Ray Sang About St. Pete Love & Blues

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Down in St. Pete, Florida
I found my baby there
Ohh, St. Pete, St. Pete Florida
I found my baby there.

Before he hit it big, and when folks still called him Ray Charles Robinson, he sang about the St. Pete Florida Blues, also known as I Found My Baby There.

A rare tune, Charles recorded the song in Miami after being seen discovered by legendary talent scout Henry Stone. It all started at the Mary Elizabeth Hotel in St. Augustine, where Ray was attending a school for the blind.

Originally released on Rockin’ Records, the song went out of print before the late 50s. Due to the huge success of Ray, the Academy Award winning full-length biopic, it was re-distributed along with four other rare tracks in 2004 on iTunes.

Charles, who grew up in Greenville, Florida lived in the Tampa Bay area for about three years and was a regular fixture at the Manhattan Casino where he played with The Florida Playboys, the Manzy Harris Orchestra and Charley Brantley and the Honeydippers.

Charles left the Bay area for a meeting with producer Quincy Jones that would catapult him to stardom but, according to a 2004 St. Pete Times article, his daughter still lives in the area and in 1990, USF awarded him an honorary doctorate in Fine Arts.

Ray Charles St. Pete Florida Blues (also known as I Found My Baby There) Lyrics 

Sources here and here. Thanks to Josh Poll of Zen Glass Studio for the contribution.

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