Greenville to celebrate Ray Charles’ birthday with musical tribute Friday at 6 pm

Greenville to celebrate Ray Charles' Birthday.
Greenville to celebrate Ray Charles' Birthday.(wctv)
Published: Sep. 21, 2022 at 2:15 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - North Florida and South Georgia residents are invited to celebrate the musical icon, Ray Charles, at his statue in Greenville, Florida, on his birthday, Friday, September 23.

Ray Charles lived in Greenville until he was 15 years old, and the residents of the town beam with pride when discussing his legacy and impact on the world of music.

His childhood home was scheduled for demolition in 2006 but was saved by Greenville’s Mayor and restored into a museum in 2009.

Now the home has a leaking roof and is surrounded by overgrown trees which has caused the doors to close.

Long-time Greenville resident, Lucille Day, is leading the fundraising charge to repair the home and make tours available to the community again.

Day remembers Ray Charles was always smiling and had a great sense of humor.

“For the world of music, he brought pleasure and understanding through some of the lyrics of his songs and he is just unforgettable. Everybody knew Ray Charles. This was home for him, and when he returned, he was the famous Ray Charles, and we were glad to see “RC,” and he was glad to see us,” Day said.

Day also said everyone could learn much from Charles’s positive attitude and determination.

“I think people could learn [from Ray Charles] how to accept whatever is placed on their plate and make the best of it. Look forward and don’t look back. You have more positive things to be thankful for. Use what you have. Many times we look outside to get things when all you need to do is look within.”

Day said she won’t give up until the Ray Charles Childhood Home and Museum is back up and running again.

If you would like to support the effort to restore the museum, visit the Ray Charles Foundation website or contact the Town of Greenville at (850) 948-2251.

Ray Charles would have been 92 years old this Friday.

Tallahassee acoustic duo, Hot Tamale, will celebrate Charles’ birthday and sing some of his classic songs in Haffye Hays Park on Highway 90 on Friday at 6 p.m.

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