As one of the best-known musical groups, the Beatles mention their admiration for other artists. One of George Harrison’s favorite jazz musicians/performing artists was “Hit The Road Jack” artist Ray Charles.
George Harrison and The Beatles Appear in Disney+ Original Documentary Series ‘The Beatles: Get Back’
The Beatles are known as one of the greatest groups in the world, eventually disbanding and breaking up to work on solo projects. Together they released songs like “I Want To Hold Your Hand”, “Hey Jude”, and “Here Comes The Sun”. They’ve appeared in TV specials, though some footage has gotten lost in the shuffle – until now.
Disney+ has released its original documentary series The Beatles: Come back. This production gave fans never-before-seen footage of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Harrison and Ringo Starr as they rehearse for one of their final live performances.
It also showed what these artists do in their spare time. This included mentioning some of their favorite artists and their live performances. Singer, songwriter and guitarist Harrison said legendary jazz artist Charles.
George Harrison is a fan of Ray Charles and Billy Preston
Between rehearsals of the original songs, the Beatles burst into impromptu Bob Dylan covers. Harrison also praised some of his favorite artists. He mentioned one of his good friends, guitarist Eric Clapton, as well as “Georgia on My Mind” singer Charles.
“The best jazz band I ever saw was Ray Charles’ band,” Harrison said. “I mean, this jazz really moves me in a fantastic way.”
The respect between Charles and the Beatles is mutual. Charles covered songs from this boy band, including “Eleanor Rigby” on The Dick Cavett Show and “Let it be”. McCartney’s “Yesterday” was also covered by the jazz singer.
“It’s fantastic,” Harrison continued. “Billy Preston is too much. Yeah, I’m sure you’ll love it when you see it.
While the Beatles were performing in Hamburg, they befriended the legendary jazz musician. Preston performed alongside Charles for several gigs. He then joined Ringo Starr for “Ringo Starr & His All-Starr Band”.
“Billy plays piano with the band,” Harrison added, turning to Ringo Starr. “Then he does his own spot where he sings and dances and plays the organ solo. Then Ray Charles comes along. He’s better than Ray Charles, really. Because he loves it too much. Because he plays so well organ… It’s too much.
Were the Beatles friends with Ray Charles?
Harrison’s admiration for Charles extended to his writing. Based on a quote from George Harrison on George Harrison: interviews and encountersHarrison heard the cover of “Something” from Charles, although he was “really disappointed” with the final product.
“In fact, when I was writing this song, in my mind I was thinking of Ray Charles singing it,” Harrison said. It is unclear whether Charles and the Beatles members were close friends outside of their musical relationship.
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