Released during the peak of the Civil Rights Movement, Ray Charles' Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music blurred the racial boundaries that divided mid-century America. The year was 1962, and country music was still a white man's game. Modern Sounds changed that, with Charles taking a soulful stab at country classics by the Everly Brothers, Hank Williams and Don Gibson. The best track? A gorgeous version of Eddy Arnold's "You Don't Know Me," dressed up with orchestral strings and thickly-stacked vocal harmonies. — A.L.
Listen: "You Don't Know Me"