Twenty years ago, Angela Workman was touring with the legendary Ray Charles as one of his five backup singers, The Raelettes. Twenty years ago, Liane Hansen first stepped into the host's chair at Weekend Edition Sunday — and interviewed Workman and two of her fellow singers.
Hear Liane Hansen's original interview with Angela Workman and other members of The Raelettes:
Courtesy of the artist
Angela Workman says that her day job as a receptionist led to voice-over work and other vocal performance opportunities.
Angela Workman says that her day job as a receptionist led to voice-over work and other vocal performance opportunities. Courtesy of the artist
For her 20th anniversary, Hansen caught up with Workman, who says she spent 11 years touring with Ray Charles.
"That was my first job, right out of college, is to tour with Ray," says Workman. "Talk about trying to find yourself traveling in the world."
Charles died in 2004, but Workman cherished her time in his outfit.
"As a legacy to Mr. C — that's what we lovingly called him — he taught me so much," says Workman. "I really felt that I was an apprentice to him. He would always give me different things on how to improve as a professional vocalist, and he would always tell me stories about how I have accountability to my public, and this is what I'm going to have to do. It was almost like he had a sixth sense to see that I was going to go on to have a solo professional career, which — that's what I've been doing."
Workman holds a day job as a receptionist, but she recently cut her first album, Moonflower, which she says was recorded with the keyboardist from Spyro Gyra.