I tried to show him one night how Ray Charles played the piano when I saw him in concert in 1988. He's got the sway down, too. The glasses are his own idea, undoubtedly from checking out the photos that accompany this box set.

"Listen to this one," I tell him, and cue up "Georgia on My Mind." The keys go quiet. My son stares out the window; the sun shines.

I'll never listen to my Ray Charles five-CD box set straight through, at least not till I'm 50. But my five-year-old might. My new son might too. Maybe one rainy Sunday, while I'm working around the house or attempting to balance the checkbook, one of them will lie down with his head between the speakers and make the same memories I made.

It's possible. It's not out of the question. Because it's that kind of music, the kind that lasts and lasts. Already, my five-year-old says Ray Charles is the greatest. His second favorite is Johnny Cash.

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