No Way! Bobby Womack Said Ray Charles Proved Blind Men Can Fly
Now this is funny, so strap on your seat belt. “Ladies and gentlemen, the Captain has turned on the Fasten Seat Belt sign. If you haven’t already done so, please stow your carry-on luggage underneath the seat in front of you or in an overhead bin. And also make sure your seat back and folding trays are in their full upright position.”
So our beloved Ray Charles was flying an airplane! Yep, you read that right. We heard of those stories of Stevie Wonder driving a car, but get this: Mr. Ray was doing his thing way up in the air. This, all according to Bobby Womack as he stated in his book, “Midnight Mover”:
“A blind man playing chess was one thing, but flying a plane-now that was different. The first time it happened it tripped me out. I got aboard the rig we were flying on. It seated about 40 and all the band was there. It was Ray Charles’ own plane and I saw him up front in the cockpit clicking all kinds of switches and flipping buttons.”
“I didn’t say anything because no one else did. I thought, ‘They’ll tell him to come back and take his seat soon. And, sure enough, Ray ambled back, buckled up and the plane began to taxi down the runway.”
“However, as soon as we hit air, the buckle was off and Ray raced up the aisle towards the cockpit. I said, “Where’s he going?” He never runs like that when he’s going on stage to play the piano.’
The pilot handed the controls to Ray. One of the band members filled me in: “Ray always takes over the controls.” That freaked me out. ‘Oh, Jesus me. Dear Lord,’ I prayed. ‘There’s a blind man flying the plane. This is nonsense. I kept my eyes shut and prayed throughout the flight.” Man, I couldn’t sleep for thinking about our flights between gigs.”
In the words of “Florida Evans,” all we can say to this is “damn, damn, damn” Ray – you did it all man with no eyesight. Who needs to see to fly, right? We guess when you can play a piano with 88 keys, what’s a few levers, buttons, joysticks a few thousand feet in the air – huh? That’s why we have nothing but love for the late great Ray Charles- he was a jack of ALL trades and never let anything hold him back.
Bobby Womack had more the reveal about the ‘Blind Soul Man’:
“I had also heard that Ray had tried to drive his Caddy one day. Just decided he fancied driving it home so he ordered his driver into the passenger seat, got behind the wheel and set off. He hit some dustbins, two or three cars but luckily no people before the cops stopped him.”
Just wonder did anybody say ‘Ray, you’re killing me man’. One day I asked Ray, “Why do you think you can fly a plane?” He said, “Because it’s mine.”
Guess that wraps it all in a bow. He who has the gold, makes the rule.
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