Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music is a studio album by American R&B singer-songwriter and musician Ray Charles. It was recorded by Charles in February 1962 at Capitol Studios in New York City and at United Recording Studios in Hollywood, then released in April of that year by ABC-Paramount Records. The album departed stylistically from the singer's previous rhythm and blues music. It featured country, folk, and Western music standards reworked by Charles in popular song forms of the time, including R&B, pop, and jazz.
As his fifth LP release for ABC-Paramount, Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music became a rapid critical and commercial success as it brought Ray Charles further mainstream notice, following his tenure for Atlantic Records. With the help of the album's four charting singles, Charles earned recognition in the pop market, as well as airplay on both R&B and country radio stations. Modern Sounds and its lead single, "I Can't Stop Loving You", were both certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America in 1962, as each record had shipped 500,000 copies in the United States.
Regarded by many critics as Charles's best studio album, Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music has been considered by several music writers to be a landmark album in American music. The album's integration of soul and country music bent racial barriers in popular music, amid the height of the Civil Rights Movement. In the process of recording the album, Charles became one of the first African-American musicians to exercise complete artistic control over his own recording career. The album has been called one of the greatest albums of all time by publications such as Rolling Stone and Time.
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