First Frank, then Tony, now Ray

Feb. 3, 2004 at 9:04 PM

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif., Feb. 3 (UPI) -- Ray Charles this summer will become the third in a series of popular male singers to release a comprehensive project of duets with other singers.

His yet-to-be-titled CD is due out on Concord Records on Aug. 31, label executives said Tuesday. Artists who have already recorded with "the Genius of Soul" for the project include Norah Jones, James Taylor, Bonnie Raitt, B.B. King, Michael McDonald and Willie Nelson.

The project is not unlike Frank Sinatra's two late-career "Duets" and "Duets II" recordings from 1993 and 1994, and Tony Bennett's "Playin' With My Friends: Bennett Sings the Blues" from 2001.

On April 27, Concord will also release "Live At Caesars Palace," a collection of never-before-heard live recordings from Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. Sinatra, Keely Smith, Lena Horne and Duke Ellington are all included on the compilation. It will also release a full-length CD of Sammy Davis Jr., also recorded in Las Vegas.

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