The album departed stylistically from the singer's previous rhythm and blues music. Regarded by many critics as Charles's best studio album, Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music has been considered by several music writers to be a landmark album in American music.
The album's integration of soul and country music bent racial barriers in popular music, amid the height of the Civil Rights Movement. In the process of recording the album, Charles became one of the first African-American musicians to exercise complete artistic control over his own recording career.
The album has been called one of the greatest albums of all time by publications such as Rolling Stone and Time. Following his blues fusion with gospel and jazz influences on his earlier Atlantic material, which had brought him much fame and controversy, Charles sought to experiment with country music.
Charles's recording of his acclaimed studio effort The Genius of Ray Charles brought him closer to expressing his jazz and pop crossover ambitions. The first two sessions were set on February 5 and 7 at Capitol Studios in New York, New Yorkat which one half of the album was recorded and produced. From New York City, Feller sent the recordings to Charles, who was living in California at the time, for him "Country western singles" choose.
While his selections provided the album's country and western foundation, the musical arrangements represented its contemporary influence. Eager to display his big band ensemble in studio, Charles enlisted premier jazz arrangers Gerald Wilson and Gil Fullerwhile Marty Paichwho was active in the West Coast jazz scene, was hired to arrange the lush strings and chorus numbers. To indicate specific licks he wanted Country western singles for certain songs, Charles would put together voice-and-piano demos and pass them along to the arrangers, informing them of what he wanted to do with specific sounds.
According to Feller, at one point recording, Charles rewrote an entire botched arrangement and dictated the parts to each of the 18 backing musicians.
The album's themes are about heartbreak and love, while most of the material chosen by Charles were ballads as well. The concept which had originally attracted the interest of Charles to this style of music was the strength he admired in writing such a ballad's somber or melancholy lyrics and then performing the ballad beautifully and with emotional stability; an element he had found to be common in even the most diverse musical Country western singles. They're not as dressed up, and the people are very honest and say, 'Look, I miss you, darlin', so I went out and I got drunk in this bar.
But country songs and the blues is like it is. In an interview with music historian Peter GuralnickCharles further elaborated on his stating "You take country music, you take black music, you got the same goddamn thing exactly.
A considerable amount of the material's melancholy lyrics and words are backed by piano and orchestral arrangements that are rooted in Country western singles, as well as West Coast and Charles's style of piano blues. The difference is further accentuated by Charles's interpretations of the songs.
Charles was disappointed with him, as Feller was in charge of sequencing for the album. The Ted Daffan -penned "Worried Mind" and "Born to Lose" expand his take on country balladry and feature a blend of piano blues with string arrangements.
Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music became one of the best-selling albums recorded by a black musician of the time, as well as one of the best-selling country albums,  shipping at leastcopies in its first three months of release.