Hurts,” and “Born to Lose.”

But primus inter pares is this Song From Our Heart – perhaps the sparest, most tasteful, and warmest torch song of all – “You Don’t Know Me.”

ray-charles

A miraculously gentle and wanting song, beautifully produced and flawlessly delivered, with just the right amount of tenderness, regret and hurt (but absolutely no self-pity):

You give your hand to me
And then you say goodbye
I watch you walk away beside the lucky guy
Oh you will never know
The one who loves you so
Well you don’t know me.“]

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