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I posted this earlier on another Ray Charles post but everyone got sucked into another matter.

I took two signed contract signatures as well as a 1988 signed 5x6 photo from Ray Charles Enterprises. We all know the full name cursive signatures are surely not real and I have seen dozens of these 5x6 photos of Ray signed with the fake full name signature. But this one, is different then the rest, the letter that came with it from Ray Charles's office states that they are sorry for running out the larger versions so please accept this smaller one instead. Is this Ray's actual signature? His real signature? I mean, it's on several contracts I have seen over the years and to me, it's looks like a blind mans interpretation of "Ray Charles". I personally feel Ray could sign more then block letters, he wasn't born blind and surely he could write some, or at least draw or doodle and I am sure he had at least seen writing so unlike Stevie Wonder he had a clue what writing even was and how it looked so I feel he could have taught himself over the years. idk, if you post that these are from a helper can you please post who signed his name like this, and also how you are sure of this? Thanks, and if someone could get Roger Epperson involved that would be great to try to work together and put together a solid Ray Charles signature (or lack there of) study.

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Hi, I just won an auction last night for a Ray Charles signed contract. I started looking today for similar signatures and came across your post. As no one has responded to your initial post, I thought I would chime in.
The signature that I won comes from an auction by Perry Cox. It comes with a coa from him and RR auctions. The signature is pretty much the same as what you are posting. I paid $43.00. I feel it's a good buy based on the information and coa from two very reputable dealers.

Thanks, James.

I have only seen one Ray Charles signed item that I believe is authentic in my 25 + years of doing this.  Ray has told me personally as well as many others i know that he won't sign anything he can't see.  He went blind at a VERY young age and had little to no schooling from what I have read.  He has always (as far as I know) had a "personal signer" with him always.

Thanks For the information Roger. A couple of follow up questions:

1) His "contract" signatures seem to be from the same hand for the 4 or 5 I have found on the internet. However, on many of his glossy pictures and his albums, the signature is far different, probably for the most part from the hand of his assistant Vernon Troupe. Do you know who signed his contracts?

2) I am a bit surprised that the coa's from Perry Cox and RR Auction would be issued with his well known public statement "I don't sign anything I can't see". Any thoughts on why coa's would be issued by any reputable dealer with this mind.

Respectfully, James.

To answer question 1 I have no idea who may have signed these but I don't believe Ray did, they are even well placed on the line that he could not see.

#2 I don't know how long ago the LOA's were issued but for a long time it was "presumed" that signed contracts are real as they are binding documents but that has since been deemed not true always.

Thanks for your feedback Roger. I think it's very interesting with regard to the contract signings. We will probably never know exactly who signed them. As always, you take the time to give honest and insightful feedback. Thanks for taking the time to do this.
Have a fantastic holiday season!
James.

The signature on the NBC contract belongs to "the other Ray Charles" (i.e. Ray Charles Offenberg), choral director, composer and arranger. Story here.

Thanks very much Bob for solving the "mystery" piece to this contract puzzle. I appreciate it!

James.

I believe the print edition of Autograph Magazine had a story on Ray Charles many years ago. It would be neat to read that again if it is still available.

I had never heard of the other Ray Charles. Thanks for the education.

That was a three issue article based on my Rolling Stone magazine that Ray signed in 73' in front of me.

Is It Really Ray? was the title of the article. I was very pleased with the story and the way it was presented but with so very few to compare the styles to it's a difficult one to  consider. Steve did my autograph a good service getting it out there but in the end it was a toss up from what I remember of the readers survey opinions. The Holy Grail of modern autographs for sure.

This is what a real Ray Charles autograph looks like. To my knowledge this autograph was signed in 1962 and is very rare. It is the only genuine Ray Charles autograph that I have ever seen.

Bjarne,

Someone just pointed your post out to me. I agree...I believe that's really Ray! What's the story? Is it for sale?

This autograph was signed in 1962 for the artist manager at a Swedish amusement park. The picture is in his biography. I have only seen the picture in the book and never the actual picture. But I met the gentleman a lot of times, so I know exactly who he was. Sadly he passed away 2009 and I don't know if the autograph is still in the family or what happened to it. I have never seen it for sale.

He even mention in his book that this is a very rare picture that is signed by Ray and not his manager.

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