Richard Smith & Grammy in the schools
Richard Alan Smith
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WHAT IS THE GRAMMY FOUNDATION?
We are an organization that works to make a difference in people’s lives through music.
And by “people,” we mostly mean young people.
And by “difference,” we mean change for the better.
And by “music,” we mean…well you know what we mean.
Basically, we unleash the power of music that is in all of us.
WHAT DO WE DO?
We create opportunities for high school students to work with music professionals to get real-world experience and advice about how to have a career in music. And that includes any kind of music career – audio engineer, concert promoter, electronic music producer, manager, musician, music journalist, singer, songwriter – any music career.
We also shine the spotlight on schools,students, and teachers who are doing really cool things with music. In fact, we just created the GRAMMY Music Educator Award to honor the role of music teachers.
In 2004 Richard played the role of Til in the Academy Award winning film "RAY" the life story biopic of Ray Charles. A chance meeting on set with Music Supervisor Curt Sobel, led Smith to also perform and record guitar parts for many of the films music sequences including Nat King Cole's "Staighten Up & Fly Right" & Eddie Arnold's classic, "Anytime Your Feeling Lonely." "Curt had no idea of my background as a real musician as opposed to an actor says Smith". When he found out he asked me to add guitar parts all of which I did in my home studio in Georgia and emailed the audio files back to L.A."
"The fiim wasn't even titled Ray when we were shooting . It was called Unchained Melody. Taylor was funding it himself along with some investors as he had been turned down by all the major film studios. I imagine that's something they've since come to regret he smiles. It was brutal heat being July in New Orleans on set with no air conditioned. Several folks cast and crew were sent to the hospital for heat stroke. There was nothing glamorous about it as I recall. Smith chuckles."
"But I quite liked the role of Til, he was Ray's friend early in the prodigy's career. Til's role was that of protector and making sure Ray got paid what he was owed by unscupulous club owners and promoters. That wasn't too hard to act (laughs) It was amazing though watching Jamie stay in character for the role of Ray.Some great memories and the next thing we new it was being nominated for an Academy Award and the rest as they say is history".
The movie was directed by Taylor Hackford (Officer and a Gentleman, Devils Advocate) and stars Jamie Foxx as Ray Charles.