Ralph Morse: Photographer Spotlight

The great LIFE photographer Ralph Morse has died at 97. Here, in tribute, LIFE.com shares his most stirring work

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[Note: Ralph Morse died on Dec. 7, 2014, at his home in Florida. He was 97. No photographer in the history of LIFE magazine had a more varied, thrilling and productive career than Ralph. Long after he retired, he was unfailingly gracious whenever anyone from LIFE.com contacted him, often out of the blue, asking if he recalled this or that assignment, or if he remembered taking a specific photo 40 or 50 or 60 years before. He was a true original — one of those rare figures who seemed have been everywhere, chronicling everything and everyone, for so much of the 20th century. He was also one hell of a storyteller. Ralph Morse will be sorely missed. Fortunately for all of us, his work endures.]

via time

Rare and classic photos of an american genius

Ray Charles: Rare and Classic Photos of an American Genius, 1966

In July 1966, LIFE magazine published a remarkable feature story on the man Frank Sinatra reportedly once called “the only true genius in show business” — Mr. Ray Charles.   Whether or not he was the only genius in show business is debatable; but there’s no getting around the fact that Ray Charles is one of a handful of the most influential American musicians in history. A prodigious pianist, soulful songwriter and vocalist of astonishing range and power, Charles transformed the pop-culture landscape with his melding of gospel, blues and R&B music during the 1950s.

via life.time.com