(CelebrityAccess MediaWire) —
Ray Charles, who would have been 75 years-old on September 23, will soon have a post office named in his honor, at 4960 W. Washington Blvd., near the site of his original and historic Los Angeles studios, according to Congresswoman Diane Watson (CA-33); President Bush officially signed the Ray Charles post office bill into law on July 12. An official naming ceremony for the "Ray Charles Post Office Building" will take place at on August 24.
"Despite his enormous success, artistically and financially, Ray Charles was a humble man," says Joe Adams, Charles' manager for more than 45 years."He was a man of the people, so this is a wonderful tribute; he loved America and it's fitting that the country recognizes him as a national treasure."
"Ray Charles was a giant among artistic giants," said Congresswoman Watson, who authored the federal legislation designating the postal facility as the Ray Charles Post Office Building. "It is my hope that the Ray Charles Post Office will be only the first of many posthumous honors for this great American treasure."
An exhibit of Charles memorabilia concludes next month at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and will relocate to Nashville for a year-long exhibit saluting Charles' multi-genre career, starting in March 2006, at the Country Music Hall of Fame.
On September 22, the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC, will induct a collection of Charles artifacts into its permanent collection. –Jane Cohen and Bob Grossweiner