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10 June 2010

Ray Charles Narrates Chicka Chicka Boom Boom (1992)

I don't know if I got the story entirely right, but as I understand it, Chicka Chicka was first published in the fall of 1989 as a printed book, written by Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault, and illustrated by Lois Ehlert.
Ray's reading seems to have been first released as an audio cassette in the spring of 1992. I found a review by Susan Stewart in Entertainment Weekly from 1 May 1992:
"In a perfect world, Ray Charles would not be just America's most beloved blues artist, cola spokesman, and sitcom theme-song singer; he would anchor the evening news, too. Charles is as soothing as Dan Rather is alarming. He's Uncle Walter, with soul. Uh-huh!
Charles turns his charm and his rich, warm voice to Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, 1989's hit alphabet book. There's not much to the 20-minute tape: several readings of the book and some whimsical word games from writer John Archambault. But you'll buy it for the readings by Charles. [...].
Charles recites as though he's got a perpetual grin on his face, and adds enough falsetto at alarming moments to let a kid know it's all in fun. [...]"
Ray's alphabet narration:

CD and book are still for sale: Scholastic Book Clubs, 2005, ISBN-10: 0439806968; ISBN-13: 978-0439806961; ASIN: B000BI4D9A.

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