Ray Charles

Ray Charles (2003) Photo:Getty Images/ Kevin Winter

LOS ANGELES (AP) — On what would have been his 80th birthday, [lastfm]Ray Charles[/lastfm] joined the likes of past presidents Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan with his own namesake library in Southern California.

The Ray Charles Memorial Library officially opened its doors Thursday night. Housed in the studio and office building Charlesbuilt in South Los Angeles in the early 1960s, the library features interactive exhibits about the musician’s life and career.

Its main aim is to educate and inspire disenfranchised children who have seen arts education cut from their school curricula, said president of the library the Ray Charles Foundation Valerie Ervin.

The library will be open exclusively to school children by invitation only. Officials plan to extend access to the general public sometime next year.

More Ray Charles on WOMC.com:

Ray Charles: 10 Great Moments Caught On Film

Ray Charles and Johnny Cash Previously Unreleased Duet ‘Why Me, Lord?’


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