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Portland, OR, 97214

Sonic Sketches are beautiful, three-panel portraits of the world's greatest songs…transformed into striking works of visual art.

Ray Charles – "America the Beautiful"

Vintage & Americana

Ray Charles – "America the Beautiful"

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Ray Charles – "America the Beautiful"

from 79.00

Representing a quintessentially-American melange of styles and influences, Charles’ version of “America the Beautiful” (from his 1972 album Message from the People) applies his distinct, Gospel-toned delivery to a melody and lyric written nearly a century earlier.

The words to “America the Beautiful” were written in 1893 by English teacher Katharine Lee Bates during a cross-country train trip. Viewing the Great Plains from high atop the Colorado Rockies, Bates felt inspired to immortalize the country’s “majestic, natural beauty”.

In 1910, Bates’ lyrics were merged with Samuel A. Ward’s 1882 melody “Materna” (itself originally written for the hymn “O Mother dear, Jerusalem”), and the combined work was published as “America the Beautiful”.

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