|"I Got a Woman"|
|Single by Ray Charles|
|"Come Back Baby"|
|Recorded||Atlanta, Georgia, 1954|
|Ray Charles, Renald Richard|
|Ray Charles singles chronology|
"I Got a Woman" (originally titled "I've Got a Woman") is a song co-written and recorded by American R&B and soul musician Ray Charles. Atlantic Records released the song as a single in December 1954, with "Come Back Baby" as the B-side. Both songs later appeared on the 1957 album Ray Charles (subsequently reissued as Hallelujah I Love Her So).
The song builds on "It Must Be Jesus" by the Southern Tones, which Ray Charles was listening to on the radio while on the road with his band in the summer of 1954. He and a member of his band, trumpeter Renald Richard, penned a song that was built along a gospel-frenetic pace with secular lyrics and a jazz-inspired rhythm and blues (R&B) background. The song would be one of the prototypes for what later became termed as "soul music" after Charles released "What'd I Say" nearly five years later.
The song was recorded on November 18, 1954 in the Atlanta studios of Georgia Tech radio station WGST. It was a hit--Charles' first--climbing quickly to #1 R&B in January 1955. Charles told the Pop Chronicles that he performed this song for about a year before he recorded it. The song would lead to more hits for Charles during this period when he was with Atlantic. It was later ranked No. 239 on Rolling Stones list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time, one of Charles' five songs on the list. A re-recorded version by Ray Charles, entitled "I Gotta Woman" (ABC-Paramount 10649) reached No. 79 on the Billboard pop chart in 1965.
The Beatles recorded two versions of the song for BBC radio. The first version was recorded on 16 July 1963 at the BBC Paris Theatre in London for the Pop Go The Beatles radio show. This version was first released in 1994 on the Live at the BBC compilation.
The second version the band recorded was recorded on 31 March 1964 at the Playhouse Theatre in London for the Saturday Club radio show. This version was released in 2013 for the On Air - Live at the BBC Volume 2 compilation and is shorter than the Live at the BBC version.
The song has also been covered by many other artists, including:
Kanye West's song "Gold Digger" contains samples (as well as an interpolation during the introduction) of the song. The chorus of "I Got a Woman" is sung throughout the song by Jamie Foxx, who portrayed Charles in the 2004 biopic Ray.