On June 2, 1962, Ray Charles‘ “I Can’t Stop Loving You” started a five-week domination on the all-genre Billboard Hot 100. The iconic song was authored by Don Gibson, whose original version hit No. 7 on the Most Played C&W by Jockeys chart in 1958.
Ray Charles Robinson was born Sept. 23, 1930, in Albany, Ga. Known best for his work in blues, jazz and R&B, “Loving” is from Charles’ groundbreaking 1962 album Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music, which melded pop, country styles and more and crowned the Billboard 200 for 14 weeks.
On the Hot 100, “Stop” marked Charles’ last of three No. 1s, among 12 top 10s, following two other beloved hits: “Georgia on My Mind” (one week at No. 1, November 1960) and “Hit the Road Jack” (two weeks, October 1961). He logged 81 entries on the chart between 1958 and 1990.
Continuing the direction of his landmark 1962 release, Charles made his first appearance on Billboard‘s Hot Country Songs chart in 1980 with “Beers to You,” with Clint Eastwood. His 1985 collaboration with Willie Nelson, “Seven Spanish Angels,” hit No. 1, among 13 entries he placed on the survey. “Angels” is from Charles’ LP Friendship, which led Top Country Albums.
Charles was in the inaugural class inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986. He passed away on June 10, 2004, at age 73. (In March 2005, his last studio LP, Genius Loves Company, topped the Billboard 200, after it won the Grammy Award for album of the year.) This May 1, he was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame, with Eddie Bayers, Pete Drake and The Judds.