“Ray Charles came to the Newport Hotel in Miami Beach when he was really big and James Brown was starting to get real, real popular everywhere, and James and I went to go see Ray’s show.
James Brown said to me, “Hey Steve, let’s go see Ray Charles at the Newport.” James really wanted to go cause he wanted to be seen. So he and I went.
The night of the concert, we’re there in the audience and Ray says, “I understann in the audience tonight is the neeeew king of soul music. Mr James Brown.” And James shot up out of the chair like whaaapppaaa. I was there with him when Ray Charles said that….”This is the neeew king of soul.” The Newport Hotel right on Miami Beach.
The room was packed. Sold out show. It only sat about 500, 600 people, 1000 people maybe. But Ray Charles was great. There’s a few artists that were the innovators of all that music. And if you go back you can derivate all of these singers of today from one of these people: Ray Charles, and James Brown.”
– From a 2011 interview with Steve Alaimo
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